Documenting every minute of your day

$bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
Do any of you have to do this? I basically work for a break/fix. Number of clients*call volume/engineers = hours available to do work. I am salary so I do work 8-5 no matter what. We have a system where we literally have to document every minute of our day. Drove to a client? Document. Work done on site or remotely? Document. I get that but sometimes we have downtime....hours of downtime sometimes and it is gotten to a point to where if your whole day is not filled up with either billable work + admin work it is your fault. There are just some slow days. Studying is not an option either. The engineers are not responsible for client acquisition or sales. We service home business owners and small businesses if anyone was wondering.

Just curious if anyone else has to do this or has been at a company where they do this. Or, any other thoughts.

PS: Today is one of those days. I had an hour long meeting about how I did not bill enough on one specific day a few weeks ago.
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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Yes, I had to do this at a couple of places. Some, just had to put down 8 hours for the day. At the new place where I am at, we have to document our 40 hours and either it is administrative or part of a project. However, not to the nth degree though.
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  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    Our company implemented this system about a year ago and the micromanagement when from 0-100 real quick. We used to only submit our billable time.
  • TheNewITGuyTheNewITGuy Member Posts: 169 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've had to do that. It's a pain. What I ended up doing in order to be more "billable" is round to the nearest half hour for one; If you have a bucket for say internal training, or emails/phone calls, follow up etc.. make sure you mark 0.25 for every email or phone call and just change them to non-billable or let the AM bill them and sort it out with the customer. The issue is the company needs you to be X% billable in order to pay for yourself and over that they're making money.. so they want 70-80% billable weeks. It's tough to do that especially when the office is overstaffed
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sounds like they're encouraging you to bullsh!t your way through the day.
    Not a good way to go through life.
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    I've had to do that. It's a pain. What I ended up doing in order to be more "billable" is round to the nearest half hour for one; If you have a bucket for say internal training, or emails/phone calls, follow up etc.. make sure you mark 0.25 for every email or phone call and just change them to non-billable or let the AM bill them and sort it out with the customer. The issue is the company needs you to be X% billable in order to pay for yourself and over that they're making money.. so they want 70-80% billable weeks. It's tough to do that especially when the office is overstaffed


    This is what we all used to do but we cannot do this anymore. We have to document it to the minute. They have said if your whole day ends in a 5 or a 0 you weren't really doing the actual activity that whole time.
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    Ya, ever since this system has been implemented morale has gone down.
  • LeBrokeLeBroke Member Posts: 490 ■■■■□□□□□□
    In theory we have to do it, but it's mostly for tax credits, so most people just put down 4 days of "working on issue" for an 8 story point ticket.
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My first IT job (at a major university) we were told we had to write down everything we did during the day. I kept the pad of paper locked in my desk drawer and I was never asked to show it to anyone. Some days it was a struggle putting things on paper, especially if there weren't classes in session.

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  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Cisco/Fortinet/Meraki/Comptia Member Posts: 210 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Last company implemented this, I'm not a big fan and mostly because most people BS their way through the IT field

    They say they're putting in x amount of hours or working on this or that but they really are not and I figured it out when the techs who claimed the most overtime actually had tickets sitting in their bin for weeks, with no updates/resolution

    Good way of collecting a check, do the bare minimum, get paid overtime.. I should have learned from them..
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    My first IT job (at a major university) we were told we had to write down everything we did during the day. I kept the pad of paper locked in my desk drawer and I was never asked to show it to anyone. Some days it was a struggle putting things on paper, especially if there weren't classes in session.

    Yup. Like today, is almost all day of nothing. I pretty much have to make things up that I did for 6 + hours. If anyone asks, I do my due diligence to get work. We are supposed to send out emails saying we are available for work. I also follow up with my team lead to ask if he has anything for me and warn him that it is a slow day.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I can see the need for this in a work environment where you are working billable hours. For me I don't work billable consulting / contractor hours however I do document the crap out of my day. Mainly so I can stay organized. My day usually consists of working on multiple items a day that I may only be able to get some pieces of that effort done. SO I generally document what I did with that one item and what the next steps are for that item to move it toward completion. Any new thing that comes up I make a new entry on what I am working on with a brief summary and what I plan to do next with daily logged updates.
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  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    When I worked for a projects team we had to bill to each client.

    When I went purely BAU in Networking I just had to put 100% of my time to the unit I worked in as it was BAU support cost that was recovered from all customers depending on what they were willing to pay for.

    At my present role I don't have to do anything like that because I work for a single group of two companies (and it's all the same)
  • QueueQueue Member Posts: 174 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm fortunate not to have to do that. I don't have the experience to complete things sometimes in a timely manner.

    I've been working on imaging some old 3750's all day and I'm not done. It's the same image we have in our production network in a couple closets and I've uploaded it to TFTP, yet it won't download to the switch at my desk the switch says its the wrong version of software......

    I use to have to do that when I worked landscaping so we could bill our clients for hours worked. The boss said when I get paid, you get paid. What that turned into is we didn't get paid driving site to site, or lunch etc. Just paid for actual on customer site time. Usually ended up getting ripped off about an hour and a half or two a day.
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    Queue wrote: »
    I'm fortunate not to have to do that. I don't have the experience to complete things sometimes in a timely manner.

    I've been working on imaging some old 3750's all day and I'm not done. It's the same image we have in our production network in a couple closets and I've uploaded it to TFTP, yet it won't download to the switch at my desk the switch says its the wrong version of software......

