How to Prevent Work Mistakes in Your Team?

How to Prevent Work Mistakes in Your Team?

October 29, 2021

Team leaders, managers, and higher-ups in all companies have the goal of reducing the number of mistakes their teams make at work. Sometimes, the solutions require a lot of effort on both sides. On the other hand, in some cases, there is quite a simple way to solve an underlying problem, but communication in the office isn’t encouraged enough. Finally, sometimes you will have to think outside of the box and resolve the problems in an unconventional way.

Before We Start

Firstly, you need to know that problems are unavoidable in any workspace. In other words, it is absolutely natural for employees to make some mistakes, and you will have to accept this risk if you want your business to function at all.

Secondly, expecting your team to work perfectly, or even just at a high level, while not being willing to take responsibility for the problems the management has caused is going to create resentment. Don’t deny you’ve made a lapse, and try to avoid repeating it in the future.

Once you accept mistakes as an inevitability of managing a business, and that they can happen to anyone, you can start preventing and solving them constructively.

Most Common Types of Mistakes

Even though each business is different (depending on the industry but also the company culture and the nature of the employees themselves), there are still some common work-related blunders.

Time and task management work mistakes

This type of mistake is the most influential on the overall state of business. Not meeting deadlines, having too few hands on deck on important projects, clashing schedules, etc. are all avoidable, yet still, happen all the time in professional service companies.

Task-related problems

It isn’t only important to finish all tasks in due time. The quality of work is equally, or in some cases, even more important than meeting the deadline. There are many factors that impact the quality of work, including, but not limited to

  • Overwork
  • Lack of attention
  • Being unprepared and needing help

Interpersonal problems

Even though workspaces are primarily dedicated to the company’s goals, the relationships between coworkers are extremely important as well. Even though you can’t expect your entire team to get along perfectly, a level of professionalism is mandatory. That is why you should dedicate your time to creating a positive work atmosphere and avoiding hostility.

Communication problems

Even if the interpersonal relationships in your company are great, that doesn’t mean the business communication is up to standard. Transparency is a crucial part of success and good company culture.

Now, let’s see the best methods to prevent or minimize work mistakes.

1. Track Time, Tasks, and Clients

Understanding how your individual employees, teams, and clientele work is the first step to resolving time management issues. Of course, you shouldn’t use time tracking software to punish and micromanage your team. Instead, focus on developing positive time tracking habits within your team.

Once your employees start tracking their time, they will understand their work rhythm better and be able to utilize the periods of peak productivity to do the bulk of their most demanding tasks.

Also, the time blocking app is a good way to understand your work rhythm and match it to your daily schedule.

When you start tracking tasks and projects, you will be able to make more accurate time assessments for your future clients and reduce the stress on your team.

Finally, business problems can arise without it being your or your team’s fault. To put it simply – sometimes the clients themselves are the root of work mistakes. Tracking time will allow you to identify problematic contracts and re-negotiate or eliminate them.

2. Allow Breaks

You cannot expect your team members to work for eight hours straight. This is completely unrealistic and will create resentment and a bigger turnover of employees. You should accept the fact that most people can’t be at their top performance for such a long period.

Breaks are a great way to release the tension and reenergize. The breaks shouldn’t be only limited to half an hour for lunch but spread out through the workday, so they allow employees to socialize as well.

3. Make the Most out of Technology

Nowadays most offices can find a productivity tool that will help their employees manage their time, create task lists, avoid distractions, all while making work a little more fun.

Of course, you cannot expect every tool to work for each employee. Also, you should only suggest the tools that actually can help your team. Managing multiple productivity apps can reduce productivity since it can take quite some time.

4. Discourage Multitasking

A clear workflow is a great start to avoiding mistakes. That is to say, your employees should be focused only on one task at a time. This will allow them to dedicate their full attention to the work they’re doing.

This way your employees will be able to pay attention to the important details, which will save them and their supervisors time in the future. Additionally, focusing on a single task at a time is going to decrease the time needed for that task.

5. Avoid Overworking Your Team

It is only natural to have to work harder in certain periods. Some businesses experience a lull at certain times during the year, while others’ workload simply fluctuates with the number of clients they are taking on at the moment.

These temporary occasions are going to affect the workload of your team, and are expected. Yet, if they become a staple of working for your company, your employees’ productivity is sure to plummet, and the overwork can also cause a turnover at times when you need your team the most.

Hence, you will have to manage the increase in business by scaling your teams up or hiring temporary help for the most critical periods. Also, you will need to be understanding about their needs at these times.

6. Identify and Reduce Unproductive Behaviors and Distractions

Many office jobs have their employees at the computer for a large part of the day. This opens the possibility for many distractions and unproductive behaviors, whether on a personal level or generally in the company.

You will need to talk to your team about the distractors – most often using social media instead of working – and find a way to prevent them from indulging in them. Sometimes simply raising awareness is enough.

7. Make Sure the Workload is Distributed Justly

It is more important for the workload to be distributed justly than equally. Simply put – a more experienced employee will be less prone to making mistakes. They will also be able to take on more work than their less experienced colleagues.

Sometimes, especially with freshly graduated newcomers, it is necessary to go through additional training, so you are sure they can complete certain tasks accurately and in due time. don’t expect them to do everything perfectly on the first try. If you need to criticize them, make sure to do so in a constructive way. This way you’ll be using a mistake as a learning opportunity.

8. Pay Attention to Interpersonal Relationships Within Your Company

We are aware that people are different, and most of them cannot be friends with most of their coworkers. This is especially true in large companies and teams. That is to say, you cannot expect all of your employees to get along perfectly. Tempers may rise and cause problems.

Once you notice the interpersonal problems (dislikes, gossip, not being cooperative) are affecting your business, you will have to step in and intervene. Different workshops and team-building exercises are a good way to make your team more united.

If a person repeatedly causes problems with their colleagues, you should allow HR to conduct conversations with all sides and decide what is the best course of action. If you don’t have an HR specialist, you may need to find external help to resolve these problems.

9. Make Sure Everyone Is Communicating

The lack of communication within a company is an obvious sign that some changes are due. Keep in mind, this problem may arise independently from interpersonal relationships. Business communication problems include

  • Not letting coworkers and managers know about your actions
  • Not giving enough detail
  • Not communicating regularly

Encouraging detailed and constant business communication on all levels is the key. Set an example yourself, by clearly communicating the expected results, deadlines, and answering employee questions patiently and in detail.

Sometimes the lack of communication comes from the inability or fear of talking about mistakes. Emphasize that it is better to find out about negative occurrences in the company sooner rather than later. If there are some communication issues thereafter, you should identify the source of the problem and resolve the problem either personally or through HR.

Specific Steps to Take

If arguments or miscommunication become a regular event in your company, you may want to prevent them hands-on. In that case, the best course of action is talking to each employee involved, identifying each of their grievances, and then sitting with all of them to find a solution or compromise that will prevent the same lapses in the future.

Some Positive Practices to Improve Overall Business

Here is a list of business practices that can help avoid mistakes on different levels of work:

  • Encourage reviewing all written communication and documents for mistakes, typos, inconsistencies, etc.
  • Assign mentors to newly employed team members to make sure they are ready to take on all their duties. Mentors should review their younger colleagues’ work and reports
  • Define each position’s role and duties clearly and differentiate them from one another
  • Have a firm grasp on your goals and check whether you’re on track regularly
  • Suggest productivity tools and resources depending on the problem, since there is no universal solution

What About the Management?

Insisting on your team members’ cooperation, accountability, and efforts to avoid mistakes is unjust if you aren’t ready to do the same yourself. That means that you should create a system where it is possible to communicate with the higher-ups without the fear of repercussions.

For example, make your employees understand that asking questions is a positive practice. Many people aren’t ready to do so, even though no one can learn unless they get answers to things they’re uncertain about. Hence, the higher-ups, managers, team leaders, etc. will have to make sure everyone understands their questions are expected and welcome. This means they will sometimes have to explain solutions to the most mundane and well-known problems. In other words, patience and good bedside manner (so to speak) should be cultivated on every level of the company.

To Conclude

Work mistakes can stem from an employee’s personality or the company’s (i.e. managers’, team leaders’, etc.) shortcomings. Whatever the source may be, you should be able to find a solution by either encouraging the employee to reach their full potential (and this, in turn, will benefit them as well) or opening your leadership up to criticism.

Either way, the side that made a mistake must be willing to acknowledge that they were in the wrong. Only then can you have a constructive dialogue that will result in changed behavior and personal and professional growth.


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How to Calculate Profit for Each Project?

How to Calculate Profit for Each Project?

October 29, 2021

A company Acme INC achieved quarterly revenues of $282.000 while cost amounts to $228.000 and net profit $55.000.

total company profit

Is this a good result or not? Both cases raise the question if it could have been better, and how to improve profitability.

The first step is to identify the units that make up the profit. In other words, you need to identify the projects that contribute to profitability. So, based on the standard income statement, we have the information about the total profit but can’t access that profit’s structure.

To understand profitability optimization you need to first understand profit structure – where the profit is coming from and where it’s going.

Let’s look at the profit per project of the company Acme INC. We can see that some projects generate a loss, and others a very small gain:

projects profitability

What does the picture tell us? Let’s consider in details

Project profitability

The biggest profit was made on project No. 10, even though that project has the biggest sales income.

For example, there was a loss on project No. 5.

There was a very small profit on project No. 2, but the effort and expenses invested into it were significant.

