Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - August 2013

We're just finishing up our Virtual TimeClock ‘13 Release 2 that will ship in September. As tempting as it is to talk about new Virtual TimeClock features, this month I'm going to offer some tips on activity tracking that you can put to use right away. So in this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter, I want to talk about using activities to track time spent on different tasks, jobs, projects, customers, cost centers, or even business locations.

What’s an activity?
Activities are used to track all time on the clock, whether paid or unpaid. That’s different than out memos, which are temporary notes left when an employee stops working and are not included on employee timecards. Out memos can be viewed in the Status column of the In/Out board list until the worker clocks back in. Activities will also show up in the Status column of the In/Out board list until the employee starts a new activity or clocks out.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Employees can create a one-time custom memo when clocking out, like “Dr appt – back by 3pm” if that user action is turned on for the display group.

How do I turn on job tracking?
Activities can be anything you want to track time for, and can be named whatever you want. Your time clock software has a default activity called ‘In’ that gets used each time you start work. As soon as you create a new activity, employees will be prompted to pick one from a list as soon as they start work for the day. They can continue to switch from one activity to another with the click of a button.

Here are some ways I’ve seen activities being used by customers:

  • Printing & Graphic Design – track labor and work in progress by assigning each job a unique activity
  • Manufacturing – define activities to separate the different stages of your labor
  • Marketing Research & Call Centers – create new activities on-the-fly for each customer contact to track billable hours
  • Medical & Dental Offices – set up activities for procedures or equipment and compare labor costs to reimbursement
  • Restaurants – for employees who receive a different wage for performing different roles, use activities to track the separate hours
  • Multiple Retail Locations – create an activity representing the name of each store so you can determine your total labor costs per cost center

Here’s a quick Tip:
Employees can create new activities on-the-fly by turning on that user action for the display group.

How do I get rid of the job once it’s been completed?
In order to keep your list of activities manageable, you’ll want to make them inactive once the job or project has been completed. This can be done by going to Configure, then Activities.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The inactive activities will still be available when running time clock reports from prior weeks, months, or even years!

How do I print activity reports?
Keeping track of all these activities only makes sense if it’s easy to gather and use the data. That’s where a powerful and efficient SQL database engine and built-in report writer will help you. Virtual TimeClock already provides a good selection of customizable, ready to use reports for sorting and selecting data by activity, department, leave, shift, or employee so you can get the activity tracking detail you need for any period of time.

Here’s a quick Tip:
For more information on using Virtual TimeClock to track your labor costs, check out the article Managing Labor Costs with Employee Time Clock Software.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow