Home Business Management Q&A: Your Online Time Tracking Questions Answered with Timesheets CEO Joel Slatis

Q&A: Your Online Time Tracking Questions Answered with Timesheets CEO Joel Slatis

by Ruthy Hope
Timesheets.com CEO

A Matter of Time

Located in San Jose, CA Timesheets.com is a fully customizable online time tracking service that has been empowering businesses since 2004. We wanted to touch base with President and CEO Joel Slatis to ask him about industry changes he has seen since March 2020.

So let’s get right to it. The pandemic created a seismic shift most businesses were utterly unprepared to handle. Companies either adapted or collapsed under the weight of it all. What were some of the biggest changes you observed during this period?

JS: At Timesheets.com we can see things like hiring patterns, work and time off patterns, but not how people actually do their jobs. So our vision is limited to statistics. That being said, we didn’t observe any of the mercurial changes that we would have maybe expected to see. Things remained pretty consistent. Considering how many businesses suffered during that period, we consider ourselves quite fortunate in that regard.

Considering that Timesheets already allowed businesses to keep track of employee time from anywhere, I imagine that your clients fared a little better than those who were caught off guard. Would that be an accurate appraisal?

JS: Actually, yes. There wasn’t a huge need among our existing clients to make a lot of adjustments. We already offered the tools necessary for remote time tracking. Those who used us were probably better off than those without a comparable system in place.

And I’d also venture to guess that your company was one of the more fortunate ones during this period in that it offers a service that was suddenly in high demand. Was there a dramatic uptick in businesses seeking a solution for their newly remote workforce?

JS: To be honest, not really. One would certainly be forgiven for thinking that a web-based time tracking company would see growth during a time when people were suddenly expected to work from home. But the truth of the matter is that, at least from our perspective, work habits seemed to remain steady. There wasn’t a ton of growth, but neither was there a mass exodus of clients. After the initial shock of lockdowns wore off, business remained stable. It would have been nice to benefit from new business needs, and also, of course, we saw the silver linings of this extraordinary situation. Our ultimate hope was that the decision makers would come to recognize that people can work from home effectively. That leads to a host of positive things for everyone, including for the environment we all share.

What sorts of issues do new businesses generally tend to encounter when they transition to online time tracking systems?

JS: Introducing new software to your business is never easy. Everyone needs to be trained, which is a service we provide our clients. Some businesses encounter resistance from employees and even from those in management. In many cases, businesses need to change or adapt their business process. Those are the fundamental challenges. But in the end, the employees adapt to the software, allowing the business to run more efficiently. Those who don’t initially support the software’s introduction usually come around after some time has passed, and businesses ultimately tend to benefit.

Timesheets.com enables clients to use best practices to manage and track their people. This can sometimes cause friction with a client’s usual way of running things. However, in many cases, some of their processes are inefficient or even superfluous. Timesheets.com is often a change agent in these situations. We aren’t afraid to challenge a client with questions like “why are you doing it that way?” and “what if you just eliminated that step?”. There’s often no good answer to those questions and the clients eventually embrace the benefits that come from making these changes.

And did the new clients who flooded in with the pandemic have similar issues or did you find that the abrupt nature of things created unforeseen challenges?

JS: Pretty much every client who comes to us is looking for a solution to a specific issue they’re experiencing. The pandemic was no different. It created new headaches for managers and we were the tool they used to solve their problems. That being said, their issues were usually the same as any new client. My sense is that the pandemic hastened people to try us out that would have eventually decided to do so anyway. We didn’t have to overcome any major new obstacles in order to win them over.

We’re nearly two years into it and many businesses have continued to maintain a remote workforce. What advice would you give those still on the fence about converting to an online time tracking system?

JS: We tend to see our clients’ workforce grow over time. For instance, a client might come in with 7 or 8 people, and before long that number has risen to 12 or 14. We like to think we’re part of that success. Timesheets.com is an efficiency tool. It helps people run their businesses and it has a host of ancillary benefits. Tracking time doesn’t just solve the problem of keeping track of that one employee who’s chronically sick or late. It also reduces frustration for those business owners who require quicker and more efficient processes. Reducing those types of headaches leads to more time and, eventually, more money for them to grow their business. I guess my advice would be to try it out. We do offer a free trial for anyone who wants to test the service.

Among those who came in with the pandemic, what percentage of them are still your clients?

JS: Clients tend to stay with Timesheets.com for years. Statistically speaking, most of those companies that signed up in 2020 are probably still with us. In order to grasp the pandemic’s effect on business, we’ll need to wait awhile to see if they quit at a higher rate than clients who came on board at an earlier point in time. Based on the trends to date, there’s no reason to think that those who rushed in will leave at a different rate than any other client.

If you had to distill your services down to its most notable advantage for businesses, what comes to mind?

JS: Well, like I mentioned before, we are basically an efficiency tool. Used properly, we help businesses save time and money, which leads to growth. At the very least, it leads to less business complications and more profit for owners. I like to tell people that the cost savings they often reap by using Timesheets.com is greater than the cost of the service, so using us is actually more economical for a business than not using us.

I imagine that some types of employees, such as office workers, adapt to online systems more readily than others. What advice would you give to employers who, for example, have mostly non-tech workers that may struggle with inputting their hours electronically?

JS: Just about everyone knows how to use a computer these days and we have worked very hard to make Timesheets.com user-friendly. I understand the concerns of those who think non-technical employees might have a hard time figuring it all out, but that’s not been our experience at all. We have janitorial services, landscapers, and construction companies whose employees all use our time tracking system. It’s definitely something pretty much anyone can learn and get accustomed to pretty quickly.

Timesheets.com is an online time and expense tracking software for employees and contractors. Need to track attendance, projects, time off, and more? Start a FREE trial to see how it works!

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