So, on average, on the company level, Acme INC gained the target profit, but there were some projects that generated losses or small profits continuously. Knowing this, the company can reconsider its strategy regarding low-performing projects.

On the other hand, if the company has the information about its most profitable projects, it is clear where it should focus its efforts.

That is why it is necessary to track profit per project, to get to business decisions that will optimize profitability on each individual project level as soon as possible.

Basics for profit calculation

How to calculate profit per project?

According to the estimations, over 70% of professional service companies don’t have records of how much profit each project or service line brings.

Given the fact that profit is the difference between the revenue and the costs, project revenue is a known category and can be found in the accounting records. From analytical point of view, project revenue represent billable hours multiplied with project billing rates.

So, we have the basic formula:

Project profit = Project revenues – Total project costs

Project cost calculation

In contrast, companies have trouble allocating costs per project. The cause for this is the fact that some employees work on multiple projects, and that some general expenses exist, and are difficult to allocate per project.

How to allocate the costs?

A professional service company sells its time, or, better put, its employees’ time. That is why time is the key element in allocating costs.

Let’s start with the basic project cost formula:

Total project costs = Labor costs + Overhead costs

Labor costs

Using project hours tracking tools and all employees logging their time per project is a very simple way to get a record of the number of hours per project. The software then multiplies the hours spent on a project by the pay rate of the employees who were engaged on that project to calculate the direct labor costs related to a specific project.

So, labor costs are connected to the employee hourly rate (pay rate).

Overhead costs

How should you allocate overhead expenses? These are the general expenses, including utilization, rent, administration costs, office costs, internet costs, phone and postal costs, etc.

You can do this by assessing the overhead cost hourly rate. So, the total overhead costs for a specific period are divided by the number of work hours in that period. Once we multiply the overhead cost hourly rate by the number of hours per project we will get the cost of allocated indirect costs per project.

When we add labor costs and overhead costs, we will get the total costs of each individual project.

However, this calculation can be complicated.

To simplify the process, we have the option of doing the entire calculation in two steps:

Firstly, we calculate the total employee rate through the following formula:

Total cost rate = Pay rate + Overhead hourly rate

Secondly, we enter that rate into the time tracking software, and the software will generate the total expenses per project by multiplying the total number of hours per project with the total cost rate of individual employees working on the project.

Net profit and margins calculation

When we have calculated project costs we can easily determine the margins and profit by deduction the costs from the income, which is a known category due to the invoicing process. In the next picture you can see automated report about each client/project profit.  This insight can identify possibility for profit increase.

profit per projects


Observing the structure of profit per project or service line is the key factor in optimizing and increasing profit.

Calculating cost and their allocation to the project is a must. If you can observe work hours structure and cost per project you will be able to avoid free work to the client and improve profit.

Once you have this data you can make strategic decisions regarding future projects.

Without time tracking it’s impossible to accurately determine project costs, which are a key category in calculating project profit. A time tracking tool allows knowing project costs in real-time in a very simple way.


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Google Sheets Templates for Time Tracking

Google Sheets Templates for Time Tracking

October 28, 2021

It’s not always easy to choose the best way to track employee hours accurately.

From the point of the business owner, the automated option in the form of time tracking software appears to be the most reasonable one.

But if you’re still shopping around and wondering if spreadsheets are right for you, download one of our free versions of the Google timesheet template.

What is the Google Sheets template?

One particularly common use for spreadsheets, including Google Sheets, is for tracking time such as billable or non-billable hours.

The spreadsheet time tracking method involves entering the time you spend on tasks in a spreadsheet template.

Google Sheets templates affords real-time collaboration between editors as well as different options for creating, updating, and sharing spreadsheets.

With this type of spreadsheet, in just a few clicks, you can start tracking your time right from Google Sheets.

Google timesheets functions

  • Editing and formatting spreadsheets
  • Users can create spreadsheet data for graphs, charts, and other diagrams
  • Editing can be done offline. Sheets can be edited offline even when not connected to the internet, and changes will be reflected once the connection is restored.
  • Sheets documents can be opened in a variety of formats
  • When other collaborators make comments or changes to the shared spreadsheet, emails can be sent, and users can view the version history.

What is the difference between Excel and Google spreadsheets?

Simplicity for Beginners: Google Sheets is simpler to use for beginners, while Excel timesheet can confuse a new user with a variety of possible selections.

Price: Google Sheets is free for personal use, whereas Excel requires an Office 365 subscription.

Data Load:  Google Sheets start to slow down as data increases.

Excel is designed to manage large data sets and is likely to remain responsive even when you analyze tens of thousands of rows of data.

Features: While Google Sheets has the essential elements of a spreadsheet application, Excel has a broader range of specialized features and functions.

Data Visualization: Excel offers more types of data visualization—from bar graphs and pie charts to interactive options

Integration: Excel is compatible with other Microsoft applications such as Power BI. While Google Sheets integrates with other Google web applications such as Google Drive.

Is it better for a company to use Google Sheets Templates or MS Excel?

For startups/SMBs -where data is not that huge, Google sheet is a good option.

For Larger enterprises, where data is huge/data security is a concern, MS Excel is a good option.

Download Free Timesheet Template in Google Sheets

weekly timesheet template

Our Google Sheet samples have the formulas already built in to calculate the daily work hours and calculate the total work hours for payroll calculation. Make a copy and choose an appropriate layout: daily timesheet, simple monthly or weekly timesheet, client and detailed timesheet template.

Available to download, share and print, no registration needed.

Download here daily, monthly, weekly, detailed, client and projects Google Sheets templates.

Alternative to Google Sheets

There is few reasons why google sheets should be replaced by time tracking tools. Google Spreadsheets may have worked great when your team consisted of 5 employees. But when a company approaches 15 workers, it’s hard to measure from an Excel spreadsheet.

When you noticed that manual data input takes too much time, especially with many projects, and It’s not that simple to calculate more advanced metrics like billable hours and project costs, you know that is the right time to switch from a manual timesheet.

timesheet data excel

It’s important to choose a time tracking software that is easy to set up, has an easy-to-use interface, allows smooth integrations, and is able to generate comprehensive reports.

  • No manual administration of timesheets
  • Works across platforms- desktop, mobile, tablet
  • Depth in the reporting and advanced filter options
  • Prevents mistakes
  • Manage employee performance instantly

If you have decided to download a timesheet software, you can choose from a multitude of options that exist.


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Ultimate Guide for Better Cost Management

Ultimate Guide for Better Cost Management

October 27, 2021

Costs are the expenses a company makes in order to make a profit. Hence, knowing whether a cost contributes to the company’s profitability or not is the basis of cost management.

project hours

If we take a company as an example (i.e. law or an accounting firm), that has $2m in income and $1.3 in expenses, the profit will be $0.7m, and the net profit rate is 35%, which is, we’ll assume, above the industry average.

However, we have to ask ourselves how much do these expenses contribute to generating profit.

To know this, we need to calculate the individual profitability per business unit, or, even better, per project.

Profit per business unit

In the following report we will notice that, even though the company has made a great profit, once you observe the analysis by the business unit, not all business units brought profit.

Profit per business unit


Business unit 7 and business unit 8 generated expenses larger than the income of those business units, so they generate a loss of $15.000 and $50.000, respectively.

A more adequate cost management requires these analyses, not only per business unit but also per employee and individual project.

Good cost management answers the question of which costs to reduce, and where you should invest more

According to the assessment, 80% of professional service companies don’t have the information about the projects that cause them losses, nor which employees can’t cover the costs allocated to them.

Is there a project, employee, or business unit in your company that generates a loss, or, in other words, costs you?

Answering this question doesn’t have to be very difficult if you have a good expense allocation mechanism. De facto, the income isn’t a problem, since you can easily see the invoices for each project through accounting. However, if there are the costs of salaries and office lease, the question arises – how to allocate those costs per unit, employee, or project?

Allocating the costs per employee, project, and client

You need to determine the allocation key to conduct this allocation. When we are talking about professional service companies, the allocation key should be connected to the most important resource, which is employees’ work, namely, their work hours.

You can allocate the salary expenses depending on which employee spent a number of hours on a specific project.

The price of a specific employee’s work hour is calculated as the ratio of the employee’s total costs and the average number of their work hours for a specific period. For example:

Allocating the costs per employee, project, and client


How can the hourly rate contribute to cost management?

Simply enter these pay rates into yours.

When the employees log their work time, the timesheet program will allocate all costs by different categories.

You will get different reports, such as the scope of the expenses per project, client, and work task. You will get the gross profit for each category by comparing those expenses.

The gross profit margin (the difference between the profits coming from sales and the work costs) is a good indicator for profitability assessment by the project or unit. However, it is even better if you’re able to calculate the net profit margin (the difference between the profit and the sum of work costs and overhead expenses).

How to calculate the total costs per project, unit, or client?

Following the logic for allocation we’ve described above, it is also possible to calculate all overhead expenses per hour.

Of course, the calculation can’t be 100% exact, since you will be using allocation keys. Allocation keys are a form of the most accurate estimation, but the results you’ll get this way are very reliable for better cost management.

The goal is to get the total expenses per hour following this formula:

Cost rate = Pay rate + Overhead rate

So, the table above is supplemented with additional columns, so you’ll get the total cost per hour:

calculate the total costs per project, unit, or client

Once we allocate the overhead expenses per project or service line, we’ll see how much of a burden they are to the projects, and where the loss is coming from.