    I use to have to do that when I worked landscaping so we could bill our clients for hours worked. The boss said when I get paid, you get paid. What that turned into is we didn't get paid driving site to site, or lunch etc. Just paid for actual on customer site time. Usually ended up getting ripped off about an hour and a half or two a day.

    I have actually almost volunteered to only get paid for what I do and travel time in exchange for not having to document my time 1 or 2 days out of the week.
  • f16jetmanf16jetman Member Posts: 108
    Back in my MSP days I sure had to! I hated it, and it is one of the many reasons I never plan on working at an MSP again.
    I picked the wrong profession. Too much studying. :study:
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  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I work for a consulting company and every employee of the company has to enter time which accounts for the entire day.

    The company wants us 80-90% billable. It can be a pain but that's how we all bill the clients.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd be polishing up the resume and moving on if a company tried some crap like that.
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  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I quit an MSP because of this BS. every time a manager wanted to talk, it was about this.
    Then you have guys who bill 45 minutes for a pw reset lol
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  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Friend of mine was a paralegal when they put down to the minute billing in place. Eventually they all started detailing their bathroom breaks and the number of squares of TP used. They relaxed a bit on the required documentation after that.
  • PhalanxPhalanx I have many leatherbound books... United KingdomMember Posts: 331 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My god, if a company I worked at did this, I'd be out the door quicker than you could say "where's your timesheet?".
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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Friend of mine was a paralegal when they put down to the minute billing in place. Eventually they all started detailing their bathroom breaks and the number of squares of TP used. They relaxed a bit on the required documentation after that.
    That is funny!!
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • $bvb379$bvb379 Member Posts: 155
    I'd be polishing up the resume and moving on if a company tried some crap like that.

    Been trying for months.
    I quit an MSP because of this BS. every time a manager wanted to talk, it was about this.
    Then you have guys who bill 45 minutes for a pw reset lol

    Not as extreme but I do document my time similar to this. I just make sure it is work related.


    Another thing you guys might like. Since I live 45 minutes away from the office, I have to deduct 45 minutes out of my day if I leave after 8 AM to go to a client even if that client is on the opposite side of town from the office. Their logic is that if I am driving after 8 AM and not coming to the office first I am technically "not working." A lot of our clients can't meet until 9 AM or after so let's say I work a whole normal day. With this logic, I technically only have 7.15 hours out of 8.00. It has become maddening.
  • Press ANY KeyPress ANY Key Member Posts: 26 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Billable jobs suck. I used to work at a Managed Services Provider in the Washington, DC area. I was the junior guy on staff so the majority of the work went to the more experienced guys. Later on, I found out that the manager was hoarding jobs that I could easily do just so he could fill up his schedule and look good. icon_scratch.gif$#%@&^!

    Eventually, I was let go because I wasn't billable enough. I would never work at an MSP again. Non-billable means no job.
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□
    $bvb379 wrote: »
    Been trying for months.



    Not as extreme but I do document my time similar to this. I just make sure it is work related.


    Another thing you guys might like. Since I live 45 minutes away from the office, I have to deduct 45 minutes out of my day if I leave after 8 AM to go to a client even if that client is on the opposite side of town from the office. Their logic is that if I am driving after 8 AM and not coming to the office first I am technically "not working." A lot of our clients can't meet until 9 AM or after so let's say I work a whole normal day. With this logic, I technically only have 7.15 hours out of 8.00. It has become maddening.
    This is what happens when the bean counters are in charge, instead of the engineers.

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  • goatamagoatama Member Posts: 181
    $bvb379 wrote: »
    Their logic is that if I am driving after 8 AM and not coming to the office first I am technically "not working."

    Except if you were in a car accident you are on company business and thus on company time. If you're hourly they can get in a whole crapton of trouble for doing that. Depending on how infuriating this is, it may be worth a call to the labor board. Anonymously, if you will. icon_lol.gif
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  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 1,000 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The smallest block of time I've evee had to track was 15 minutes. I don't think I could track things on a minutely basis. I would be tempted to keep track of the time it takes to keep track of my time and includw that on my timesheet.

    As far as not being compensated while driving to a customer's site, this gets really complicated. As a general rule of thumb, any time spent traveling between job sites after the first job site is compensable time, even if it's not billable for the employer, so the person who posted earlier about his/her landscaping job was definitely getting shafted by their boss/owner of the company.

    As far as going to a client's site first instead of your work place first, I think your employer might be breaking some labor laws by not paying you that time. You might want to look into the Department of Labor's guides and your own state's labor website to find out if they are screwing you over.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I have had to do this in the past but it was usually a temporary thing.

    I had one guy bill 32 hours per week for "backing up the AD database, checking replication, etc" for a company with one site and 5 or so domain controllers. He is currently unemployed.
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  • shochanshochan Member Posts: 968 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Friend of mine was a paralegal when they put down to the minute billing in place. Eventually they all started detailing their bathroom breaks and the number of squares of TP used. They relaxed a bit on the required documentation after that.

    LMAO!
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  • blatiniblatini Member Posts: 285
    My company is moving towards this. I have mixed feelings but honestly will only care if they over leverage it to make choices regarding the team
  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Document something that took 10 minutes in explicit detail. Enough detail it takes over an hour to document it. Then document it took over an hour to document that 10 minutes of your day. icon_lol.gif
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