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Why I Hate Timecards in Consulting


In consulting, timecards are a big headache. Not only do they take time away from actual work, but it feels like someone’s always watching you. Today, I will tell you why I am not a fan of timecards.

The Pressure of Constant Monitoring

In the world of consulting, timecards give me a vibe of constant surveillance. It’s as if every hour is under scrutiny, making it feel like your company is always monitoring you.

As a result, there’s continuous pressure to justify how every moment is spent. This environment can stifle creativity. This is because the focus shifts to tracking time rather than exploring innovative solutions.

Timecards York the job into a balancing act between doing the work and proving its worth. While timecards help accountability, they inadvertently prioritize monitoring over innovation.

Administrative Burden


Timecards are an administrative task that takes time away from client work. Each minute spent on them is a minute not spent on actual consulting. 

First, they require attention to detail, which can be draining. Secondly, this process often happens weekly. This all adds up to hours lost.

We can use this time to improve our skills or develop professionally. Essentially, timecards take away time for personal growth and client-focused activities.

Quality vs. Quantity

Filling in timecards often focuses on hours worked rather than quality because it’s easier to measure. This gives a false illusion of productivity.

Time is a tangible, clear metric. It helps in billing clients accurately. But, this approach overlooks the importance of the work’s quality.

It assumes more hours mean more productivity, which isn’t always true. So, the real value of the work can get lost in just counting hours.

Impact on Team Morale and Culture

Timecard Administration

Filling out timecards can dampen team morale and work culture. This is because it often feels like micromanagement to team members.

I’ve had coworkers question my allotted time in a timecard. This can lead to a trust issue as if their word isn’t enough. It shifts focus from teamwork to individual time tracking.

Team members might compete over hours instead of collaborating. I’ve seen employees “hoard budget” all to themselves. This can create a less friendly, more transactional workplace culture.

Timecards in Consulting

All environmental consultants hope for a good work-life balance. But filling out timecards feels like a never-ending chore. Although they seem simple, they often create more problems than they solve.

Now, I’d love to hear. I’ve never met anyone who loved filling in timecards. But are you that person? Drop us a comment below.

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