Time to fix the UK’s productivity puzzle

Posted by on 15.01.2018

The current picture of productivity in the UK is bleak. While it used to grow at 2% every year, it has hardly grown at all in the last decade.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), hourly output fell 0.5% in the first three months of 2017 – taking UK productivity back to pre-financial crisis levels. What’s more, UK productivity continues to lag behind its major trading partners, such as the US, France and Germany.

While the focus tends to be on the big picture and the UK as a whole, most professionals are interested in what they can do to make their company, division or team operate more productively. What can you, as managers and leaders do to combat the trend?

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Top 6 Tech Tools for Business Success

Posted by on 14.12.2017

In a fast-paced working environment, it can often be overwhelming to try and manage everything going on around you. I.T. has continued to change and mold the way we do business, and the plethora of tech tools and platforms out there can make running a startup or more established company much easier.

With so many to choose from, finding tools that will support the business flow, rather than hinder it, can be a fine art – often it’s a case of trial and error. The right tools can simplify so many tasks, such as HR, accounting and project management.

Here’s a list of 6 tech tools that will help your business get more from every working day, boosting productivity whilst also helping employees collaborate more.

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How to make working from home work for everyone

Posted by on 23.11.2017

Working from home is becoming an increasingly common and sought-after option for employees. From new parents to millennials who are keen to avoid the time-consuming commute, the option of remote working is high on many people’s lists these days when it comes to finding a new job.

More than 13% of the UK’s workforce currently works from home, this number has been steadily growing over the last decade. It’s now easier than ever before to stay connected through cloud computing and collaborative apps, so this trend is likely to continue.

While this luxury is a handy bonus for many employees and employers alike, it comes with its own challenges for both parties.

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How to motivate your team to track their time

Posted by on 27.10.2017

So, you’ve taken the leap and committed to implementing software for your team to time track. Now you’re wondering – what’s the next step? How do you get everyone on board and continue to motivate them after the initial interest has waned?

Time-tracking software has a major impact on productivity, visibility, profit and employee management – but you already knew that if you’ve dived in and made the all-important decision to take control of the business’ billing and reporting.

Not everybody likes change, but as the world advances technologically and competing businesses begin finding those narrow margins, you’ll want to keep up.

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Is your business really profitable?

Posted by on 20.10.2017

A profitable business isn’t simply about that bottom line, despite this so often being the driving factor for decision makers. Companies need a holistic view of who is doing what and how long it’s taking them if they are to maintain and improve profitability, but unless operations are analysed effectively, through the deployment of time-tracking software, it may ultimately be a futile endeavour.

Legacy systems don’t allow quick reporting on work in progress for the whole business, which in turn means that the analysis of data is delayed, and accessing the full picture of the company in real-time is lost. State-of-the-art time tracking software, such as that offered by TallyPro, can answer the key questions. Who are the most profitable clients? Or, on the other hand, which employees are bringing in the highest billables?

The antiquated approach of manually tracking expenses, invoices and projects involves copious amounts of manpower and leg-work – which will also be costing time and money that doesn’t necessarily need to be spent if a modern time-tracking software service is used.

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Stop tech terrors and you’ll increase productivity

Posted by on 27.09.2017

Coming in at No.5 in our top 11 productivity killers is something we can all relate to – technology issues. It’s time to increase productivity by eliminating those pesky tech failures. So let’s get proactive and put an end to the whims of our machines taking up our precious time…

We’ve all been there. You’re on a roll and it’s getting close to a deadline when suddenly, your computer crashes. It’s so frustrating and it feels like it’s beyond our control. But fear not, my friend, TallyPro is here to boost your productivity through preventative measures that will certainly keep most of the failures at bay.

More and more, workers are completely reliant on technology and while most workplaces have some form of tech support, there’s a lot we can be doing as individuals before calling in the troubleshooting squad.

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Crackdown on social media to boost time management skills

Posted by on 19.09.2017

As we continue on our mission to break down the top 11 productivity killers and help you boost your time management skills, it’s time to tackle social media, something we’re all guilty of wasting time on. So let’s kick the habit and recapture that wasted time with these productivity tips.

Social media has become an extension of ourselves, the endorphin-releasing ‘like’ buttons and never-ending stream of old friends photos and hilarious cat videos can suck us into an addictive hole and affect our work.

While some might say the solution is to block those distracting sites at the office, it’s so ingrained into our day-to-day lives that preventing employees from browsing their feeds could actually do more harm than good in terms of productivity.

