Tracking time

How we work

A paramount aspect of our work is our ability to make good use of the time we spend at the office. Measuring time is essential in order to spend it efficiently.

Everyday you're expected to track time in two ways:

  • hours of presence at the office;
  • hours of work on projects.

Hours of presence

Your contract includes the number of hours you are expected to be in the office during a regular work day. Of course, because some of us work remotely, "hours at the office" really means "hours spent working", including small pauses, like it would in a physical office. If you work full-time, you are expected to have 8 hours/day of presence.

During this time we expect you to be physically in the office if you chose to work from the office, or in front of your computer if you chose to work remotely.

With that said, you have full flexibility when it comes to when you work. For instance, you could:

  • start at 10am, have lunch from 1pm to 2pm and stop working at 7pm, or
  • start working at 9am, have lunch 1pm to 2:30pm and stop working at 6:30pm.

You're expected to track time at the office by using Factorial. When your workday starts make sure you have the Factorial timer running - you can start it from the web app, mobile app or Slack integration. When your workday is over or when you take long breaks (i.e. lunch), make sure you stop the timer.

The timesheet on Factorial will be used at the end of the month to compute the amount of hours you worked - depending on the amount you will either be paid for overtime or you will get a few hours detracted as Paid Time Off.

Even if tracking daily hours of presence is automatic and happens through Factorial, you are still required to manually request full days of Paid Time Off (PTO). This helps everyone at Nebulab understanding when you're away for more than a few hours.

Hours of work

These are the hours you actually spend on work tasks and are tracked via Harvest. Keep in mind that Harvest is NOT a tool for controlling employees. We use it in order to be 100% transparent towards our clients and to improve our time management skills. If you are worried about it, reach out to your mentor and they will be able to answer all of your questions!

Our Harvest account is setup with various projects and each project has several subtasks. Generally speaking, each client project gets its own project in Harvest and has tasks for Software Development, Project Management and so on. All of these tasks are billable, meaning any time you track will show up in the client's invoice at the end of the month. This means we need to be extra careful not to bill any time we don't spend working for a client.

Unfortunately, the line between billable and non-billable time is not always clear and, as each project is unique, there is no universal rule we can set. We trust you to make the right decisions in accordance with our values. Here are some helpful hints:

We consider this time to be billable:

  • time spent working directly for the client;
  • time spent pairing with another developer on the project;
  • time spent communicating about work done for the client;
  • time spent studying resources we need to work for the client.

On the other hand, we do not consider this time to be billable:

  • time spent studying generic resources not specific to the client's project (e.g. if you're a junior developer and are reading about MVC, we don't want the client to pay for this);
  • time spent waiting the client to reply (but, if you're constantly blocked by the client, you should reach out to your mentor).

Also remember: multi-tasking is the enemy of time management. Not only does it actually slow you down instead of speeding you up, it also makes it virtually impossible to track time accurately. If you are struggling with multi-tasking or tracking time accurately, reach out to your mentor.

Internal projects

In addition to client projects, Harvest also has two more for internal purposes, that are:

  • Solidus - given the size and complexity of the Solidus ecosystem, we track time just like any other client project.
  • Investment Time - this includes everything growth and learning related. The main reason for tracking this is to keep track of the yearly Investment Time budget.