Why do we have to timesheet? A letter to creatives
| In: Managing resource
Timesheets: why we ask you to do them (even though we know you don’t want to)...
For many of you, it’s a dirty word. We get that. You didn’t join an agency as a creative to spend time on admin. And we’re not in the habit of asking people to do things they don’t like. But... there’s one thing which we can’t shy away from, you can’t shy away from and, as an agency, we simply can’t ignore. Timesheets.
Which brings us nicely on. Why do we need this? Are we tracking you? Don’t we trust you?
We are categorically not tracking you, and we categorically do trust you. But we need the information to help us understand our estimating and billing for future projects. If you’re spending longer than we thought on a job, then we’re giving the client something for nothing. If you’re doing a job faster than we thought, then we’re overcharging.
So what difference does it make to you?
All this about estimating and billing and charging and costs isn’t part of your job, so why should you care? Well, because what comes in and goes out of our agency is important to us all.
Here are some things to remember:
Budgets and better working. Timesheets show us if a job has been done within its budget. But this isn’t just so we can pat ourselves on the back. This means we’ll be making a profit on the project... and the more profit we make, the more we can invest in becoming an even better place to work.
We can sort things out before they become a problem. If a project is overrunning, for example, it’s not up to you to carry the can. But we do need to know so we can work out a new estimate and see if we need to charge the client more.
You’ll get the right amount of work. We want you to have enough to do to be happy and fulfilled, but we never want you tearing your hair out feeling overworked. Nor do we want you to be bored and twiddling your thumbs. Your timesheet really helps us to keep things on an even keel for you and plan future recruitment better. And remember, we only know what you tell us. If you’re working lots of overtime and we can’t see it on your timesheet, we won’t know how to help you.
We can give you enough time for each project. We often use timesheets to help us plan and estimate for future work. If we’ve got an accurate picture of how long a similar job took in the past, we can make sure we’re giving you the right amount of time.
There are just a few good reasons for filling out your timesheet daily. We know it’s still never going to be your favourite thing. But just getting into the habit of spending a few minutes each day will really pay off... for us all.