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Productivity tips to put an end to a distracting inbox

Posted by on 30.08.2017

We are moving forward with our quest to combat the top 11 productivity killers, next up is No.3: email overload. It’s time to stop wasting precious hours and take control of that unruly inbox with these top productivity tips.

The sheer volume of emails we receive throughout the day overwhelms many of us, while others find the constant stream of notifications and pings pulls them away from the task at hand. Either way, it’s killing productivity.

The average worker sends or receives around 33,000 emails each year according to research by Radicati. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that a form of communication that businesses have relied on for two decades or so is making employees less efficient.

While email can pose a threat to productivity, it is also an essential work tool that we use every single day.

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7 ways to combat communication problems

Posted by on 11.08.2017

We are continuing to work through the top 11 productivity killers we recently uncovered. Moving down the list to No.2, it’s time to banish communication problems once and for all.

Communication is a two-way street. When interactions don’t quite work it can be nothing short of hilarious – think of The Two Ronnies’ ‘fork handles’ or Basil Fawlty’s troubles with the audibly challenged Mrs Richards – but it’s not so funny in the workplace.

“There have been many times where a lack of communication can hinder progress, whether that is from stakeholders when reviewing requirements or from management when passing down tasks or information that is required to complete work and move forward. Incorrect or miscommunication is also another part of the above that can lead to many disruptions to productivity.”

– Craig, Director, Telecoms company

In addition, finding the perfect balance between getting your message across and bombarding your co-workers with information overload is tricky. It’s a fine line, but if done correctly, the cogs of the workflow machine keep on turning. If the line is crossed, however, productivity is quickly diminished and employees find themselves doing unnecessary tasks or work that is just plain wrong.

86% of employees blame ineffective communication or lack of collaboration for workplace failures, according to a survey by leadership development firm, Fierce.

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6 ways to banish unnecessary meetings

Posted by on 26.07.2017

TallyPro is taking aim at the top 11 productivity killers we recently uncovered. Starting at the top, we are ready to zap the No.1 – unnecessary meetings – turning them from a snoozy bore fest to a brief, but effective forum…

A meeting should be a form of getting some aspect of work done or decision made. Time is a commodity and those hours spent in meetings should produce a return on your time investment.

The average UK worker sits through 6,240 meetings during their working lives, according to a survey of 2,000 workers by Sennheiser Communications. Therefore, if each meeting lasted an hour, it would mean they would spend 780 working days, or more than three years and four months at work in back-to-back meetings.

“I really think that some people call meetings just to show who’s boss. They love walking in to a meeting room, and try to make themselves look important to those who haven’t made the invitation list.” 

– Parveen, Sales, Tech company

While many of us are bystanders suffering from the bravado of a boss who likes the sound of their own voice, some of us are ones holding these meetings. How can we turn this burden into something productive for everyone involved?  

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Do I really need time tracking software?

Posted by on 11.07.2017

Can’t decide whether you need time tracking software? It can make a major difference to a company’s productivity, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Whether it’s a multinational wanting global oversight of its business practices, a company based over two or three sites that needs to know what each location is up to, or a freelancer who needs a visual of hours spent on a job, time tracking software is certainly the answer.

While using a pen and paper to track time is better than nothing, it can be cumbersome and inaccurate. The beauty of tools such as TallyPro is that measurements are accurate, easy to enter and simple to turn into charts and other visuals.

Measuring productivity becomes a cinch because it’s right there in front of you. Dave completed this in three hours, Gemma spent four hours on this job, and Pete endured a full eight hours completing paperwork for that nightmare client. With time tracking tools we can keep on looking at these employees, and continuously assess how much time is spent on each job.

I don’t think I need time tracking software…

Still not convinced? Here we address some of the most common concerns stopping people from implementing a time tracking tool…   

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11 Productivity Killers Zapping Your Working Day

Posted by on 22.06.2017

Productivity killers. They are the annoyances, distractions and obstacles that kill off productivity during the working day. From self-confessed weaknesses connected to the vending machine and mobile phone pings, to management failings and badly-scheduled projects, there’s a bunch of inefficiencies stopping millions of people from getting their jobs done.

If you’re willing to take time out of your day – on your return from an extended tea break or pointless meeting, perhaps – to read the stats, this epidemic of time-wasting is getting worse. According to, 89% of employees admitted to wasting time every single day, which was up on 69% during the previous year. Some 31% of respondents wasted roughly 30 minutes daily, while an incredible 2% said that figure was as high as five hours!