You can do that by entering the aggregated   (cost rate) into the time tracking software.

The employees log their time, and the program automatically allocates the costs to the projects, clients, and tasks each employee is engaging with.

The time tracking program delivers the reports which answer the following questions:

  • What is the total cost of a work task?
  • How much does a specific project cost?
  • What are the costs of a specific service line?

project cost management

If we compare these expenses per project to the profit per project, we’ll easily identify the projects with a profit below or above the expected.

How to manage the costs of units that are generating a loss?

If we determine that profitability isn’t appropriate on the individual project or employee level, we need to take the following action.

What are the potential causes:

  • The employee hasn’t been productive enough, so they used more time on a project than they realistically need
  • The structure of employees working on a project isn’t appropriate because the majority of the employees have higher hourly rates
  • The scope of the task wasn’t assessed well, so the fee you’ve agreed upon is significantly smaller than the one that made sure you got the desired profitability
  • You needed to use manufacturer services, which increased the expenses
  • The project is strategically important, so the potential loss represents an investment for future collaboration

As you see, the problem can come from the employees or the clients.

If the problem is caused by the employees, you need to consider the following:

  • Finding out why the employee hasn’t been more efficient, and have a conversation with them
  • Is this inefficiency a one-time mishap, or is it repetitive
  • Would investing in the employee’s development to be more efficient be worthwhile
  • Do you need to rotate the employee – give them a less responsible position
  • Should you stop the collaboration with the employee

If the problem comes from the client, you should:

  • Consider the contractual terms with the client
  • Suggest an increase in fees for future engagements
  • Assess the expected profitability more accurately before starting a new engagement
  • Consider potential termination of the contract

What is the expense policy for the units that generate profit above average?

Bonuses and rewards are the best stimulation for your employees. If you don’t have an adequate cost management mechanism, and you can’t determine how much profit each employee brings, your bonus policy will probably be wrong.

Hence, it is important to have an insight into the income and expenses of each employee specifically, so you can decide who deserves the biggest bonus. Of course, this is applicable if the financial component is significant in determining an employee’s goals.

However, you need to be cautious. In other words, monitor how a top performer’s bonus impacts the increase in the profit they generate. If the increase or raise of the top performer, or the bonus they get results in a larger increase in profit, you have a win-win situation.

That is why once you have this type of analytics, you can define employee goals accurately and reward them accordingly. Additionally, you can set goals so their completion means both a higher compensation for the employees and increased profit for the company (another win-win position).

Analyzing client costs

If you determine that your company generates a higher-than-average profit with some clients, that is a clear sign you should allow a more generous budget for said clients. In other words, instead of investing in business relationships with all clients, you will optimize your investments and focus on those that give your business a greater value.

We will focus on the category of overhead expenses in the following section.

Which costs are included in overhead?

Overhead costs are the business expenses that don’t relate to creating a product or offering a service directly. Understanding your overhead costs is significant for the budgeting process and determining how much you should charge to make a profit. That is to say, overhead includes all costs made in order to support a company that aren’t directly related to the specific products or services the company provides.


  • Overhead costs represent the ongoing expenses needed for a business to operate. They don’t include the costs that relate to creating products and services.
  • Overhead can be variable, fixed, or a combination of both.
  • There are many different categories of overhead, like administrative overhead, employee perks, office expenses, etc.
  • The income statement should include overhead costs.

Overhead costs

Overhead expenses don’t depend on the current state of business. They have to be paid regularly regardless of the number of sales. For example, a company with a physical location must pay for office lease, utilities, insurance, and office supplies, and add those expenses to the direct costs (like supplies and salaries) necessary to provide your service or create a product.

Overhead expenses directly impact a business’s profitability. That is why they are included in the income statements of the company. They have to be accounted for if you are planning to calculate the net income (also known as the bottom line). You can calculate the net income by subtracting all overhead and production-related expenses from the business’s net revenue (also known as the top line).

When we say overhead expenses are fixed, that means the amount you pay is the same each time you’re paying. On the other hand, variable overhead means the expenses are dependent on the level of activity. For example, a company’s office lease is usually fixed, while other expenses, like printing and different office supplies, are variable.

There are also semi-variable overhead costs. That means one part of the expense is constant, while the other is dependent on the business activity level. The best example is utility costs, which have a base charge and additional expenses depending on usage.

Overhead cost examples

Each business is different, but most companies have the following overhead costs:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Administrative costs
  • Insurance
  • Employee perks

Rent and Utilities

These overhead expenses relate to the maintenance of the company’s offices and/or manufacturing space. Each company has these expenses, no matter its industry. Rent and utility costs include office lease but also utilities like electricity, phone and internet service, water, heating, etc. there are also the costs of specific subscriptions for software employees use (Zoom, Slack, Trello, etc.).

Administrative Costs

These costs often account for the bulk of a business’s overhead costs. They include office supplies, office associates’ salaries, external audits, and legal fees, etc. they are also the most diverse in scope and significance, and can range from restocking soap to hiring a consultant to help the company find the best way to conduct its business in its current circumstances.


Even though the types of insurance are numerous and vary depending on the industry, all companies need to be ensured to function in the best way. Insurance can range from property insurance (making sure the space, equipment, and supplies are protected from the elements and theft), to health insurance for the employees, to professional liability insurance. Additionally, if the company owns any vehicles, they also need to be insured. It is clear that these expenses don’t directly contribute to the business’s revenue. However, they represent good business decisions and are often legally mandated.

Employee Perks

It has become a standard for larger companies to offer at least some benefits for their employees. for example, many offices provide coffee, juices, tea, snacks, etc. Other examples include parking, gym memberships, company vehicles, retreats, and different team-building activities. Even though these perks may incentivize employees to invest more effort into their work, the expenses don’t directly impact the product or service the company provides, and thus, fall under overhead costs.

Types of Overhead

Many types of operational categories are considered overhead expenses. For example, hiring accountants, HR, and receptionists are considered general/administrative overhead. On the other hand, the activities related to sales and marketing are considered sales overhead. Sales overhead may include making promotional material, paying for TV commercials, but also the commissions of the sales team.

The industry and nature of the business determine other categories of overhead. For example, some companies require research, manufacturing, transportation, or maintenance overhead.

Special Considerations

Overhead usually applies to the entire company operations. That is to say, it is usually considered a general expense. Most often it accumulates as a total sum and then can be allocated to specific projects and departments.


Determining the function of different expenses is necessary to manage them in the best possible way. That means you need to assess the way the costs burden profits on the individual project, employee, and client level.

If you have a good time tracking system, you’ll need to determine each employee’s hourly rate, which is the sum of their pay rate and overhead rate. Allocating the time to projects and clients through time tracking will give you reports which enable you to calculate the profit for each client, project, and employee individually.

Based on that, the company can manage its expenses more rationally, or, in other words, optimize the costs invested in employees and clients which generate or don’t generate the desired profit level.


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Ultimate Guide for Hourly Billing Rates in 2022

Ultimate Guide for Hourly Billing Rates in 2022

October 22, 2021

Billable hourly rate is one of the most important categories in managing a service company because it directly impacts the organization’s income and profitability. Hence, our intention for this article is to explain how to maximize and optimize the billable hourly rate to achieve higher profitability.

How to calculate billing hourly rates?

Billable hourly rate is the rate you get by dividing a profit by the number of hours necessary to get that profit (also known as billable hours). So, the actual billable hourly rate is crucial for two important categories – income and billable hours.

Download the excel model for calculation and estimation of billing hours rates.

Besides the actual billable hourly rate, there is the category of planned (targeted) billable hourly rate. If you want to plan the billable hourly rate accurately, you need to start with a detailed analysis of the actual billable rate. This way you will draw accurate conclusions for profitability increase.

timesheet data excel

Clear hourly billing rates policies

You need an in-deep analysis to define your billable hours and hourly billing rate strategy. The analysis should cover the following categories:

  • Real hourly billing rate historic trends
  • Time utilization analysis
  • The competition’s billable hourly rate
  • Analysis of negotiation and agreements with clients
  • Result and cost (pay) rate comparison
  • Result and planned hourly billable rates comparison

Historic trends of the real billable hourly rate

This is the initial step, that is, a situational analysis. It concerns diagnosing your company.

The analysis should be comprised of observing the real hourly billing rate on the company level, as well as per all clients, employees, and service lines.

Billable hourly rate on the company level

This step is simple and it doesn’t require a lot of resources and time. You only need to divide the total company revenue by the total spent billable hours. For example, if your company makes $150.000 in a month, and you’ve spent 2500 billable hours in that month, the realistic hourly billable rate is $60. this may not be in accordance with your expectations, considering you have planned to charge your clients an average employee hourly billable rate of $100. In that case, your task is to minimize that gap.

Hourly billing rate on the client level

In and of itself, the fact that your historic hourly billing rate is $60 doesn’t give you a lot of information. You need to allocate that average rate to your clients. That is how you’ll come to valuable insights. For example, the calculations may look like this:

  • Client A – $30
  • Client B – $55
  • Client C – $75
  • Client D – $120

Now we see that clients A and B are ’’eating’’ your hourly billing rate. This information is important, as it helps you identify re-negotiation possibilities with those clients. Additionally, it points you toward improving your relationships and focusing on cross-selling with the clients with an hourly billing rate above your expectations.

To make this calculation, you only need to list revenue by clients (for a certain period) and divide it by the number of billable hours spent on each client, based on the client time tracking report.

