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Old 07-25-2012
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Default Time Tracking for Virtual Assistant Teams
I love the way Elance and Odesk have a Screen Capture feature in time tracking and would love to use this for my firm. I have searched the internet but can not seem to find a similar one. Before I pay to have a custom programmer make the app- I thought I would ask if anyone else has seen one to buy.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 07-26-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
There are a few paid ones out there and one that I know of is Chrometa. I am sure that there are others and if you Google Screen Capture Time Tracking you may find them.
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Old 07-27-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
I have to ask this; how will screen captures benefit you as a business owner?

My thought is that the finished product is the proof right?

Just curious....I never understood them for oDesk or Elance either.

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
The purpose is the time issue. I have had several VAs that claim to be working on projects and are billing for those- yes the work is completed at 2x the time. This allows us a way to monitor that they are doing (many times they are reading emails or working on other things and billing or just are just leaving a window open for a means of padding time. This allows a way to prove that. Naturally if you just talk with people they have a dozen excuses- the screen capture allows a means of Proof to provide also the the client that the project truly did take as long as it did (or proof that the VA is padding the clock and may need to be replaced)

Just my experience with hiring other VAs- would be interested in other opinions or ways to prevent this type of padding practice.
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Old 07-28-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
Hopefully you guys can shed some light on me about this. I'm completely lost. To my understanding the screen capture allows you to actually see the VA's screen and what they are doing as they do it??
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Old 07-29-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
Thanks!

When I managed a VA Team my experience was if it took too long...it just took too long. People were given chances, but there was no way we could continue to charge clients for work that took too long.

The way we gauged something taking too long was thinking about our skill level and how long the task would take us to complete. If a VA had a lower level of skills than us, we accounted for the added time it "should" take...if a VA had equal skills to ours, we assumed it would & should take them the same amount of time as it would us. We also gave them a time limit when we assigned the task (also based on what it should take to complete). IF for some reason they did not finish within that limit, they still had to stop at that point, update us, and based on what was said or our 'feel' for the situation, they were given a little more time or taken off the project. If this happened to the VA too many times, they were let go.

Anyone that did not meet these standards were warned, given a chance to prove they could meet the standard and, if the issue was not corrected (quickly), they were let go.

I prove my time by my results and by things taking me as long as (or less than) the next person in the industry. One of the reason I prefer to work with clients that have worked with a VA previously.

Sharon, you are correct in that it captures what is being done at a certain point....it is not a continuous capture though.

Anyone that is trying to skirt any system is going to find a way to do it. This is why for me, if I think someone is padding (based on what I said above) they are just not going to work for me at all.
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Old 07-29-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
@ Tina, thanks for the info! I get it now. This is cool, I never even knew such a device existed until I read this post. I'm going to take a look to see if there are some freebies out there.
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Old 07-29-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
http://www.rescuetime.com/tour/

I just ran across Rescue Time and it seems to be pretty interesting. It does offer a free plan although it appears that it's for individual time tracking only. The paid plan comes with a 2 week free trial and also affordable.

They also have a paid plan for teams.
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Old 08-11-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
I agree with you Tina. We have an idea of how long a task should take, account for the abilities of the VA. We don't give warnings, we ask, "Is there something that we should be aware of that is causing this to take longer than expected?"

We actually only dealt with this twice in the past two years. The very first VA I had contracted to was entering telephone orders into an order processing system, and we couldn't figure out why she kept letting the orders go to voicemail. As it turns out, it was because she had terrible typing skills, and people would get frustrated with her asking them to slow down so she could capture the information. That was simply a poor hiring practice on our part, and we learned to give skills evaluations after that.

The second time was it was taking an admin 2 hours to do something that other VAs were charging 20 minutes for. We had assessed skill evaluations, so I for the life of me couldn't figure out what was going on. As it turns out, she was charging the time it took her printer to print, which was a step up from a dot matrix ;-) We gave the task to someone else who had the equipment to handle the job.

Skills assessments have definitely saved us time in the long run!
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Old 08-18-2012
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Default Re: Time Tracking for Teams
Thank you everyone for your ideas and suggestions. it truly gave me incite into team VAs that are out there. Have a Great Day!!
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