64% of employees visit non-work-related websites each day, a term known as ‘cyberloafing’. The report also reported that employees waste time at work because they’re not challenged in their job, they work long hours, there’s no incentive for them to work harder, or they feel unsatisfied, bored or underpaid.

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How to build the perfect tender

Posted by on 06.06.2017

Project time tracking is critical. If you can’t deliver on time as a project manager, you’re not really delivering at all. Estimating how long it will take to complete a contract, and then hitting targets by using effective time tracking solutions, are at the very core of a project manager’s job.

When project time management fails it can be catastrophic. Perhaps the most famous example in the UK was the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium at the start of this decade. Construction firm Multiplex lost around £148m on the project, which was meant to be delivered in three years but ultimately took almost seven. In the month that Wembley closed for redevelopment, a “worst-case scenario” bill of £660m was announced. The project eventually cost £827m, following years of legal wrangles.

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7 steps to resolving time management issues

Posted by on 23.05.2017

So you’ve been business savvy and decided to solve your time management issues and track productivity with a brand spanking new platform. The good news is you have all the data you’ll ever need at the touch of a button. The bad news is you’ve realised that brilliant contract signed a couple of months back is taking up twice as much time as was estimated.

Suddenly that time-tracking offensive doesn’t seem quite so wise. It looked a great idea in theory, but now there is what could be a very uncomfortable call to the client at the top of your to-do list.

First things first: you’ve been smart in choosing to track productivity, whether through a leading platform such as TallyPro or more informal means. Having key data about the business is absolutely vital. Ignoring time management, and the potential for waste, could lead to even more uncomfortable conversations if the business begins to fail and employees’ jobs come under threat.

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How to introduce time-recording to your employees

Posted by on 09.05.2017

Time is precious in businesses of all sizes. Failure to address wastage leads to companies folding every single day of the week. The addition of time recording software will plug a leak and play a major role in recovery, however management teams must not think that business tools alone can resolve operational inadequacies.

It’s true, the employment of sophisticated time recording software can be a remedy to all kinds of business problems; use it to find the shirkers, expose unfinished tasks and assess the amount of time that is actually being spent on tasks.

But the proverbial ‘can of worms’ applies here. Solve one issue by accurately recording time and you may just create a pallet-load of new problems within the business.

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What is the return on investment for time-tracking?

Posted by on 21.04.2017

Business executives are increasingly aware that adopting the right employee time-tracking technology can improve efficiency within a company. However, in a world in which business decision-makers often need to be persuaded by bottom-line figures, what sort of return on investment can be calculated for introducing such a system?

Time is money. A 2013 report by the American Payroll Association (APA) found that some $148bn was lost annually due to timekeeping errors.

Moreover, studies have shown that it can take up to seven minutes to calculate manually a timesheet for a work period, whereas automated employee time tracking reduces the length of time to less than one minute per ‘card’.

As far as TallyPro is concerned, its software eliminates so-called ‘time theft’ by staff – including long lunch breaks or arriving late for work. The APA report estimated that the average daily ‘theft’ was 49 minutes per employee. Therefore, over the course of a year, more than 200 work hours can be lost per employee – more than five weeks of work – all down to inefficiencies that can be extinguished by effective employee time tracking.

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How do I encourage my staff to improve time management?

Posted by on 10.04.2017

If forcing employees to work longer hours simply leads to disillusionment and stress rather than increased productivity, bosses need to employ a little alchemy to improve time management.

Some workers will be self-aware enough to understand what makes them tick in the office, while others may utilise the small changes we suggested in a recent blog – such as regular exercise and being tidy – to improve their output.

However, many workers are neither proactive or productive. For some it might be that they struggle with pressure, while others might be, well, lazy. Neither of those reasons need to be accepted or indulged, and this is where a competent boss comes in.

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Simple steps to improve your time management skills

Posted by on 23.03.2017

Bosses are always looking for ways to improve their workforce’s output, but there’s nothing more effective than an employee who takes charge of their own time management.

Businesses that want to boost time management may consider the use of time management software as they look to audit how their workers are spending their days and how long tasks are taking to be completed. Whether it’s to measure success or determine flaws, it’s unquestionably helpful to collate data that reveals a true picture.

