“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
– Leonard Bernstein
All time while at work should be logged accurately.
It is hoped that each employee will strike a healthy balance between billable and non-billable work, as outlined in their contract.
Why we log time
We log time so that:
- Billing: We can bill our clients accurately for work done.
- Strategy: We can get an insight into time spent on various areas of the business.
- Overtime / TOIL: We can compare the actual number of hours an employee has worked with their contracted hours. This allows us to track overtime and undertime.
- Project performance: A project is made up of billable and unbillable time, which we can look at to deduce how well it went.
- R&D: Certain things can be considered as R&D, which could get us tax credits
- Lost time: All businesses have a degree of “lost” time, whether too many meetings, excessive admin, or just getting disturbed repeatedly with questions or rocket announcements. If time is logged suitably, we can start to monitor this better, and look into potential solutions.
- Resourcing: Whilst Forecast is our resourcing tool, using Harvest to see history can be helpful to change things, as patterns can be seen which reduce expected availability.
- Mental wellbeing: If someone is working a lot of hours, and all billable work, with no gap for R&D or unbillable, this raises some red flags for things like stress and burnout.
When we log time
- Our business hours are 9.00am - 5pm (GMT).
- However, we encourage flexible working patterns to enable employees to establish a routine that works for them as well as being flexible enough to cover emergencies or unforeseen events.
How we log time
We use the Harvest time tracker - here’s a good guide to getting started.
What we log
From the moment we start in the morning until the moment we finish work, time should be logged (excluding lunch and other non-work breaks).
Any breaks or a considerable amount of time on things not related to work (>15mins) should be discounted from our logging. Generally the 'start' moment is considered when we get to the desk in the morning. Overtime outside of this specifically spent on company work should also be logged.
All billable time for a given day should be logged the same day that it took place.
This allows us to accurately communicate time used on projects to our clients and ensure we can internally track time spent on projects and on support and maintenance.
Add time to the appropriate task in Harvest with a comment describing what you have done. Clients may query why something took a certain amount of time and it is important to be transparent about the work we do for a client.
If you’re not sure where to log time for a specific activity or task, do ask!
Your time can go in many places, examples below though should help guide you in most situations.
To help with working out where to log time, we have created some examples with specific cases in it.