The gig economy is best described as people taking on freelance jobs to perform specific tasks within a set deadline against one-off payment, sometimes with time tracking.
“What’s the new gig like?” is a question you will often hear in social situations when freelancers are asked what their latest job is like.
People are increasingly choosing to work from home, or on the move in cafeterias and parks as they search for more work/life balance.
This also works well for businesses. Your business might not be quite big enough to need an in-house accountancy department, for example. Dexterous works on this model. We provide accountancy, bookkeeping, and data analytics services to our clients in return for fixed-fee packages.
We also engage freelancers inside and outside Australia and other workers who work for fixed-period reduced hours. Dexterous Group recognises that to get the best people on board, you need to allow for working time flexibility.
But how do you log everything that is going on? One of the best time tracking apps on the market for both businesses and freelancers is Time Doctor.
There are a few other similar applications on the market, including Wrike, Hubstaff, Tee Sheets and others, but we use Time Doctor as we found that it perfectly balanced the needs of the freelancer in logging the job and our business in terms of tracking progress. Time Doctor can also be used in-house, to track staff productivity.
What is Time Doctor?
Essentially, Time Doctor is a cross between project management and time tracking software. Time Doctor allows a person doing a job to live-log the time they spend doing it. You need to have that person in the system, and they need to download a desktop app to be able to allow time tracking in unison.
It’s very simple. The person performing the job enters the task they are working on in the user interface and then simply clicks ‘play’. If they want to pause at any time to go and pick up the kids from school, they click pause, do what they need to do and click play again to continue.
It really is that simple. A business, on the other hand, can see how long the person has been working on a task and how effectively they were performing.
Time Doctor also comes in handy when working out how much time has been spent on a task in total. This works well for invoicing by the freelancer (in our case) and verification and payment by the employer.
What can Time Doctor do?
The Administrative dashboard shows how many hours employees have worked as well as the tasks to which they’re assigned. Administrators can click into a time period to see what employees were looking at, if they signed in late, and if they were idle for certain periods of time.
The desktop app tracks web pages visited, keystrokes, and apps used. It can even take screengrabs and snap webcam photos, should you wish to activate these settings.
Keystrokes and mouse movements are measured at intervals from three minutes to an hour depending on how you configure Time Doctor. Measurements won’t be taken precisely at that interval so people can’t cheat the time tracking system by tapping random keys every third minute. The tool also monitors web and app usage, and can capture hook into four monitors at once.
Time Doctor’s webcam shot feature lets admins snap images of remote workers in 10-minute intervals. You can monitor web and app usage without taking screengrabs or you can do everything but take webcam shots.
The software lets you enable permanent tasks that will always live on your dashboard. This is beneficial for companies whose employees perform repetitive tasks and don’t want to go into the system to create new tasks each time they want to be tracked.
Time Doctor provides a “Poor Time Use” report that tracks how much time your employees spend on social media, news websites, or any other websites you deem off-limits. Unfortunately, it won’t tell you if they are doing something productive on another screen, so someone listening to internet radio while working could potentially be labelled a time waster.
Likewise, someone monitoring social media as a task would obviously be surfing between Facebook, Instagram and others to do their job.
To protect employees, whenever someone clicks on a “Poor Time Use” website, a pop-up message will appear asking they really want to watch the video or go to that webpage.
You can connect your Payoneer, PayPal, and TransferWise accounts to Time Doctor, and pay employees for work registered within the system.
Pricing and Plans
Time Doctor’s introductory plan is desktop-only, offering no access to the reporting and employee monitoring that you’ll find on paid plans. You can use the application to track tasks and work hours but nothing else.
The Solo $5-per-month plan is designed for freelancers who want to access the reports and dashboards available on Time Doctor’s web-based client. The $9.99-per-user-per-month Custom plan gives you access to the whole Time Doctor suite, including timesheets, employee monitoring, in-depth reporting, the open application programming interface (API), and a basic payroll module.
Want to find out more about digital efficiency apps? Call Dexterous today on 1300 996 928 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow our blog and check out our social media pages on Facebook and Linked in for regular articles.