Client experience: Recording work hours in Excel is often hindered by different software versions

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Client experience: Recording work hours in Excel is often hindered by different software versions

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Mihkel Männamaa

Many Estonian companies active in Finland have used a logical path for recording work hours. Initially a booklet is used where every worker or site manager records the required information and then at some point the transition to Excel tables is made. The table is usually e-mailed back and forth and its main (really only) advantage was that it provided an opportunity to observe activities at the site from distance.

At the same time most companies quickly faced the problem of corrupt tables. The reason being that many computers or current smart devices do not have MS Excel software. Also some use very different versions of Excel. Those who do not have Excel use freeware solutions which allow updating Excel files but may displace the entered formulas or data. Additionally, the file’s sub-sheets might not open fully in such cases.

There is the addition of the human factor as the previously entered data in the Excel file is easily and unnoticeably changed, invalidating the entire work hour results. All the time there was the problem of corrupt or partially unfilled tables and often reporting was duplicated in booklets. There was always fear like fire for the monthly summary as all the time information did not match and collective memory was used to restore the complete picture, often resulting in pure guess work.

After starting to use Hours these problems disappeared.

Data is accessible to all parties in real time from the system and can easily be analysed. The possibility of making mistakes using the Hours recording of working time software is minimal and mistakes are easily found.

It is easier to distribute information required by workers to sites, as if previously a manual e-mail had to be created now only a check mark is required beside the right worker, the e-mail address entered and the send button is pressed.

Hours is a simple and convenient tool for recording work hours. In comparison to many similar software providers Hours has somewhat less functions, but everything required for collecting and distributing information concerning sites and workers is available. An important advantage is a much lower cost compared to the competition, making the convenient recording of work hours solutions accessible also to smaller companies.

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