Everyone knows the 3 secrets of real estate: location, location, location. Well, 3 is the magic number in business too. Three little words: time, time and time again. Because time, as every business owner knows, is money.

The first secret is simple. Old school time management is vital, but when employers are still getting their staff to fill in paper forms and schedules with pen or pencil, time surely is a-wasting. An important scheduling update written on a sticky note is as good as lost.

Nor does the company’s server need to do all the work. When a business uses online timecard software, for instance, it’s no biggie if there’s a power outage or the server’s down, because the cloud’s still up.

These days, businesses need to know they’re using company time effectively. If time is running out, a great way to get it to stick around a bit longer is to get time tracking software. Tracking employees’ time is easy with the right software.

The second secret is how to deal with those time vampires. They suck the life out of everyone’s work day. Social media, email, those addictive little apps that take attention away from the task in hand, there’s online software to track and limit the amount of time spent on these. Companies who employ someone with a time-thief habit can even set social media pages to dump them off after a pre-set limit.

Email is an especially thirsty little time vampire. Often, several staff spend time reading, rereading and even replying to the same emails. Newsletters or information emails contain maybe a couple of bits of information that might be useful. So no one deletes them and they sit in the inbox like a big old goblin, waiting to gobble up time.

Time tracking software is a good way to see how big the problem is, and to evaluate the effective solutions that are out there. There is software for sophisticated filtering and even for ‘digesting’ newsletters.

Secret number three is that the future’s already here. The increasing trend toward working from home means that work patterns are changing. Many businesses allow staff to work from home all or some of the time but managers worry about how much time is really being spent on the job.

Research shows that staff working from home often put in more hours, they just spread it over a longer time frame. This raises a different red flag for management. Best practice tells them to make sure staff have a good work life balance. Online time tracking software is ideal for making sure staff are putting in the hours, but also taking time off.

Time can be on anyone’s side – it’s just a matter of managing it.