How Do You Track VA Hours?

22 replies
I have had several VAs, though unfortunately none have lasted more than about 3 months. I wasn't too strict with tracking hours because we talked on Skype and communicated while they were working. They also always sent hours that seemed very reasonable for the work they were doing, usually less hours than the task would have taken me.

Now I am looking for a more long term VA but I want to make sure I do it right. I want to be able to get them set up with a way to track time from the start so I don't offend them or scare them off a month or two down the line when I want them to start using time tracking software.

Any suggestions? Something free or affordable would be great but I can look into any solid options.

Basically I want to be able to track the time they are actually working... since I just tried out one VA who told me it took 2 hours to set up an account on Fiverr and post up 4 gigs.
#hours #track
  • Profile picture of the author JSThompson
    Just a thought but maybe search big G for virtual time clocks? As for exact products I have no recommendations. You might also check out various CMS platforms surely one of them have something similar. Hope that helps somewhat.
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  • Profile picture of the author WealthWithin
    I do it through oDesk. They track the hours for me, and you can see their desktop.

    Once I found a worker promoting his own affiliate link on twitter instead of posting my articles.
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by WealthWithin View Post

      I do it through oDesk. They track the hours for me, and you can see their desktop.

      Once I found a worker promoting his own affiliate link on twitter instead of posting my articles.
      Ya, I'm looking for something that does kind of what oDesk does. I checked my last VAs Facebook and noticed her posting updates like crazy on there all through the two hours she said she was working.

      oDesk doesn't accept payment through PayPal or AlertPay which are my only two options right now. Basically, I'm wondering if there is a software that can do something similar.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamimabraham
    Without Credit card or paypal you can do this easily via o'desk! Here the step:

    1. Register on o'desk and request your all VA to do that.
    2. Make a agency or company their.
    3. Invite all of your VA to your agency team.
    4. Tell your VA to Download and install o'desk team room software.
    5. Then request them to start o'desk team room software when they work.

    That's it. Now use o'desk team room software to track your VA. You can see the screen shot of their working from work dairy. If you have more then one VA, also you can track and see their work history individual.

    If any help needed, don't hesitate to ask me.
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by tamimabraham View Post

      Without Credit card or paypal you can do this easily via o'desk! Here the step:

      1. Register on o'desk and request your all VA to do that.
      2. Make a agency or company their.
      3. Invite all of your VA to your agency team.
      4. Tell your VA to Download and install o'desk team room software.
      5. Then request them to start o'desk team room software when they work.

      That's it. Now use o'desk team room software to track your VA. You can see the screen shot of their working from work dairy. If you have more then one VA, also you can track and see their work history individual.

      If any help needed, don't hesitate to ask me.
      I can use the oDesk team room even if I'm not paying workers through oDesk? That would be nice since 90% of my workers want me to pay with AlertPay.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevkos30
    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    I have had several VAs, though unfortunately none have lasted more than about 3 months. I wasn't too strict with tracking hours because we talked on Skype and communicated while they were working. They also always sent hours that seemed very reasonable for the work they were doing, usually less hours than the task would have taken me.

    Now I am looking for a more long term VA but I want to make sure I do it right. I want to be able to get them set up with a way to track time from the start so I don't offend them or scare them off a month or two down the line when I want them to start using time tracking software.

    Any suggestions? Something free or affordable would be great but I can look into any solid options.

    Basically I want to be able to track the time they are actually working... since I just tried out one VA who told me it took 2 hours to set up an account on Fiverr and post up 4 gigs.
    I make it simple and use odesk for my outsourcing. They do everything for you and there's no thought involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby Couchman
    You might like to check these three products out:

    Simple Project Management Software, Time Tracking and Invoicing
    https://www.rescuetime.com/
    Task & Time Management Software | Time Doctor

    They're not free but they will give you a great control panel to manage your VA's. Although they might be an overkill if its only one person.

    Let me how you go.
    TC
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    I have had several VAs, though unfortunately none have lasted more than about 3 months. I wasn't too strict with tracking hours because we talked on Skype and communicated while they were working. They also always sent hours that seemed very reasonable for the work they were doing, usually less hours than the task would have taken me.

    Now I am looking for a more long term VA but I want to make sure I do it right. I want to be able to get them set up with a way to track time from the start so I don't offend them or scare them off a month or two down the line when I want them to start using time tracking software.

    Any suggestions? Something free or affordable would be great but I can look into any solid options.

    Basically I want to be able to track the time they are actually working... since I just tried out one VA who told me it took 2 hours to set up an account on Fiverr and post up 4 gigs.
    You could just pay the barman to keep an eye on them
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    • Profile picture of the author jrgattison
      Although I don't use it currently Time doctor It has been recommended by some people that I trust so I would go with that. It has some features that make keeping track of your workers simple.

      I have used a few VAs but currently I have 1 full time and use 2 others to write articles on demand and 1 other to do videos on demand. My full time guy I give the liberty of doing what he wants to do as long as the tasks get done. I trust him though and regardless if he is a wiz kid that can get done in 1 hour what it may take me 8 hours to do and pisses away the other 7 I am not worried because he is doing things that I have yet to been able to focus long enough to accomplish.

      I love my VA but that doesn't mean that I don't have some frustrations as well.

      I said all of that to say this. I believe that Time Doctor is your answer from recommendations and from my researching it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
    I use Tahometer.com and they are required to track their time or they do not get paid. Some will refuse and they get fired or if they express concern in the beginning they never get hired.

    I have also used Time Doctor and I personally do not like it.



    Shannon
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    • Profile picture of the author jrgattison
      Originally Posted by Shannon Herod View Post

      I use Tahometer.com and they are required to track their time or they do not get paid. Some will refuse and they get fired or if they express concern in the beginning they never get hired.

      I have also used Time Doctor and I personally do not like it.



      Shannon
      I'm going to check out that Tahometer.com Maybe it might be something I'll want to use in the near future.
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    • Profile picture of the author bionictortoise
      There is also Clockspot.com and Tracklabor.com, which John Jonas uses and recommends.
      Signature
      "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop" - Confucius
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  • Profile picture of the author swords
    Elance accepts PayPal and personally - I like them a lot more than oDesk. Such a better layout and just better looking.
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  • Profile picture of the author joan2009
    Whey don't you pay your VA on a per project basis. Pay her or him for a fix amount for certain tasks that you specify.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Thanks for all the great suggestions!

    I thought about paying per project but I have so many different tasks and the 2-3 VAs will be doing parts of about 5 different projects, paying per hour makes more sense to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrxu
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author sasai
    I think it is not a problem for VA to spend time on facebook, in case they can complete the task on time, even when they are working in your Office, they can still be in daydream.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    That's the thing... I'm paying for the time they spend working. They don't have set hours, they have a task to complete and then they report how long it took and I pay them... if they want to check Facebook, that is fine, but subtract the time spent on Facebook from the time you are reporting to me.

    Even if they had spent 10 minutes on Facebook... I wouldn't have cared much... but this was update after update, linking to Youtube videos, and taking two hours to do something that should have been completed in well under an hour...

    I may not seem it from this thread, but I am a very nice and flexible person to work with. My VAs have deadlines, yes, but they are put out far enough that they can spread their task out over a full week or finish it in a day or two... if something comes up I work with them... I just really don't appreciate having my kindness taken advantage of.
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  • Profile picture of the author sasai
    yep Amanda, i think you are nice to them.

    But let think about Parkinson's Law, if your VA think they are capable of finishing the task well, on time (before "real deadline"), they tend to do in last minute, so....

    And honestly, if they "worked" 2 hrs per day on Facebook, just fire them and find another nice guys to work with
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