For example, based on hour tracker report, you’ve spent 100 hours on client A for project B, and the income coming from that client is $3000, which means the real billable hourly rate is $30. you need to make these calculations for each client, and calculate the average hourly rates for all of them.

Realized hourly billing rate per employee

You should conduct the analysis you’ve done on your clients on your employees and projects (service lines). Once you have accurate employee billable rates on paper we’ll come to the big truth – the realistic contribution of each employee to the company’s profit. That is how you can manage the goals and development of your employees better, as well as make changes regarding your human resources policies.

Once we have calculated the actual billable hourly rate per employee, we can easily calculate the profit each employee has made, since we have their cost (pay) rate.

Project time tracking is very important since it allows you to identify expenses per project. On the other hand, you can evaluate the earnings from the accounting records if you aren’t keeping track of them through a time tracking program (LINK).

Time utilization analysis

Time utilization is a key performance indicator (KPI) for professional service companies. It is calculated as the ratio of billable hours within total work hours or total hours. The usual practice is to exclude leaves and vacation time. If you are using time tracking software calculating and tracking time utilization is simple and clear. Otherwise, you will have to calculate time utilization from individual manual timesheets.

Practice has shown that time utilization over 60% is a good indicator, while the ideal would range from 70 to 75%. Time utilization over these values may indicate employees being overwhelmed by work, or that you’re using too little time for education and business development, neither of which are billable activities.

employee productivity

Competition hourly billing rate analysis

The purpose of this analysis is to determine the position of your company compared to your competitors. To conduct it you need the following information:

  • Competing company income
  • Billable hours

The first category is simple to determine. You can simply download the financial reports from your country’s publicly available register, or set out a symbolic sum to get this information from the companies that own the data.

You will need to conduct a more assumption-based analysis to assess your competitor’s billable hours. Firstly, you will need the number of employees. You can determine that through social media or publically available data. However, to calculate billable hours, you’ll also need to assess the competition’s time utilization. Probable utilization is most likely somewhere between your own company’s time utilization and your industry’s benchmark. These benchmarks are available online for most industries.

Besides, there are also studies of average billable rates by industry and country.

You can also use compensation data tools to get real-time and historical data of your competitor’s billable hours and salary structure. With this, you can quickly and easily determine the compensation benchmark for various roles across different locations.

Comparing results with the cost (pay) rate

Since now we know how to calculate the actual hourly billing rate, let’s see how to calculate the cost rate and why their ratio is important.

Cost rate equals the sum of the pay rate and overhead rate. So, it is the hourly billable rate the company pays its employees increased by the hourly rate of the overhead costs – office space lease, amortization, and other operational costs of the company.

The ratio of the billable hourly rate and the cost rate is an indicator of profitability. A company’s actual billable hourly rate being #350 (seemingly a good billable rate, isn’t it?), means nothing. Namely, if that company’s cost rate is $330, the profit is $20, which makes the profit margin 5%, which is very low.

However, a company having a 30% profitability (which is a good indicator for most professional service companies) doesn’t mean they have optimized this ratio. It is necessary to observe the profit by the client and see which profit margins are below and above the average.

If we redefine the business relationships with the clients who have a low margin, the average margin can be improved even more. There are always some clients that will ’’steal’’ your time. It is always good to identify those clients quickly and suggest a different cooperation model (if the clients aren’t strategically important).

How to calculate total cost rate

The total cost rate is calculated by taking all expenses from your profit and loss account for a certain period and dividing them by the total number of work hours in that period. For example, if the accounting data shows the total expenses in the previous quarter being $750.000, and the timesheet reports for that period put the total billable hours of all employees at 10.000. that means your cost rate is $70.

If you are using desktop time tracking app, we suggest you use a version that includes cost tracking per employee cost rate.

What does this information tell us?

The previous calculation means that our real achieved billable rate should be at least $70 to cover all costs. It is a foundation, and we should add our expected margin calculation to it to get our target billable hourly rate. So, if we want 40% profitability, our target billable hourly rate should be $100.

All previous indicators will point you in the direction you should define your billable hourly rate policy toward.

Billable hourly rate settlement

Based on the previous parameters we should define the standard billable hourly rates for your services. You should do it per position and employee. For example:

  • Senior – Ann Eathon – $120/hour
  • Junior – Joh Milesstone – $100/hour

Additionally, depending on the engagement and the situation, and the state of client negotiations, we suggest making billable hourly rates flexible depending on the case, rather than always insisting on the standard ones.

When we are talking about determining the expected billable rate, we are implying two kinds of potential arrangements:

  • Fixed fee arrangements – even though the fee is fixed, we face the challenge of projecting the real billable rate
  • Arrangements with variable compensation – the client will pay according to the number of hours invested into the project

There are several ways to determine the billable hourly rate:

Cost plus method

Cost plus method of planning hourly billing rate starts with calculating how much your services cost you by the hour. Then you should add profit margin to the costs. We have explained this earlier in the article. This is the most common starting point for calculating a billing rate.

Market-based rate

To accurately calculate a market-based bill rate, you must have current market data. Your best source of information is competitive research: who are your competitors what do they offer, and how much do they charge?

Value-based rate

This method is very useful, as it reflects the key paradigm of professional service businesses: charge as much as the service is worth to the client. If you assess that a client has a high ’’pain’’, the billable rate can be higher than the norm. On the other hand, if there is no high ’’pain’’ with a client, you should carefully assess whether the client will pay your standard rate, or if you should offer a discount rate. Still, you should still make sure you’re not jeopardizing project profitability.

So, it is crucial to identify a client’s pain indicators, create awareness that your service can solve their problem, and determine your billable rate accordingly.

Try and find out as much as you can about the scope of the project to understand the value you can provide.

Simply put, this bill rate is very specific to your client and your contribution. As you may have guessed, it is based on the value you provide to the client and the ROI they receive. This can be a very profitable billing method, but it is only appropriate for consultants with a  wealth of experience. The client must walk away feeling that they actually got enough value for what you were charging.

Blended billable hourly rate

Clients usually dislike receiving different hourly billing rates for different positions in their offers. This is confusing to them and they feel their budget for the service may be at risk. Hence, in certain situations, you should offer a single blended rate which represents pondered average of your planned rates per position.

Time utilization management

There is a trick regarding time utilization management. Namely, with the rise of time utilization (which is a goal for most companies), if the income doesn’t change, the billable rate will decrease. That is, if we divide the same income by an increased number of billable hours, the billable hourly rate will go down.

That is why the most efficient policy is to increase the billable hours that get additionally invoiced to your clients. That is how you can increase both the hourly billing rate and time utilization.

You should define time utilization for each employee, or, better said, set up a target time utilization for them. You should communicate the goals well, and they should be measurable, clear, and realistic. As time goes on, you should track whether your employees are reaching their target utilization, and define your plan of action so that the deviations aren’t drastic. It is important to make sure the increase in billable hours within total hours isn’t a consequence of increased overtime, since that can cause exhaustion with your employees.

The next steps are redefining your business relationships with existing clients and strategy regarding new clients. This is the most difficult part of billable hourly rate optimization.

Differentiate billable and non-billable hours

There is no exact boundary between billable and non-billable hours since they depend on the company’s specific situation. Still, there is the common practice of counting every activity that relates to working for a client after signing the contract and is accounted for within the scope of engagements counts into billable hours. The practice is that all hours before signing the contract (drafting and sending the offer, for example), as well as all hours not related to servicing the client, are counted as non-billable.

You can learn all ins and outs of billable vs non-billable hours in our dedicated article.

billable and billable hours

Adequate billable hours management is important since their maximization leads to an increase in income. The client needs to understand that they need to pay for everything you do for them. Hence, it is important to emphasize the specification of your work to your client, and list the activities you’ll be performing for them that you’ll declare as billable.

How to optimize billable hourly rate depending on the client

Accurate workload assessment

Engagements with fixed fees

When it comes to engagements with fixed fees it is necessary to accurately assess the workload. This is best done by observing similar engagements you’ve had in the past. You should identify similar jobs based on reports from your timesheet software. Then you can assess how many hours you’ll need for a project. Additionally, you need to inform yourself of the client’s specific needs, that is, their demands, and how many additional questions they are expected to ask after the project is done. All of these factors should be a part of your planned billable hours calculations.

Alternatively, your offers can contain a price range, for example from $2500 to $2900 depending on the number of invoiced hours.

Engagements with variable fees

You should keep the fact that clients are sensitive to the offers where engagement is agreed upon by the hour without the hours being limited since in that case they are in the position of uncertainty about their expenses. That is why you need to find out whether your new client tended to pay the type of service you offer by the spent work hours or through fixed fees in the past. Either way, we suggest including an assessment of expected work hours in the offer besides the hourly billable rates.

Managing billable rates based on the expected profitability

Even though you have defined the prices per each position or employee (full time equivalent), if you expect your profitability from a project to be jeopardized, you should reconsider your hourly rates (value-based method). Also, if you predict that you can remain profitable even with lower hourly rates, you can offer the client lower billable hourly rates or a higher number of hours.

Whichever model you may choose, you need to assess the profit you expect from the project, keeping in mind how much the said project will cost you.

Define exactly what your work hour that is going to be invoiced represents

It is important to maintain outstanding business relationships with your clients. Hence, you should never invoice anything that may surprise them. You need to define the scope of your projects and the billable items within them, additionally, it is important to define the services you don’t offer. This way you’ll avoid misunderstandings when interpreting your services.

