Automatic and objective data, in real time
Starting up a business project and doing so well that you soon have to double or even triple your staff seems like any entrepreneur’s dream. And that’s exactly what happened to SEO in House, an aSEO and online marketing agency that now has 28 employees and offices in Barcelona and Girona.
But such rapid growth is not without its problems. In fact, it multiplies them exponentially. One of them was to find a system that would allow them to improve the time management of their ever-growing team, as well as helping them to distribute tasks and projects efficiently and fairly.
“We were going crazy managing a lot of excel documents with ambiguous and unreliable data. It was chaos because we realised that what was recorded in the spreadsheets did not match the reality of the work done for the clients. The result was mistrust in the team and a lot of turnover,” recalls Raquel Vidal, Managing Director of SEO in House.”
The solution came almost four years ago, thanks to WorkMeter and its EffiWork and WorkProject software, which were perfectly adapted to the needs of this young company.
“We were looking for a tool that was not a purely control tool, but one that would provide us with relevant data to make better decisions. We liked WorkMeter’s approach right from the start because it was very focused on people. It is a tool that helps the team to do its job better”, says Raquel Vidal.
Although, as is usually the case with almost everything, the beginnings were not easy. Raquel Vidal comments that “When you make a change of management model, you have to explain it very well to avoid uncertainty among the staff. There is a process during which you gradually get to know the advantages of the system and overcome resistance. One of the good things about WorkMeter is that it has a very professional support system that trains you in the implementation and use of the tool.
SEO in House is using the complete WorkMeter solution, all three integrated software products, and is currently using it for different functionalities such as time recording, time management and productivity improvement.
Another application that has been most useful to them is the one that allows them to measure the amount of internal resources they devote to each client’s projects. “This way we know with certainty how many hours we dedicate to each one of them, we can report this time to the clients and readjust the projects based on this data”.
Raquel Vidal defines the complete WorkMeter solution as “a comprehensive tool that gives you a gale of useful, real-time data. Whether you choose the basic or the most complete function, it provides you with a lot of scientific and reliable information in a single application. We used to have a lot of tools, each one measuring a different thing, and without the rigour that WorkMeter gives us.
Another aspect that has surprised the managers of this young company is the ease with which their employees have made the application their own and use it on their own initiative for personal improvement. “At the beginning, some employees, especially those who had been using it the longest, were reluctant because they felt controlled. But now employees are using it on their own initiative to analyse and improve their own productivity. They are the ones who use the tool to organise their tasks and get reports on how they are managing their time. In this way, they avoid accumulations of work and organise themselves better”, explains Raquel Vidal.
A point for improvement? “Perhaps, to be perfect, it would be interesting to incorporate an interface that allows you to manage not only the time but also the tasks themselves, as sometimes a client may require up to 500 tasks in a single month”.
For Vidal, the tool has been 90% adapted to his needs. “Thanks to WorkMeter we have been able to implement a flexible working system in the company. We have flexible and intensive working hours, we know the productivity of our team and we have teleworkers at both sites. Improvements that, and this is the key, are backed by irrefutable data. “In the first year alone we managed to improve our productivity by 80%,” he argues.
The versatility of the tool was recently demonstrated when the company received an unexpected visit from a labour inspector who asked them about their timekeeping system under the new Workday Registration Act. WorkMeter, through its Time@Work functionality, not only allows the company to keep an accurate record of the working time of all its professionals, including those who work flexible hours or work from home, but also offers this information in real time. In fact, recalls Raquel Vidal, “we gave the inspector an excel printout of the information he required at that very moment”. Test passed!
Would you recommend WorkMeter?
Of course! Not only because the improvement in terms of productivity with the tool is brutal, but also because of their team and the service they give you. They are very responsive. As soon as you have an incident, they have solved it in less than 24 hours. I recommend it without hesitation.