While business tools, such as TallyPro’s time tracking software, have a role to play in illustrating patterns – whether they be positive or negative – it is for the company itself to work out how they should then act. Should there be a problem, will a boss reach for the benevolent carrot, or do they go straight for the trusty old stick? How can leaders reward those that are found to be most productive? Read More

How do I take the strain out of invoicing?

Posted by on 06.03.2017

Invoicing is a vital part of business, but easy invoicing seems like a myth. If you don’t get paid, you won’t be a success. Spend too long creating or chasing up invoices and you’re wasting valuable time.

The goal must surely to be paid in full and in good time. Further to that, we should be looking to streamline the invoicing procedure, with as little time spent as possible on achieving the maximum result. So how can this be achieved?

While it seems almost inevitable that many invoices will be settled late – the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) puts the figure at one third among its members – companies cannot simply blame their clients’ sloppiness.

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Wake up and boost productivity at your company

Posted by on 17.02.2017

Productivity levels are a headache for economies as well as companies.

According to the European Central Bank, productivity growth in Europe is below 0.5%, lagging behind the US and other advanced economies and emerging markets.

If output per worker – as well as labour participation and structural unemployment – remain the same, the decline in output per head by 2050 will be 14% in Germany, 16% in Italy and a whopping 22% in Spain.

Distractions are everywhere. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center in the US found that more than one in five people believe their work suffers due to social media. Some 34% of those who use social media at work do so for a ‘mental break’ from their job.

With productivity on the slide, it is easy to see why companies are increasingly looking at productivity software such as time tracking tools to ensure that work hours are as productive as possible for the business, as well as being as fulfilling as possible for each worker.

Productivity software

As a starting point, TallyPro’s state-of-the-art time tracking software helps to plug ‘time leaks’ by recording and costing time, billings and expenses against projects and clients.

Software that helps companies, organisations and individuals to identify where and how such ‘leaks’ are happening is an essential first step towards improving productivity.

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Your time tracking nightmare could be solved in minutes

Posted by on 03.02.2017

If you’re worried about wasting valuable hours and minutes in your business, the bad news is that you might be squandering both time and money on many of the time tracking software options on the market.

Those businesses that have signed up to these tools are often exasperated by a failure to monitor effectively their workforce and the tasks they are carrying out. Whether it’s assessing productivity or a requirement to log the number of employee hours spent on a contract, time tracking at work is a necessity for many.

Unfortunately, if the time tracking software selected isn’t right, it can create headaches of its own.

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Plan ahead to avoid late payments

Posted by on 19.01.2017

Late payments are having a devastating effect on small businesses, with 50,000 going bust each year because bills are not settled on.

A recent survey found that a third of payments to small businesses are late, leading to 37 per cent of those companies running into cash flow difficulties and one in five experiencing a slowdown in growth. The report, conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which provides advice and help to hundreds of thousands of firms, found that each late payment is worth an average of £6,100, and almost a third of firms are forced to dip into overdrafts to cover the missing cash.

Poor payment practice is having a toxic effect across the economy, and its effect is wide-ranging. A business that has not been paid does not have access to funds to pay its own suppliers and staff, who in turn then experience struggles of their own. A third of businesses are wasting valuable time by spending more than a day each month in chasing late payments. While time tracking software, such as that offered by TallyPro, can record time spent on administration, these are effectively wasted hours.

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Why the hour has come to take time tracking seriously

Posted by on 10.01.2017

The working day has changed beyond anyone’s imagination since employees ‘clocked in’ and ‘clocked off’ for the day simply to show their employers that they were putting in the required shift.

Nowadays keeping tabs on tasks during a busy working day can be an awesome challenge for the most organised of individuals and organisations.

For employers and employees alike, though, time tracking software has become an integral tool in ensuring time spent at work is as productive and fulfilling as possible.

The market-leading software that has been developed and refined by TallyPro over the years offers a comprehensive time-recording system, accurately recording and costing time, expenses and billings against clients and projects.

Such software is of vital importance to people who operate in a variety of industries, particularly those that require billing on hourly rates, such as accountants, freelancers and lawyers.

Time tracking is flexible and, crucially, can be tailored and customised for specific individual requirements – whether that is billing someone else or improving internal productivity – all with the aim of saving time, money and effort for all concerned.

With advances in technology, the ability to track time anywhere – from a website browser, smartphone or desktop computer – quickly and easily through a speedy set-up and submission process can reap significant rewards on an individual and organisational basis.

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