Besides the assessment of your work, you need to set a limit to the number of meetings a client can ask for during the engagement, considering that the time invested in this type of activity represents billable hours for you.

Reducing the deviation between planned and realized rate

Let’s say you’ve given an offer with a fixed price of $10.000. You expect to invest 100 hours, or, in other words, that your target hourly rate is going to be $100. however, once the project is done, the timesheet insights show you’ve invested 130 hours. That means the realized hourly rate is $77. hence, the gap between the planned and realized rate is $23.

Time tracking tools enable you to always have an insight into the scope of this gap for each client so you’d be able to take corrective actions for the following projects.

How to measure the results

Peter Drucker said: You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

So, you need to define a mechanism for measuring your goals considering the optimization of the billable hourly rate. Here is a couple of indicators, most of which you can measure through time-tracking software.

  • Time utilization – this indicator is measured by observing the previous period and regarding the plan. If there are deviations you should identify their causes, and make a plan of action to eliminate them
  • Actual average billable hourly rate
  • Actual billable hourly rate per client
  • The deviation of planned and realized billable rates
  • Profitability indicators pre clients – Billable hourly rate concerning cost (pay rate)

Data accuracy assurance

In order to have accurate metrics you need to set a control over employees time tracking and prevent any type of time theft.

Also there is suggestion to perform time audit of all time data exported by time tracking tool.


You need many analyses and reports to adequately manage billable hourly rates and billable hours as well as increase your company’s profitability. This can be very exhausting and counterproductive (’’paralysis analysis’’ syndrome). That is why you need a time tracking software solution that can track the following indicators for the most important categories:

  • Total hours spent
  • Hours structure (billable vs non-billable hours)
  • Work task structure
  • Time utilization
  • Costs and cost rate

Finally, it is important to determine the KPIs you’ll be monitoring, both historically and compared to planned KPIs in due time, and take corrective actions.

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Miras Managment
Zabriskie studio
Average hourly rates survey for 2022 per industries

Average hourly rates survey for 2022 per industries

October 20, 2021

Are your rates in accordance with the services you are providing? Staying informed about the global and local rates, as well as fees depending on the industry, experience, education and other factors is crucial to keeping your business afloat. Consulting companies and freelancers alike should strive to be competitive and accessible to their target demographics while remaining profitable. Here is a list of average hourly rates for freelancers and consultants.

Keeping track of different variables

Many different factors impact global hourly rates, the most obvious ones being the industry you’re in and your location. However, these factors don’t exist in a vacuum. The impact each other as well. For example, labor-based (manual) work in general highly depends on available resources and the development of the country.

Knowledge-based positions will be more lucrative than labor-based ones in most cases (private contractors being an exception). A consultant’s hourly rate will always be higher than a factory worker’s wage. Yet, the hourly rates of a manual laborer in a developed country can come close to or even surpass the rates of a knowledge-based position in a less developed country. You can even observe these differences in different states or areas in the same country.

Employee-related variables

Education and skill level, as well as work experience also have an impact on hourly rates. Again, these variables impact one another and correlate to the previously mentioned ones. While education can help an individual get a boost at the start of their career, their further growth depends on the quality of the work they do (in other words, skill, and productivity level).

There is also the impact of gender. The idea of the pay gap between male and female employees seems like an outdated concept, and the general consensus in most workplaces is that it shouldn’t exist. However, employers pay male employees more, and higher positions in most companies are held by men as well.

Even though there are so many factors when it comes to working from home as a freelancer, many individuals decide that regulating their own billable hours and space of work, as well as profit margins they’ll make are more important than any hurdles they’ll face.

Variables not related to the employee

Our article wouldn’t be objective if we wouldn’t account for other factors. For example, you would need to pay attention to the difference between the nominal and real wages in any given country. This dissimilarity illustrates the impact of location as well as inflation on the financial state of employees. The nominal wage indicates the amount an employee earns, while the real wage shows what that pay can actually get them. in other words, the nominal wage can only stay the same if it reflects inflation.

If this doesn’t happen, and inflation diminishes the worth of the country’s currency, the prices will go up while the salaries remain the same. In other words, the worth of the currency is equally as important as the hourly wages.

Other, less prominent factors that impact average hourly rates include unemployment rates, IQ, race, academic track, family background, etc. The impact of these variables varies depending on the location.

Keeping this in mind, let us study the average hourly rates for freelancers and consultants on the global level.

Average hourly rates in the most popular industries for freelance work

As we have previously mentioned, the industry is one of the most important factors when it comes to fees (besides of the number of hours worked, of course). Since we are considering freelancers, we are going to focus on the most sought-after industries and professions that do freelance work. These are, in order of biggest to smallest average hourly rate:

  • Law (average hourly rate is $45.30)
  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Management
  • Finances and accounting
  • Medical field
  • UI and design
  • Marketing and sales
  • Content writing and translating services
  • Customer support and administration

Average hourly rate for legal freelancers

Freelancers in the legal field have the highest average hourly rates, ranging from $27 to $30. Tax lawyers have the highest fees, followed closely by legal consultants, legal contract managers, and paralegals. The lowest paying profession in this industry is fraud analyst. Yet, even their hourly rates ($27) are higher than the majority of highest-grossing professions in other fields. Finally, senior attorneys who opt for a freelancing career can earn up to $120 per hour in the US, attorneys can get their hourly fees up to £50 in the UK, and legal counselors make C$80.

Here are the average hourly rates for legal freelancers:

  • Paralegal: $19.54
  • Legal assistant: $16.86
  • Associate attorney: $33.37
  • General counsel: $52.40
  • Attorney: $50.17
  • Legal counsel: $45.32
  • Law clerk: $16.15
  • Staff attorney: $34.26
  • Senior attorney: $120
  • Corporate lawyer: $65

IT fees

IT professionals are some of the most sought-after freelancers in the world. One of the most important reasons for their success is the fact that they can do all of their work from home, and companies have their choice of experts no matter their location. Lately, the intense competition and the high number of individuals willing to do more and get paid less (this is largely impacted by the freelancer’s location) have reduced the IT average hourly fees and made the job market more difficult to navigate. Yet, experienced software engineers, developers, and programmers still have an hourly fee of $58 and senior engineers make $63 per hour. Even the least paid professionals in the field – web developers and data managers make over $21 per hour.

The average hourly fees for IT experts:

  • Software engineer: $36
  • Senior software engineer: $63.29
  • Software developer: $29.44
  • Systems administrator: $24.23
  • IT director: $29.79
  • Software engineer (developer/programmer): $58
  • Data scientist: $36.76
  • Web developer: $21.50
  • Software product manager: 38.50
  • Network engineer: $30
  • IT business analyst: $30.50
  • Front end developer: $29
  • IT specialist: $20.20
  • IT consultant: $33
  • Data engineer: $43.20
  • Data manager: $21
  • Java developer: $40.62
  • Technical consultant: $34.75

Engineering average hourly rates

Engineering continues to be one of the most lucrative career options in the world. Freelancers in this field make $25 to $31 per hour depending on their specialty of work, with the highest hourly rates going up to $70. Telecommunications engineers have the highest average salary, while hardware engineers and product designers have somewhat lower hourly rates.

Here are the average hourly rates for engineers:

  • Project engineer: $29
  • Electrical engineer: $31.6
  • Manufacturing engineer: $26
  • Design engineer: $27
  • Architectural designer: $23.65
  • Industrial engineer: $25.50
  • Average engineering project manager: $37.75
  • Mechanical engineer manager: $41.70

Management hourly rates

More and more companies are turning to remote and freelance management positions. Project managers have an average hourly rate of $28. On the other hand, positions in HR and business management make $19 and $20 respectively, making them the least lucrative in the industry.

The average hourly rates for HR and recruitment are:

  • HR manager: $21.75
  • HR director: $23.30
  • HR coordinator: $19.62
  • HR administrator: $19.50
  • Recruiter: $18.75
  • Training and development manager: $24.40
  • Benefits specialist: $19.80
  • Payroll and benefits administrator: $21.16
  • Payroll and benefits manager: $24.20
  • Staffing manager: $ 17.40
  • Job developer: $17.30
  • Staffing recruiter: $15.40
  • Outreach specialist: $17.30


Financial average hourly rates

Professionals in the financial field are also some of the higher-earning freelancers. Accountants make $20 per hour on average, while a financial corporate controller, which is the highest paying job in this field can earn $35.5. Freelance finance directors make the most in the UK, while senior tax analysts learn the most in Canada (£25 and C$55 respectively).

The average hourly rates in the financial field go as follows:

  • Accountant: $20.85
  • Financial analyst: $23.50
  • Financial controller: $28
  • Accounting manager: $24
  • Finance manager: $21.5
  • Corporate controller: $35.5
  • Finance director: $27.75
  • Financial advisor: $19.25
  • Auditor: $18.1
  • Tax accountant: $23.70
  • Senior tax analyst: $16.32
  • Financial manager: $22.30
  • Tax associate: $20
  • Internal auditor: $20

Healthcare practitioners and technical jobs average hourly fees

There are many medical and dental private practices that rely on the internet for advertisement, tracking time and patients, and finding new clients. The most lucrative professions in this field are dentist and pharmacist, with average hourly rates of $74 and $57.50. meanwhile, to compare, a public health dentist makes $20 less an hour than their private practice counterparts.

