My workplace has recently implemented a time tracking system that we're supposed to use to track our time and associate it against certain activities. Every day I am now supposed to log in to this thing and associate my time in the day to a specific task. We also have an equally basic timesheet system that lives in an Excel Spreadsheet, and my time tracked in this tool is supposed to match what I have in my timesheet.
As a software developer, I'm really passionate about making enjoyable experiences for the end user and using the super clunky time tracking tool bothers me because it involves a lot of repetitive actions that exist only to essentially give my managers a pretty report of who spends their time doing what. I'm also casually aware of more "automated" time tracking systems that exist in the wild. We were given no notice of this system being implemented nor opportunity for feedback, instead, all of a sudden it was a requirement.
To contextualise this, I work as a maintenance developer maintaining some fairly retro applications in a one man development team. I could be chasing a bug or implementing an improvement for 90% of the day and then my manager will tell me to log my recorded time, and also make sure that it matches what it says in my timesheet. This means stopping what I am doing, and using the clunky time tracking tool, then open my timesheet and make sure the times align. Me using this tool at the moment is not a realistic reflection on how I spend my time, I am simply doing it to get my manager off my back.
On one hand, I'm trying to balance coming off as an entitled twenty-something dude who doesn't like the tooling that he's provided. On the other, having to remember to log into this system every day and spend 15 minutes kludging my way through it to track my time is really getting me down. Also, my manager circulates the time that everyone has tracked that week via email, so we can see who has tracked what. Sometimes, when I've forgotten to track my time, I'll show up as having tracked no time for a few days. This makes me wonder if people see that and think "hey, has he not done any work this week?". I could be overthinking this.
When I took this job ~6 months ago, I was given the choice between the role I am doing today and another software developer role. Today, the other role doesn't have this time tracking requirement. If I had my time again, I would have taken the other job.
Am I just being too sensitive to this new requirement? I also have to do most of my own admin so it feels like this new thing is just making me drown in paperwork. It has taken a lot of the joy out of my work as a software developer which is making me feel negative about my work, and is affecting my productivity somewhat. I have tried to talk to my boss about it but he has essentially said that it sucks, but everyone has to do it. If I was a lawyer I would have to track my time as well, so I should just get used to it. I feel like that's a bit of a specious argument but I don't want to rock the boat by getting into a protracted argument with him.
If I am correct that this isn't a reasonable task, how do I avoid wasting time on it?
My choices (as I see them) are:
- Talk to my bosses boss about this new requirement (its come from him). I would say our relationship is fair. I'm not sure I could convince him to not use it, or to use something else. Plus, then I would be known as not liking the tool.
- Automate the time tracking tool with something like Selenium that would add my time in for me every day with some believable "fuzz" (add minus a few minutes every day) to make the reports believable
- Just suck it up and be glad I have a job
Am I making too big of a deal about this? Does any of the above 3 options sound like an okay idea? Really keen for input.