How to Calculate Hours and Minutes Worked

November 26, 2019

We can all agree that employees deserve to be compensated for hard work.

But making sure that they’re compensated fairly and according to their contracts brings in a few moving parts that can be difficult to manage. In hourly positions, or positions that pay extra for overtime hours, one of these parts that can be difficult to manage is ensuring that employees are compensated down to the hour and minute of their work.

There are three methods through which you can calculate hours and minutes worked by your employees. Manual tracking, mechanical time clocks, and free time tracking software all have benefits and drawbacks depending on the size of your business and the type of tasks performed by your employees. Let’s dive into these methods further.

Calculating hours and minutes worked: a guide

No matter your industry, these strategies will show you how to get an accurate read on the time your employees should be compensated for. We’ll take you through a few helpful strategies you can use to calculate hours and minutes worked.

1. Manual tracking

The first method you can use to track time is manually sorting through your hours and minutes worked. To calculate payroll to the precise minute, you’ll need to convert the minutes to a decimal by dividing the total amount of minutes worked by 60.

For example, if the total hour and minute time for a week is 42 hours and 28 minutes, you can divide 24 by 60 to yield the decimal 0.4. Then, you have your answer of 42.4 hours worked.

To calculate the wages earned in this span of time worked, simply multiply 42.4 by the hourly rate. Simple, right?

However, when managing large teams, calculating these hours and minutes manually can be a major time-suck for your business. The key to manual time tracking is to know when it is best to use it in terms of the size of your team and the type of jobs that lend themselves to more complex time tracking methods such as mechanical time clocks or time tracking software.

2. Mechanical time clocks

“Punching the clock” seems to have become an antiquated notion of calculating hours and minutes worked in recent years. However, mechanical time clocks are a more efficient option than manually calculating an employee’s time.

A traditional mechanical time clock will stamp the time and date onto an employee’s paper time card when they check in at arrival for work and as they depart. Then, the timestamps on the paper time cards are used to determine the time the employee spent working.

While there is still a manual component involved in auditing the times amassed on the time cards, mechanical time clocks provide a consistent base of knowing when an employee started and ended their work. If you think you can handle the manual component of managing the mechanical time clock data and can rely on your employees to consistently punch in and out of the clock when arriving and departing (not to mention holding onto their cards and honestly following the rules) a mechanical time clock is a cost-effective option for tracking hours and minutes worked.

3. Time tracking software

Of course, manual tracking can take up a large chunk of time that you might prefer to spend performing other tasks. In these cases, it might be worth it to try out time tracking software as your main method of calculating hours and minutes work. This completely automated software can be installed as a browser extension or additional application on employees’ computers to track the exact amount of time that they spend at work and should be compensated for. Some devices such as mac will have screen time tracking built in.

See the Highest-Rated Time Tracking Software, Free →

An additional benefit of time tracking software is related to project management, as you can divide the time that is tracked by task. Typical features include being able to see how much time is spent on certain projects, meetings, and clients.

By keeping tabs on what employees are working on, you can measure productivity among different employees working on different tasks. It will not only provide an answer as to the time that your employees should be compensated for, but also provide key insights into how they’re performing and how their days are distributed between tasks.

Time is ticking

Each of these three methods for calculating hours and minutes worked have their benefits and drawbacks. Once you determine which method is right for your business, make sure that your employee training includes how to use it so you can get the most accurate tracking of the time they’re spending on the job.

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