Construction Timesheets

Everything you need to know about Construction Timesheets (and How to do it Right)

Do your construction team use timesheets and want to learn how to execute it successfully? You’re in the right place.

There’s soo many ways to collect time reports from your field crew and the most important aspect is that you actually recieve the reports without the need for constantly have to remind your crew.

In this post, I’ll explain the basics of timesheets and what you need to think about when deciding a good timesheet workflow.

Table of Contents

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What is construction timesheets?

Timesheets are used for collecting time reports from your employees and details who did what and when. It’s only when you get the timesheets that you know how many hours you have spent on each project and how many hours you afford to spend further on completing the project.

So its safe to say that timesheets and expense management walks hand in hand. When you track expenses you know the total cost of all material and when your timesheets tell you how much time you have spent.

Expenses + Timesheets = Labor and material
Labor and material – Client Billing = Net Profit

How do I use construction timesheet?

There is many ways to work with timesheets depending on the size of your team and use of technology. The most simple way is to use pen and paper, but today there is far better alternatives. There are hundreds of great software tools for collecting timesheets and those tools make it alot more easy for you as a manager.

The problem is that most of those tools are far to advanced and slow to use successfully. We recommend that you find a tool that covers you need but is easy to learn and simple to use. At the end of this post I will show you what we believe is the right approach for construction teams.

What information should the construction timesheets show?

The key here is to collect ‘the right’ information as fast and easy as possible. We don’t want our employees sitting by their phone or laptop the entire day just to fill in some timesheets.

Here is what you want to know:

With this information you can easily see that your guys actually performed the job as agreed upon. You can see how much time they spent and its easy to see how much time thats left to finish the job.

And once again, its important that when your guys do their timesheets, it shouldn’t really take more than an hour for a months work.

Free construction timesheets template

If you would like to get a clear understanding on what details a timesheet for construction should contain you can download our free construction timesheet template here.

With the free timesheet template you can let your team do their reporting without the need of costly software (actually, there are other alternatives also).

Excel template for timesheets

Free Excel Timesheet Template

Download the template here.

Construction timesheets on paper?

The truth is thats a large chunk of the construction industry world wide actually still collects timesheets on paper. It clearly has alot of benefits but also some downfalls.

Whats good about timesheets on paper?

What's the downfalls for timesheets on paper?

As you can see, paper timesheets aren’t all to bad but it clearly has it downfalls. We strongly recommend using a specialized timesheet tool just for construction teams.

Pros and cons of digital timesheets

With a dedicated software tool for timesheets your team can do their time reports on their own from their laptop or their phone. There is a lot of options and we strongly recommend that you find a tool that’s easy to use both for you and especially your employees – otherwise the reports won’t come in without the need of constantly reminding them.

Pros for digital timesheets

Cons for digital timesheets

As I stated above, It is of absolute importance to know the direction of where your projects are heading. In the construction industry it is far to common that great companies fail due to one big project is falling behind schedule (More about schedules here). If you use a good tool for timesheets and expense tracking you can follow your revenue and profit close in real-time and you can take action immiedielty if something is off.

Payroll from timesheets

Following up on revenue, profit or loss is important of course. But there is also other aspects of collecting timesheets. Most of the builders out there also use timesheets for payroll. And that’s why its important to make sure that the tool you are looking at supports the correct export options. Please make sure the software let’s you export to CSV format at least but the best would be both CSV, PDF and Excel export of your timesheets.

That way you know that when it’s time to run payroll – you can export yur timesheets in the correct format like csv, excel and even PDF.

Important features you need

For construction teams the feature set that you need is clear. You need to be able to invite your entire team with just a few clicks. The software needs to be very easy to use and get started with – without the need of education. You also need good export options so that you can run payroll.
Timesheets for your construction team

Final thoughts

Timesheets for construction teams really is a make or break decision. If you do it the wrong way it cause frustration from your guys and it will be time consuming for both you and your team. But if you do it the right way it will give you plenty of rest knowing how much time you have spent and how much time you still have for every project. With the right timesheet software your reporting and payroll becomes a breeze.

If you decide on the digital timesheet software, please make sure that:

  • It’s Fast and easy-to-use
  • ┬áIt should work on every device
  • Export options are plenty

As for the final decision on what tool to use we recommend that you talk with some of your employees and show them the alternatives. After all they will be the one using the tool every day.