The best apps for calculating your home office working hours

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In the coming days and weeks, a lot of professionals will be forced to work from home. Especially parents with young children at home will have to take frequent breaks. Correct recording of working hours is therefore important so that employees and employers can stick to the mutually promised working hours. Here are some good working time calculators and partly useful free time recording apps.

In the coming week at the latest, several companies will have their employees continue to work in their home offices. Ordinary systems for time recording could help to ensure that, even in this phase, no more or less than the mutually agreed number of working hours is performed.

Simple and fast time recording via Excel spreadsheet

Since kindergartens and schools are also closing, parents are faced with a double challenge. Creative schedules for work become necessary. At the latest then, time recording is essential. You can download a simple time recording Excel spreadsheet for offline processing – free of charge – as a template. I personally like the Activity Report. This is especially good, because it allows for several breaks and automatically makes a target-performance comparison. Unfortunately, the configuration is a bit cumbersome.

You may also want to share the table quickly and easily with your personnel management, so they can check it from time to time and help you plan better. So I imported the Excel document into Google Sheets. However, formatting and some of the functionality was broken. Besides, the whole thing seemed to me to be a little too complex.

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A copy of my very simple table for working hours recording. / © AndroidPIT

Therefore, I myself quickly created a much simpler time recording system. It adds up your weekly working hours. Of course, my solution is only suitable for a much shorter period of time – but until the coronavirus infection subsides, it could be of sufficient help to some.

As usual with Google Sheets, you can share the table with your boss once via a link and then edit it further. It’s not the most convenient way, but the Google spreadsheet can be edited quickly on your smartphone. This saves you the download or even the purchase of a time recording app.

Working hours time recording from an app

Many time recording apps are designed more as holistic life loggers. But if we only want to record our working time, all we need is an app with a “start-” and “pause-” or “stop-” button for our effective working minutes and possibly the function to display times graphically and in tables. Ideally, they can be exported in a standard commercial format or shared directly with the management.

Hours Keeper

After a mandatory log-in (only with an email address), you first create clients in the time recording app. In the case of permanent employment, there are other options. For the clients you can create hourly rates and contact information like phone number and email address, so you can reach them quickly from the app. The app creates backups on its own servers.

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Hours Tracker has a start and stop button and invoice export. / © AndroidPIT

The time recording is accurate to the second. You can manually add unrecorded times later and vice versa plan the beginning and end of your working hours. You can export your times client-by-client as a CSV file; your management can then view them as a table. Alternatively, you can have them output directly as an invoice PDF. This does not correspond to standards in all countries but is sufficient for your employer as an overview. The calendar view shows on which days you have worked and how many hours.

Swipetimes

The time recording app Swipetimes has been completely translated into several languages. It works without log-in. First, you create the project “Work”. This will immediately be created as a widget on your smartphone start screen. A simple tap on it starts the paused recording of your working time. A sticky notification permanently shows that Swipetimes is counting your hours in the background.

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Draw up your plan and then work through it purposefully. / © AndroidPIT

Afterwards, you set a target time for each day of the week. This is then calculated for the individual days as well as the whole week in total against the actual hours worked. Data can be exported as Excel, CSV or XML file. Via NFC tag, WLAN-SSID or Geofencing you can also have the time recorded automatically.

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Swipetimes creates an icon for each project and records working time visibly in the notifications. / © AndroidPIT

The basic function is free of charge and its restrictions are irrelevant for permanent employees. However, if you need more than two client profiles or seven projects, or you want to export data to the cloud, in-app purchases are required.

Conclusion

Avoid discussion and let data speak. With the shown methods of self-control you can record your working time exactly yourself and make a fair account with your employer or client. Hours Tracker even calculates the net costs. For permanent employees it is worth taking a look at Swipetimes. But maybe my simple table will be enough for you. How do you track your working hours?

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