Automating time tracking is an often overlooked tool for overcoming some of the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Productivity has become a critical component of profitability.

Let’s look at current trends delivering unexpected silver linings and how automating time tracking can boost productivity and your bottom line.

Unanticipated opportunities

Many small and medium-sized contractors and sub-contractors have emerged as winners in the pandemic. Reasons for this are business-by-business, but some are pervasive. First, a shift to remote work is more durable than expected, resulting in residential remodeling opportunities.

According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), growth in the remodeling market will remain solid into 2022. The LIRA, released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), projects single-digit gains in annual home renovation and repair spending through 2021 and a 4.8% growth in spending by the first quarter of 2022.4

Surging demand for home improvement services to create or expand work/living areas to facilitate working at home is not slowing down.

Homeowners and landlords alike are adding home offices, reconfiguring existing spaces, or expanding square footage. Outdoor, garage, and recreational space additions and improvements are also popular, providing opportunities across the trades for construction contractors and sub-contractors alike. Energy-efficient improvements such as solar panels, geothermal systems, smart and green home improvements are also popular.

Another unanticipated outcome of the pandemic is that employers with tens of thousands of square feet of office space are trying to make the idea of returning to the office more appealing than working from home. COVID-19 prevention features like improved filtration and ventilation, opening up common areas for more socially distanced collaboration, increasing square footage in shared spaces, and adding leisure and downtime activity areas for relaxing with ping pong or Foosball are popular. Many companies are also updating and expanding breakrooms.

All of this adds up to an acceleration in demand for construction services of every kind. Business owners must seize the day to maximize these opportunities.

Today’s business challenges

During periods of high demand, you may find that you can’t bid and schedule projects fast enough, and you’re leaving money on the table because of the frantic pace. At the same time, materials are scarcer and prices volatile.

Attracting employees to help meet your growing needs is also more competitive than ever.

Finding ways to make hiring, training, and time tracking more efficient is critical, or you’ll fall behind.

How Automation Can Help

Embracing automation could make a significant difference in your ability to optimize current market and labor conditions. Before making a financial investment in automation, however, you have questions. What should you automate first? How much should you invest? How should you pay for it and ensure a return on your investment?

Digital time tracking apps reduce administration

If your employees use paper time cards to clock in and out, you’re losing time and money. Time and attendance tracking using paper time cards is a time-intensive and error-prone process.

Automating time and attendance tracking with a time card app for small businesses enables digital clock in and clock out. And this could be one of the best ways to take your first steps toward a business automation transformation.

Many employers that adopt automation start with time tracking because it yields significant savings in time and money.

Implementing a digital time tracking solution in place of time cards and outdated clock-in and clock-out processes also makes your back office more productive.

Instead of paper tracking, automation allows you to refocus your time on things that increase profitability. You’ll have more time for bidding, scheduling, purchasing materials, and finishing jobs. So you can get on to the next project or manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Digital time clocks improve accuracy and promote trust

We’re human. Sometimes we make mistakes, and so do employees.

Solutions like digital time clocks, GPS time tracking apps, and rugged, wireless time clocks on job sites help reduce time theft, hour-rounding, and buddy punching. More accurate time tracking using an app or other digital solution also helps improve employee trust and loyalty.

Millennial and Gen Z employees are digital natives. They expect and trust digital tools in every area of life, including at work.

Time tracking apps help your business stay in compliance

The Department of Labor requires that employers follow a set of specific steps when hiring employees. These include form and document flows, specific data requirements, and verifications.

Time tracking also has recording and reporting requirements to ensure that time is categorized accurately as regular, overtime, etc. If your business undergoes an audit, you must produce reporting that verifies you are following regulations daily. Implementing a time tracking app or other digital time tracking solution makes all of this more accurate, simpler, and instantly accessible.

There’s a lot more to learn and understand about construction automation, and we’ve got a great resource to share.

Read the e-Book: 5 Ways to Make Construction Automation Work for You

To understand the many ways to make construction automation work for your business, download our ebook. It offers guidance on how to decide what to automate first, the apps, tools, and resources available, and how to finance an investment in automation.

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