The average hourly rates in this industry are:

  • Registered nurse: $30.50
  • Physical therapist: $39.40
  • Pharmacy technician: $14.66
  • Dental hygienist: $35.25
  • Staff nurse: $32.40
  • Practice manager: $23.50
  • Pharmacist: $57.50
  • Veterinarian: $49.33
  • Nursing manager: $38.75
  • Dentist: $74

Design ad User Experience hourly rates

Similar to IT, the importance of user experience and design is one of the most popular industries for freelancers. The possibility to hire a talented individual from anywhere in the world helps many clients find highly talented individuals with portfolios that suit all their needs. Multimedia producers’ average hourly rates are $25, illustrators make about $20, and graphic and web designers have an hourly fee of $19 on average.

Marketing and sales average hourly rates

This is another freelancer-friendly industry, as a huge amount of marketing is both conceived, conceptualized, and realized online or over the phone. Additionally, the internet and especially social media are some of the most successful marketing channels for most businesses. Freelance social media managers make $16 per hour, SEO analysts average hourly rate is $19 and sales representatives’ fees are $25 per hour on average.

Here are the average hourly salaries by the profession:

  • Marketing manager: $20
  • Marketing director: $19.50
  • Marketing coordinator: $19
  • Business development manager: $19.90
  • Senior marketing manager: $33.92
  • Digital marketing manager: $20.25
  • Social media manager: $16.50
  • Business development director: $26.60
  • Communications manager: $21.80
  • Product marketing manager: $23
  • Business director: $20.20
  • Brand manager: $20.10
  • Marketing project manager: $24.60
  • Account director: $24.60
  • Product development director: $22.75
  • Content marketing manager: $20.30
  • Category manager: $25.30
  • Associate marketing manager: $24.75

Content writing and translating average fees

Content has become one of the most important pillars for businesses that advertise online or even simply run a website. This is true because websites score lower on search engines if they don’t update their content regularly. Lists, articles, blogs, multimedia – all can be outsourced to freelancers. The translation is another important part of business expansion, as well as expanding to other markets. Translator average hourly fee is $20, content writing and management pay around $18.5 per hour, and sales content creation has an hourly rate of $16

Customer support and administration average hourly fees

Customer support and administration (data entry, virtual and administrative assistants) are also very suitable for freelancers and remote employees, and many companies decide to outsource these positions entirely. The average hourly rates range from $13 to $16 depending on the position.

Average hourly rates vs global minimum hourly wages

The sum of money a freelancer can receive for an hour of their work is highly dependant on the minimum wage in their country. Here are the highest and lowest minimum wages globally.

As you can see, with the average minimum hourly wage of $6.36, even the lowest paying average hourly rate for freelancers is either higher or almost at the level of the minimum wage on the global level. In other words, even the freelancers from all over the world (except for Luxembourg) in the lowest-paying fields can make more than the minimum income in their country. No wonder more and more computer-savvy professionals turn to freelance as an additional or even main source of income.

The impact of location on hourly rates

The second most important factor when it comes to freelancer average hourly rates is their location. As most companies seek freelancers fluent in English (no matter the company’s origin country), candidates from English-speaking countries tend to have the highest salaries. On the other hand, the freelancers from the global south continue to have lower average hourly fees. This especially impacts Eastern Europe, Latin America, South, and Southeast Asia, with Northern Africa taking the biggest impact.

An IT professional from Northern Africa makes half the average salary their North American counterpart would make.

Education vs skill level

There is a huge problem of underemployment on the global level. In other words, there have never been more college graduates, but the job market isn’t following this trend. Hence, recent graduates have to apply for jobs they are overqualified for. Additionally, the freelance job market is very specific, as portfolios and experience are more important than a degree. In many cases, freelancers with a high school degree have a higher average hourly rate than candidates with a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, candidates with a post-graduate degree tend to earn more than all other freelancers.

Work experience

Most companies tend to seek out a younger and less experienced workforce when hiring. This has a lot to do with wage expectations, as individuals with more experience require more money for their services. Yet, when it comes to freelancing jobs, more experienced experts usually work on an occasional or one-time basis, and companies are more willing to hire them and pay them more for their services.

Younger people at the beginning of their professional careers are usually more computer-savvy, and, hence, more prone to working as freelancers. Almost 70% of freelancers are under 35, while over 20% are under 25 years old. However, they still make less money than their more experienced counterparts.

With the market being extremely competitive in all fields, getting your first job can be difficult in the beginning. Many beginners struggle in the first year and can’t afford to dedicate themselves exclusively to freelancing. Thus, they often have to balance their day jobs and freelancing careers. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a score on different freelancing sites. Candidates also have to have great communication skills and know what to charge based on their skill level, experience, and portfolio.

What is seniority?

Seniority in the business world doesn’t have to be proportional to age. It is determined by the time invested into a profession. Usually, an employee is considered a junior for the first two years of working a specific job. They are at an intermediate level for the next three years, and a senior five years after starting their career. There is also another way of calculating, which places juniors in the first year of their career, and intermediates in the next two. That is to say, a professional can become a senior after three years.

Wage difference examples

An attorney’s average hourly rate is around $50, while a senior attorney makes $120 per hour. We see a similar trend in the IT field, as a software engineer makes $36 per hour, and a senior software engineer’s average hourly rate is $63. Finally, a marketing manager earns $20 per hour and a senior marketing manager earns $34.

Gender and average hourly rates

Even though many people believe that the gender pay gap is a thing of the past, the statistics tell a different story. On a global level, women earn 64% of their male counterparts’ wages. Yet, interestingly enough, freelancing tends to even out the playing field to a certain degree.

There are even some fields where women have higher hourly rates, even though the difference is nowhere near as drastic. For example, the fields of marketing, graphic design, and multimedia production earn 17%, 4%, and 0.3% respectively.

The number of women vs men in certain occupations is similar – translators being the biggest example with an equal share of male and female freelancers. Other occupations that have a large number of female freelancers include administrative professionals (46%), customer support and content writing (both at 43%), and project management (36%).

Here is a fun fact about female freelancers: they tend to get paid according to their contracts more regularly than men, who

Additionally, more and more women are choosing to become freelancers, since they can determine their hours, and childcare and homemaking are still primarily left for women to handle.


The world of freelancing has grown immensely in the last five years. More and more people are seeing the potential and benefits of freelancing, whether as an additional or a main source of income.

The freelance job market is stabilizing, and more and more employers are looking for remote and freelance employees, especially due to the pandemic. Due to this stabilization and rise of the market, we can now see the average hourly rates for the most popular industries for freelancers.

Even though there are many different factors determining differences between the hourly rates in the freelancing world, most positions offer an opportunity to earn more than a minimum wage in most countries while working fewer hours.

The accessibility of remote work, as well as the fact that most freelancers can determine their working hours make this type of employment very attractive to the workforce. On the other hand, employers can choose from a virtually unlimited talent pool and find candidates with exactly the skills they are looking for. Hence, the average hourly rates can reach great heights, and allow experts to earn more no matter the wages in their country.



Join thousands of companies that grow with Time Analytics

Miras Managment
Zabriskie studio
Time and Project Tracking for Professional Service Companies

Time and Project Tracking for Professional Service Companies

October 15, 2021

How can professional service companies benefit from time and client tracking?

Time and client tracking are becoming some of the most prominent practices in business. Implementing them the proper way can help service companies track their current and historic progress. It can also provide information that allows higher-ups to make informed decisions about the companies next steps, ranging from small adjustments to solving underlying problems on the company level.

Time Analytics assesses professional service firm progress by calculating key performance indicators. KPIs are quantitative measurements for different aspects of all businesses. Analyzing them can help the management resolve problems and make positive changes to the way their teams function combined with profit and loss accounts. The changes can be conducted through identifying top and low performers both among employees and clients, reducing the need for overtime by redistributing tasks, reconfiguring the workflow, and in many more ways.

Another benefit of time tracking is evening out the playing field among your staff, as the practice makes the work they do transparent. No one will feel under-appreciated or left out, and their efforts will be more even and in accordance with their capabilities.

time tracking for professional service firms

Which elements of your work can you track?

Time tracking per employee

Time tracking per employee brings many benefits. It is one of the most important elements of time tracking. The positive influence it brings includes:

  • Understanding your employees’ work rhythm and knowing whether they are using the entirety of their work time
  • An insight into their effectiveness
  • Identifying unproductive behaviors and most common distractors
  • Discovering who are the top performers and slackers within your teams
  • Tracking overtime, vacation, sick time, and other important indicators
  • Time utilization overview

Time tracking per task

This practice shows both the current and historical state of your business as well as potential changes you can make to improve. Additionally, understanding the time a specific task takes to complete will help you assess the time your future projects will take.

Tracking time per task can also point out organizational oversights you’ve made, as well as problems with task delegation. Finally, you will be able to see whether a certain type of task takes up too much time and effort and should be outsourced.

Time tracking per client

Knowing the ins and outs of your company’s workflow and task structure is very important. However, it isn’t enough to reach your full potential. Your profit and success don’t depend exclusively on your own work. Each professional service company depends on its collaboration with its clients. Hence, understanding them and their demands can help you improve the way you conduct your business.

Client Tracking brings answers to the following questions:

  • What profit is coming from which client?
  • Who are the top and low-performing clients you take on?
  • Should your company change contractual terms, fees, or the cooperation model you’re currently using?
  • Should you terminate your collaboration with the lowest-performing clients?
  • Which changes should you make in the future offers?

time tracking per client

Tracking time per project or service line

This type of time tracking will give you an accurate insight into the efficiency and profitability of your business on a project level. It is important to know what profit margin is coming from your primary services, and how much you’re making from other services. It is also important to know the percentage of non-billable hours and the tasks that take them up. Finally, you’ll be able to differentiate the time going into all these types of tasks.

