Small businesses use time sheets to track the number of work hours for their employees over a period, while independent contractors and freelancers use them to bill clients for time worked. Time sheets take the guesswork out of time tracking. Download any of our six free time sheet templates: weekly, biweekly, monthly, semimonthly, daily, and project-based.
If you are looking for an electronic time sheet software you can use for free and have one physical location, consider Homebase. You can create and replicate a weekly schedule, and your employees can log their time through a mobile app. All the time calculations are done by the system to ensure overtime compliance, saving you time and reducing math errors. Sign up to try it out today.
Downloadable Time Sheet Templates
The best time sheet template for you depends on how often you pay your employees’ wages. We prepared six options that you can customize, so simply click on the one you want to download.
If you need to calculate employee time worked, overtime, PTO, and wages earned on a weekly basis, the weekly time sheet template may be right for your small business. Calculations are handled for you based on formulas included within the spreadsheet cells.
If you pay or calculate wages every other week, then use this biweekly time card template, which has room to add two weeks’ worth of time worked. You can use the Excel or Google spreadsheet if you want it to handle the calculations for you. Otherwise, a PDF is available for your employees to complete manually. Of course, this means you’ll have to add up their hours by hand.
If you pay or calculate wages on a monthly basis, or need to keep track of hours worked (such as for nonprofits that want to track the days and hours worked by volunteers), the monthly timesheet template will be your best choice. Like the other timesheet templates, this one is customizable if you download the spreadsheet version.
If your company pays on a semimonthly basis, then your time sheet will need to have fields to track time worked for days 1–15 and days 16–31. You can manually input each day and date into the spreadsheet or simply list the month (this spreadsheet will allow you to create a new tab for each month of the year). Employees can then input their time-worked into the correct month’s tab (January, February, March, etc.), so you’ll have a running total of all hours that employee worked for the year in one file.
In some situations, like when employees are all working an event or spending the day at an off-site training session, you may need a daily time sheet. You’ll want all your employees to sign in and out on one daily time sheet so that you can track hours worked by all attendees on one page. Nonprofit organizations may prefer this time sheet format to track volunteer hours worked each day.
The project time sheet template can be used by freelancers who need to calculate hours worked on projects. It can also be used in offices where workers’ time is tracked against customers or projects, or when staff needs to designate billable hours so that you can invoice customers properly.
If you’re interested in using a time sheet template and are currently doing payroll by hand, check out our guide on how to do payroll with Excel.
Pros and Cons of Using a Time Sheet Template
Using a time sheet template to calculate your employees’ hours worked has highlights and drawbacks. It is good for those with a limited number of employees and budget. However, it may not be right for your business if you need more advanced payroll processing features.
|Reporting. Time sheet templates offer reporting capabilities such as pivot tables and financial reports.||Inaccurate Hours. Time sheet templates, like Excel files, don’t provide the option of tracking hours in real time. You must rely on the accuracy of the employees’ input.|
|Cost Efficient. Since these time sheet templates are free to use, there is no cost involved other than the overhead to manage the spreadsheets.||Input Errors. Using a time sheet template can result in errors as you must be sure you are on the correct line when inputting time.|
|Simple to Use. Most employees and business owners already know how to use spreadsheets, making this type of time tracking easy to understand.||Time Consuming. Entering data into a spreadsheet and verifying the accuracy can be time-consuming for a small business.|
Alternatives to Time Sheet Templates
Manual input time sheet templates may not be the right fit for your business if you need scheduling software or payroll and HR benefits. In these cases, specific software may work best for you. Below is a general list of other types of software, how they work, and why they may be a better fit for your small business.
Type of Software
Options and How They Work
Scheduling software, like When I Work, helps you schedule workers and teams. It includes time-off requests, time sheet approvals, and a mobile app with GPS tracking to ensure your employees are on the job site when they clock in.
Electronic timekeeping software, like Homebase, is ideal for those that allow shift swapping. It’s free for any business that operates out of one location (such as a restaurant or retail store) and provides free time cards, employee time-off requests, a virtual time clock, a mobile app to communicate with your employees, and much more.
This type of time tracking works best for businesses like warehouses or restaurants where employee time is physically logged on site. Timelogix offers wall-mounted biometric time clocks with fingerprint security.
Workforce Management Software
Zoho People, a workforce management platform, is good for scheduling and tracking your workforce with additional features like job costing. It manages employee performance in addition to time, scheduling, and communication.
Project Management Software
Many project management software contain a time tracking element such as a project time sheet template. With monday.com’s paid plan, you get configurable project management software that comes with project time sheets, allowing you to track time against jobs, add notes, and monitor work progress on the dashboard.
Businesses that track time monthly are often looking for a way to manage the days taken off by salaried employees, rather than specific hours worked. If that’s the case, Gusto, a payroll software, lets your employees request vacation, PTO, or sick leave right from a mobile-optimized website portal. It allows you to approve time off, update leave balances, and monitor their time worked each month, all online.
Homebase includes timekeeping and leave management. If you’re already using HR software or payroll, you’ll find it provides free time sheet templates and an employee self-service portal for your team members to clock in and out. It can also manage your employee benefits, like health insurance.
Check out our payroll templates guide to download more free templates that will help you process your payroll.
Tracking time worked correctly is crucial to your business and choosing the best time sheet template should be decided by your pay frequency and the type of spreadsheet that works best for your growing needs. Excel-based time sheets may work well for your needs; however, they can lead to accuracy errors, which can be costly for your business.