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We have this requirement for time tracking: We have to have meet a quota of at least 70% accounted for.

In the past couple weeks I experienced a slow time where I only tracked 10% of the time. I told my manager about this before hand and we discussed it. I gave some ideas to keep busy but he declined, telling me to stay ready for big issues. He said to work on this years training plan in the mean time, which I did. Finally he sees the low numbers and starts asking critical questions. He recommends some stuff to do, which I complete within the hour.

The team lead (not manager), too, sees another low day of time tracking and asks, for the reason behind it. So i go through the same topic with him, too.

I told my manager ahead of time that I wouldn't have many hours to track, yet they don't acknowledge or believe me, that I did. What should my next response be?

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    Hi and welcome to The Workplace. I'm sorry you feel this way in your current job and I hope we can help you improve your situation. Unfortunately your post is very long, consisting mainly of a rant-y description of your situation and a bunch of different questions that make it hard to give clear answers. Also, advice depends purely on opinion, which is not really within the scope of this site. Would you mind rewording your post, to focus just on the issue at hand, without too much distracting detail? Taking a look at the help center is probably a good idea, too. – CMW Mar 5 '14 at 11:07
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    @user16679, In future whenever possible have a written proof of conversations with management. The easiest way is to have communications via email (instead of messengers) and sending an email after such conversations, which would summarize the decisions made and ask for confirmation (asking this is more a justification for sending the email than anything else). – superM Mar 5 '14 at 12:20
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    Not to point out the obvious, but given that you have no other work, when given a task (like work on your training plan, which I assume includes skills to develop), the goal is not to get it done quickly. If your training plan includes learning certain skills then you should be using this time to really LEARN those skills. Create prototype projects to practice those new found skills. Your manager doesn't have specific work for you, so he assigned something that could occupy a years worth of time or more to someone who is ambitious. Your not using the opportunity doesn't speak well about you. – Dunk Mar 5 '14 at 15:21
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    @Dunk You're right. – user16679 Mar 8 '14 at 16:09
  • @user16679: Thank you. I sometimes don't respond in a politically correct way when I think the person needs to be pushed "hard" to get past their excuses. My politically correct answers tend to get the "Yeah, I see what you are saying but" response in many situations. I am glad that you took my answer with the intended goal, to stir up your thinking a bit. I long for those days in my early career where I would find some extended periods of free time to get paid for learning. Take advantage of it while you can, once you learn to do most everything, there won't be extended periods of free time. – Dunk Mar 10 '14 at 19:46
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This is an issue for your reporting manager to resolve. I would advise taking the issue to him or her and having them suggest methods to ensure that you meet the time tracking goals which have been set for you. After all, that is their job to make certain that you are doing this.

You should also let your reporting manager know that having to justifying your time tracking to separate entities is very difficult and that you are concerned that it may result in "miscommunications" between him/her and the other person. Ask your manager how you can resolve this as again, helping you meet your goals is that person's job.

If your reporting manager is incompetent (sadly a frequent occurrence) or they are unwilling to challenge the other person, it may be advisable for you to ask for a meeting with both your manager and your team lead. At that meeting, ask them how you can resolve any discrepancies that they may have in your time tracking.By doing this, you'll have placed the issue in their court as again, their responsibility is to make certain that you are meeting your goals.

  • MAke sure to use email to inform them in writing when you cannot meet a goal like this and are asking for more work. Then when the second person asks why this happened, you can show them the response which both proves you brought up the issue beforehand and we told to do something indirect instead. – HLGEM Mar 6 '14 at 19:06
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Hey @user16679 even I'm having the time tracking in my organisation and even I faced the same problem faced by you at the begining but now I know how to handle that.

Following are the some suggestions I would like to give you so that you can come over this issue

  1. I hope your time tracking software is having an option for off-line allocation So kindly fill the off-line allocation time as some activity which is related to your project purpose so that it will get accounted to your work time.
  2. Sometimes if you browse internet for project pusrpose,time tracking software marks that as a private event and it doesnot account to your work time so manually change the purpose as your project related thing so that it will get accounted as work time.

I hope I have given you some suggestions if you still have any queries let me know so that I can help you out.

Reply to the comments made by @ jmac

As software has been already recorded that the employee's work time so he cant do anything right now so I have suggested him in future how to use this software efficiently so that his work time meets the necessary criteria so that his reporting manager won't send any mail to his employee saying that he has worked less than the required work time.

  • This answer confuses me a little, are you suggesting that he assigns goofing around on the internet to work related projects just to make the stats look good, or have I got the wrong end of the stick? – Fiona - myaccessible.website Mar 5 '14 at 13:21
  • @CodingKiwi I think he's suggesting that internet that is related to a project might not be being counted, and suggesting a way to make it be tracked correctly. – starsplusplus Mar 5 '14 at 13:28
  • Hey shaan, while your answer currently explains how he can log his time better, it doesn't answer the question being asked about how he should respond to his manager over the current low % of time tracking. Could you make an edit to include how to respond to his manager about the current problem? Thanks in advance! – jmac Mar 6 '14 at 2:17

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