The basics of time tracking

Convenient time tracking

The simplicity of time tracking systems is one of the most important qualities companies striving to measure productivity accurately should look for. There are many time tracking software solutions out there, and their complexity varies immensely. The time tracking process varies from starting an automatic timer to filling timesheets to complex platforms that offer a great amount of data.

The simplest solutions include an easy clock-in/clock-out system, which only offers the most basic date. On the other hand, complex platforms can take a lot of time to complete the timesheet tracking process. Additionally, these more sophisticated systems can be cumbersome to set up initially as they require specific customization on the team or even individual level.

You should look for a solution that is both simple to use and still give you enough data to propel your business forward.

How intensely should you track?

As we have mentioned, there are many ways to track time. The process can vary from simply counting the time tasks take to intense monitoring that includes mouse and keyboard activity tracking, logging the websites and applications employees use, as well as taking screenshots of their computers.

The latter option indicates distrust and a high level of micromanagement. It is difficult to achieve a positive work environment in these circumstances. Additionally, the screenshot method opposes the GDPR in some countries. In other words, a trust-based solution may not be as precise, but it will give you accurate insights without implying you need to monitor your employees’ every move.

Defining billable rates

Determining the planned and realistic billable rates is a crucial part of remaining profitable. The planned billable rate is the one you calculate before you start working on the project. In contrast, you can only calculate the realistic billable rate is only possible once the project is finished and invoiced. Comparing these two values gives you the profitability data you need.

Time tracking software can account for an employee’s default billable rate while they’re tracking time dedicated to a specific project. Additionally, you can authorize the employees to enter their rates into the system too. Finally, there is the option of using a billable hours chart, which will simplify the process as well.

After the project is completed, you can calculate the realistic billable rate. This is done by dividing the total profit coming from a project by the real billable hours per employee invested in that project.

Managing cost rates

Cost rates contain the employee billable rates, which are based on employee salaries and direct expenses, and the hourly rate based on general expenses. Time tracking software can automatically account for the defined cost rates and calculate the cost prices per client or project.

Timesheet review

A high-quality timesheet is a feature any time tracking tool for professional service businesses should have. Some countries made this document a mandatory addition to the payroll as well.

Professional services timesheet is crucial when it comes to confirming work hours, tracking breaks, overtime, different types of leaves, and other factors. You don’t have to create a timesheet from scratch, as there are many timesheet templates and models available online. Yet, make sure your full-time equivalent timesheet contains the following elements:

  • Activities performed per client
  • Performed work details
  • The total sum of spent hours
  • Form of billable vs non-billable hours
  • Billing rate per hour

timesheet review for professional service firms

Time tracking and observations

You can only reach time tracking’s full potential if you utilize the data you collect. Otherwise, you can only monitor your employees, which isn’t the main purpose of these platforms. Receiving and analyzing detailed high-quality reports with time audit process leads to better business decisions in the long term.

Time analytics offers a comprehensible dashboard and detailed analytics per employee, task, project or service line, and client. It shows real-time data and accumulative reports and covers billable hours and non-billable hours, as well as total work hours, expenses, etc.

Invoicing and time tracking

Time tracking systems can help you avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations when it comes to billing your clients. Your invoices will be transparent, itemized, and based on data coming from timesheets and overviews of data the system has accumulated.

Cost tracking

Tracking costs is necessary to calculate profitability and efficiency indicators by individual clients or projects. You can’t come to these values if you don’t track costs per work hour.

How to track costs per client and project

A time and expense tracking platform should account for the price of a work hour. The calculation should include all direct and indirect costs and allocate them per project automatically. The platform will determine the cost rates for each employee. This rate is the sum of the pay rate and the overhead cost rate.

You can calculate the pay rate by dividing the total gross salary by the average monthly number of working hours. So, if the total gross salary is $1500 and the number of hours is 150, you’ll end up with a pay rate of $10. However, you need to include the overhead rate into the calculation for a more accurate expense estimate.

The total overhead expenses include office space lease, office material, utilities, phone and utility bills, etc. you should add these costs up and divide the sum by the number of employees and the number of monthly work hours. So, if the total monthly overhead expenses come up to $7500, and the company has 10 employees, the monthly expenses per employee will be $750. Now, divide that number by the number of work hours (150), and you’ll come up with the hourly overhead rate of $5.

Now you can add these two values and calculate the total hourly cost rate. In this case, it is $15. You can enter this rate into the program, and it will allocate the costs automatically. The allocation is based on the clients and projects the employee is spending their time on based on professional services timesheet data.

Now you can see how much every action, project, and client costs your firm. The calculation is done through the platform, as well as the allocation.

A list of essential KPIs that professional service firms should track

The average billable rate at the company level

This KPI represents the average amount your company makes for the service you provide to your clients. It is important to compare it to the planned (expected) billable rate. This is a good way to track expected profit and make sure you are staying on the planned path.

Billable rate on the employee level

This metric is important if you want to know who your top performers are and assess your workforce accurately. It indicates the money you receive from a client for a specific employee.

Tracking the monthly realistic billable rate and comparing it to the total cost rate is important to make sure you’re remaining profitable.

Costs per project and/or client

This indicator illustrates the total expenses your company allocates to a specific project or client. Client tracking is necessary for determining this value, as you need to know how much time each project/client took up to calculate expenses. Then, expenses data will enable you you know how much profit each client is making you.

An additional benefit of time tracking per project and client tracking is that it will enable you to budget your costs and revenue more accurately for the next budgeting cycle.

Time utilization

Time utilization shows how many of the total work hours are taken up by billable or non-billable hours. This way, the management can know how much time their employees invest into making the company money, and how much are the non-billable activities taking up.

Billable rate on the project or service line level

This KPI is valuable as it shows whether your profits are making your company a profit or not. Understanding this will make defining rates for future projects simpler.

It is calculated by dividing the total revenue you got from a project or service line by the total number of hours your employees invested in that project.

Billable rate on the client level

This metric informs you about the average billing rate coming from each of your clients. You can calculate it by dividing the total income coming from a client by the number of hours invested into the said client.

Billing rate utilization

This indicator represents the difference between the profit you’ve planned and the one you’ve realized.

Structure of work tasks

Understanding the place of each task within your team’s workflow and being acquainted with the time it takes to complete can help you adjust your work organization to increase efficiency.


Even though overtime is becoming very common in all industries, it isn’t a popular practice. Moreover, you should strive to bring it down to the bare minimum. However, there are two types of reasons for overtime. The first regards the increase in the job’s demands. In this case, if the increase is a temporary affair, you should transfer a team member to the project. If the increased demands seem to be the new normal, you should hire more team members. On the other hand, overtime can stem from unproductive work practices. If that is the case, you should talk to the managers and team members to determine the optimum solution for the problem. Different productivity tools and reorganizing the workflow are just some of the ways you can resolve this issue.


While time tracking is becoming a commonplace practice, you should still take some time to learn about all of time tracking benefits for the best results.

Using a time tracking platform to micromanage your employees and find reasons to penalize them, the benefits will be minimal. However, if you learn how to use the reports and KPIs to your advantage, you will be able to unlock your team’s full potential. A time tracking platform should be seen as a long-term investment.

Time Analytics offers a user-friendly interface that collects enough data to produce powerful reports that can propel your professional service company forward and ahead of the competition. It can guide the management in solving underlying problems while increasing transparency on all organization levels.


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Online Timesheets for Recruitment and HR Agencies

Online Timesheets for Recruitment and HR Agencies

October 14, 2021

The relevance of time tracking for HR companies

More and more companies are recognizing the benefits of time tracking. Hence, this business practice is rising in popularity in a great number of modern offices. Implementing it and utilizing all of its options helps HR and recruitment firms track their current and historical progress. It also gives them the data necessary to make informed business decisions for the future of the company.

Time Analytics is a time tracking solution that collects data and measures company progress based on key performance indicators. KPIs are quantitative measures that show the state of businesses. Reviewing and analyzing them can point the management towards optimal solutions both for daily struggles and underlying problems within the company. It can also help you assess the team’s performance and profit and loss account.

Time, project, and client tracking can point you to different solutions – task redistribution, including different hr project management tools into your team’s workflow, identifying top and low performers both in your team and among the clients, and more.

It is well known that HR specialists and recruiters have to deal with more and more applicants for a single position. This means they are often overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to do if they want to find the best candidates, conduct interviews or tests, and make the most favorable decisions when hiring. Hence, it is important to know whether every team member is doing their part. Time tracking brings the transparency needed for good work distribution among team members, which will also bring the team members closer.

time tracking for HR and recruitment firms

Timesheet options

Time tracking per employee

This is the most common category time tracking software offers. There is a good reason for that too, as employee time tracking brings a great number of benefits, including

  • Knowing whether your team members are using all of their work time to work
  • An insight into their effectiveness
  • Identifying unproductive behaviors and distracting websites and apps
  • Determining who are your top performers and team members who are behind
  • Tracking overtime, vacations and sick time
  • Measuring time utilization

Time tracking per task

This type of tracking enables you to assess the current state of your business and discover the possibilities for improvement. You can also identify lapses in organization and task delegation oversights.

Tracking time per work task will give you an accurate insight into the time certain tasks and task types take to complete. This is a big advantage when it comes to time estimates for future projects. Finally, if some activities take up a lot of time and bring you little to no profit you may want to outsource them so your team can dedicate more time to billable tasks.

Time tracking per client

The importance of time tracking within your own company can’t be overstated. However, it takes more information to be able to propel your company above the competition. An HR or recruiting firm can’t function without its clients. All profitable activity is contained within your collaboration with other companies. In other words, you should also track the time you dedicate to each client to boost your team’s efficiency and profitability. The advantages of client time tracking include

  • Tracking the profit coming from individual clients
  • Allocating costs accurately
  • Precise profit assessments
  • Differentiating high and low performing clients
  • An insight into whether your fees, contractual terms, and cooperation models are optimal
  • Identifying the clients who aren’t profitable and terminating contracts with them
  • Drafting future offers to be more favorable for you

tracking time per client

Time tracking per project or service line

Project or service line time tracking gives you an exact insight into your HR firm’s efficiency and profitability on the project level. For example, it is important to differentiate the profit margin coming from your main line of work – finding candidates and conducting interviews, and the profit coming from other activities, such as employee training, payroll calculation, administrative duties, etc. It is also important to know how much time is taken up by each activity.

Time tracking – the basics

Track time easily

HR companies that look for a solution to measure and increase productivity should pay special attention to the simplicity of the time tracking process itself. There are hundreds of time tracking software solutions currently on the market, and they offer different levels of complexity. While super-sophisticated solutions offer better fine-tuning options, you should pay special attention to their user-friendliness.

Simply put, an extremely complex system will not be easy to use and can take up quite a bit of time each day to remain useful. Additionally, it can take a lot of time to set the platform up initially and customize it. In other words, the administrators would need some time to make the initial settings match your company’s needs. That is why it is important to use a user-friendly platform.

What shouldn’t you track?

The differing levels of complexity also reflect on the tracking possibilities. Some companies use timesheets and automatic trackers similar to old clock-in systems, and others use stricter tracking methods. They offer hardware and software activity monitoring and even taking screenshots of user desktops.

These solutions indicate distrust and can raise trust and privacy issues. Additionally, most professionals aren’t comfortable with this level of micromanagement. Lastly, a screenshot-taking solution may oppose the GDPR in your country, so make sure to check the local laws if you are sure you want this feature.

Recurring tasks

Having to navigate a time tracking platform in which you have to create each new task from scratch is difficult for the management. On the other hand, creating said tasks takes time out of your employees; days.

Hence, another important feature you should look for is the ability to create tasks in a couple of clicks with predefined options. This is especially convenient with tasks that occur on a daily or weekly basis.

Determining billable rates

Calculating the planned (expected) and realistic (achieved) billable rates for each employee and client is another way to determine how your business is doing. Seeing whether these two values differ, and by how much, helps you determine whether you’re achieving the expected profit or not.

Time tracking software accounts for each HR specialist default billable rate as they perform the service. Alternatively, the specialist can manually set up their rate. They can also use a billable hours chart to save time and make sure they never forget any important piece of information.

Once the project is finished and invoiced you can calculate the realistic billable rate. This is done by dividing total revenues by spent billable hours by employee.

Cost rates

Similar to billable rates, you should keep your eye on your company’s cost rates. The total cost rates include the employee rate, based on their salary and direct expenses per hour. The other component of total costs is based on general expenses per hour. Time tracking software has an important ability to automatically account for the defined cost rate and calculate the cost prices per project or client.

Timesheet review

Hr project management tools should always offer the option to create a comprehensible timesheet. This document lists all logged activity and details about it. some countries made timesheets a mandatory addition to payroll slips. The importance of timesheets lies in their ability to confirm work hours and keep track of breaks, leaves, and overtime.

You can find many useful models and timesheet templates online, but it is crucial for each full-time equivalent timesheet to contain the following:

  • List of performed activities allocated per client
  • Details of the work the employee has performed
  • Total hours invested into projects
  • The ratio of billable and non-billable hours
  • Hourly billable rate

timesheet review for HR and recruitment firms

What can you learn through time reporting?

Tracking time is just the first step, aka data collection. Once you implement this practice, you should aim to use the data you collect the best you can. In other words, utilizing the full potential of time tracking software lies in receiving detailed reports and using them to improve your current and prospects.

Time Analytics gives the users an opportunity to observe analytics per client, employee, task, and project through a comprehensible dashboard. You can see real-time data as well as historical changes through accumulative reports.

Time billing

Detailed timesheets are a staple of our time tracking solution. Besides giving you information about the daily ins and outs of your business, they can also help you create detailed and accurate itemized invoices for your clients. These invoices are based on the entered data.

The importance of cost tracking

You cannot overstate the importance of cost tracking in every industry. Tracking your company’s expenses enables you to determine the profitability and efficiency of each client and project. You need to track costs per work hour to succeed.

How to track hourly costs per project and client

A time and expense tracking platform should account for the work hour price and automatically account for direct and indirect expenses and allocate them per project or client. It counts in the cost rates for each employee and the overhead costs, which, combined, make up the total cost rate.

Here is how you can calculate these expenses.

If the gross salary at your company is $1500, and the average number of work hours per month is 150, the hourly pay rate is $10.

On the other hand, we have the overhead expenses regard all expenses that occur in the office, not including employees’ salaries. In other words, those are office lease and utilities, supplies, and any other expenses you pay for the employees – phone and internet bills, travel expenses, etc.

If the overhead costs are $7500, and the company has 10 employees, we come to the sum of $750 per employee per month. Now we have to divide this number by the monthly number of work hours (150), and you’ll end up with the overhead hourly rate of $5. You need to add this value to the previously calculated hourly pay rate and end up with the total hourly cost rate of $15 per employee. Only now can you calculate accurate expense estimates.

A time tracking solution will automatically allocate the expenses to the clients each employee is engaging with and add them to the invoices.

Essential KPIs for HR and recruitment companies

Average billable rate on the company level

This KPI indicates the average amount of money your firm gets for the services you provide to your clients. It is important to compare the company average billable rate to the planned (expected) billable rate to make sure you are remaining as profitable as you expect.

Employee billable rate

A billable rate on the employee level is necessary for finding out who are your top performers. Additionally, comparing this metric to the expected billable rate and total cost rate is necessary for employee assessment. This is true because this billable rate shows how much your clients pay per hour for a specific employee.

Cost per client and project

This indicator represents total expenses your company has and allocates to a specific client or project. Time tracking gives you data about the time your employees spend working on different projects, which enables you to determine your expenses. Expense data shows how much profit is coming from any specific client or project.

Understanding and allocating expenses will make your budgeting assessments for the next budgeting cycle more accurate and simpler as well.

Time utilization

Time utilization shows what percentage of total work hours is taken up by billable hours and which by non-billable activities. The management can find out how much time each of these takes up and find out whether some activities should be outsourced.

Billable rate per project or service line

Having a firm grasp on the project billable rate allows you to see whether your projects are making you a profit or not. This can help you determine contractual changes you should make in your future projects to improve profitability.

You can calculate this metric by dividing total project revenue by the total number of hours your team spent working on that project.

Billable rate per client

This metric is similar to the previous one. It shows how profitable your clients are, and you can calculate it by dividing the total profit coming from a client by the number of hours invested in that client.

Billing rate utilization

Billing rate utilization represents the difference between the profit you were expecting and the one you ended up gaining. It is calculated as the ratio of expected (predicted) and realized billable rates.

Work task structure

Understanding the way your team works means understanding the position of different tasks within your company’s workflow and the average duration of each of them.


Overtime is becoming more and more commonplace in many workplaces, and some managers take it as the new requirement for company success. Yet, even though it may be inevitable, it is important to understand the reasons for overtime.

If the need for staying in the offices longer is coming from the objective increase in work, you may want to transfer some new team members to the teams that are struggling or hire additional help.

On the other hand, if the need for overtime is coming from unproductive practices, you will need to have conversations with managers and team members and create a custom solution to eliminate distractions and increase productivity.

To conclude

HR and recruitment companies looking to measure and increase productivity can reap much time tracking benefits. Yet, there are some precautions.

Firstly, you should implement positive time tracking practices. That means not using the platform to punish and micromanage. Even though they may seem like the easiest and quickest option, you should be focusing on long-term goals. The key to that hides within reporting features and consistent time tracking by your team.

Time Analytics offers a user-friendly time tracking interface that takes only a couple of minutes to fill in and enables the management to receive high-quality reports. Another opportunity it offers is to level the playing field among your HR specialists so no member is either overworked or left idle.


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Why coffee culture may be the secret to happy employees?

Why coffee culture may be the secret to happy employees?

October 13, 2021

“Work smarter, not harder” doesn’t mean working relentlessly. Time tracking doesn’t mean no breaks and hours of work with no down time. Research backs the premise that to work smarter, people need regular breaks to allow their brains to process, rest, and gear up for another round of effort.

One way companies can make breaks enjoyable for employees is to provide the caffeine most popular among the working masses: coffee. In fact, 71% of employees agreed it would help them feel valued if an employer provided high-quality coffee at work. Furthermore, 89% of employees who regularly drank high-quality coffee at the office felt motivated to give their best at work.

Employers don’t need to break the bank to offer their employees highly beneficial coffee break perks. In this infographic, you’ll see how coffee breaks help companies and how companies can give both remote and in-office employees their moments of caffeinated calm.


Boost Workplace Engagement with These Coffee Break Perks

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