How to help employees beat their auto timesheet reminder with a better timesheet

Keeping track of employee hours is a time-consuming process for administrators. Timesheets are an easy solution to tracking staff time, but users can forget to fill in their hours, be “too busy” or make errors with their hours, tasks, and project information. This is where the auto timesheet reminder helps.

20 Second Overview

  • Timesheet reminders prompt employees whose timesheet is late
  • The system can learn which users are often late or make errors and remind them ahead of time
  • Automation makes timesheets faster and easier, and reduce the need for reminders
  • Helping employees beat the timesheet reminder is good for them and good for business
  • In this article we show how automation saves time, beats the auto timesheet reminder and save everyone time

Who is Timewatch?
Timewatch are specialists in timesheets and timesheet automation. We specialize in making our solutions work perfectly for each customer, configuring and tailoring our products to each customer’s specific needs without compromising the ability to upgrade to new releases.

Why is a timesheet reminder needed?

In our experience (and we have a lot of experience in this area), most people enter timesheets in arrears and, as most users are predisposed to put off completing timesheets, timesheet reminders are really important to get stragglers to get their timesheets finished.

Failing to complete timesheets can lead to errors and delays in processing payroll and billing. If users don’t fill their timesheets in on time, automated timesheet reminders streamline the process and ensuring timely completion and submission.

People that use calendars actually enter time in advance. Our calendar timesheet uses this – which helps users beat their timesheet reminders!

What are the benefits automated timesheet reminders?

  • Improved Accuracy: Timesheet reminders help reduce errors by prompting employees to submit timesheets on time, leading to more consistent data for billing, payroll, and project tracking.
  • Streamlined Workflow: Automating timesheet reminders frees up administrators and managers from manually chasing overdue timesheets and allows them to focus on more important tasks.
  • Increased Efficiency: Reminders encourage employees to track their time throughout the week rather than be late or forget to complete timesheets.
  • Timely billing and payments: By ensuring on-time entries, automated reminders prevent delays in billing and payroll processing, keeping employees, admins and managers happy.

How does an automatic timesheet reminder work?

A timesheet reminder could be as simple as an automated email at the end of the week to remind staff to enter their timesheet.

It is best, however, to only send reminders to people who have not yet completed their timesheet.

Email timesheet reminder

Timewatch’s Outlook plugin allows employees to add customer / project / assignment details to Outlook appointments and use them in their timesheets.

Filtering out employees that have completed their timesheet requires some definitions and rules as to whether a timesheet is complete. Metrics such as minimum timesheet hours, timesheet due date, and various employee timesheet rules need to be able to be defined then, on the due date, an automated timesheet analysis process can locate and send reminders to those that need them.

Timesheet reminders can be automated messages that escalate from a polite “Hey! Your timesheet needs to be completed for the week!”, to more forceful emails. Reminders could be sent using email, text or chat, Teams, Slack, or other company messaging systems

Text, Teams, Slack timesheet reminders

Timewatch timesheet systems do all this, with fully automated, escalating timesheet reminders driven by configurable and customizable timesheet rules. We also provide users with timesheet entry tools that make help them avoid requiring a timesheet reminder by helping them complete their timesheet as they go.

Solutions for timesheet reminder challenges

With increased interconnectivity and AI tools, timesheets are becoming easier and faster to enter. They can also be filled in in advance, making automated timesheet reminders a little “2023”.

Replace timesheet reminders with a cleverer timesheet!

In a collaboration with our customers, we looked at ways to avoid help employees complete their timesheets without reminders.

One idea was to fill in timesheets via other tools employees use, and one system all companies had in common was they all used Microsoft Outlook (or Google Calendar).

Calendar appointments hold the same time information as a timesheet, but is missing customer / project details. By enhancing Outlook with customer & project fields, Outlook became their timesheet system. As it’s easier to choose the customer / project from a drop down list than to type it in manually, users actually completed their timesheet as they used Outlook!

Timewatch’s Outlook plugin lets employees turn appointments, displays timesheet completion as they go, and alerts them to missing time without the need for timesheet reminders.

Automating timesheet entry reduces the need for reminders

With OutlookTime®, much of a user’s timesheets is completed in advance. This makes timesheet completion a lower maintenance task, and reduces the need for timesheet reminders. The key factor is how much of an employee’s timesheet can be created from tools such as Outlook, Google or Teams, and if this data can be utilized in the timesheet reminder logic to increase the accuracy of the reminder system. In order to optimize timesheet reminders, the timesheet system itself needs to be able to support a customer’s unique business logic – all of which Timewatch does.

The benefits of automating timesheets with Outlook

  • Employee timesheets are completed in advance
  • Fewer employees needed timesheet reminders
  • More employee timesheets are completed on time
  • Timesheets became more accurate as they are based on real appointments
  • Productive time logged increased as less time was missed or forgotten
  • Employees reported saving 3-4 hours a month

AI and automated timesheets, reduces the need for reminders

Our experience, in an ever-increasing number of cases, is that Timewatch customers are efficiently using AI timesheet and auto timesheet entry features, resulting in fewer auto timesheet reminders. This is a good thing, as it means more people are completing their timesheet early or on time with a minimum of fuss. This doesn’t take away the need for auto timesheet reminders – they will still be needed in cases where people are late or miss a timesheet, but efficiency has dramatically improved.

Our tools also stop the return-to-office chaos after a vacation or time away from work as by scheduling vacation in their calendar, the employee’s timesheet is automatically filled in, in advance! Compare this to coming back from vacation to find dozens of messages and reminders. Our timesheet systems work with scheduling and calendars including Outlook and Google to prefill common occurrences such as internal and team meetings, sickness or vacation ensuring an easier and faster timesheet entry, and more efficient inbox with fewer timesheet reminders.

For more information on the best timesheet system that helps eliminate automated timesheet reminders.

Who is Timewatch?

Timewatch are specialists in timesheet software, Outlook and Google timesheets, resource scheduling and professional services automation.

Timewatch systems are highly configurable and are unique in that they support customization without affecting future product upgrades. The customizable nature of our solution set allows organizations with unique requirements to perfectly meet their needs without compromise. Although designed to meet the demanding nature of medium to large, corporate customers, we provide a simpler ‘Essentials’ edition for small businesses.

Timewatch is ISO 9001 and 27001 certified and has an A+ continuous PEN test rating for our public cloud, private cloud and on-premises solutions.

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If you’d like to learn more about Outlook Optics™, our Outlook scheduling plugin, Outlook timesheet plugin or Outlook two-way calendar sync server, please contact us.

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