Time sheets are often used to keep track of an employee’s working hours. A time sheet includes the days of the work week and the hours worked each day, beginning with the start time, then lunch/break time, and ending with the finish time. Depending on the job, organization or company, time sheets are usually calculated at the end of a pay period or the end of a work week.

Things You Will Need
  • Calculator

  • Definition of a work day/work week

  • Pay rate

The Basic Calculation

Step 1.

Begin by determining the start time of the work day. For example, enter an 8:00 a.m. start time. If using an electronic calculating tool, you may be given the option to enter or select the time from a drop-down menu.

Step 2.

Determine any breaks or lunch periods for the day and enter that time. For example, enter a start time of 12 p.m. and end time of 1 p.m. for a lunch break. Then enter the finish time for the day, for example, 5 p.m.

Step 3.

Determine the total hours worked for the day. According to the hours stated above, the employee worked 8 hours for the day.

Step 4.

Calculate the wages earned for the day by multiplying the total number of hours worked by the hourly pay rate. Repeat the calculating process for each day worked for that work week.

Step 5.

Check your work before submitting the time sheet.

Using Various Tools

Step 1.

Learn the basic calculation of a time sheet by hand.

Step 2.

Try using an electronic time sheet. Once you understand the basic calculation or formula for a time sheet, you can increase your speed and accuracy by using electronic time sheets (see Resources). Most allow the user to select each time worked for every day of the work week, in addition to the total hours worked and pay rate. After all of the needed entries are made and reviewed for errors, submit the time sheet for processing.

Step 3.

Calculate multiple time sheets for a business or project by using software applications (see Resources). Multiple Time Sheets (MTS) is a web application used to manage and calculate multiple time sheets. The benefits of using such software is to reduce labor costs and promote time efficiency and time management of multiple projects in one central location. The MTS application also helps employers keep track of their employees hours and expenses.

Step 4.

Create separate projects, with each job or project distinctively labeled, if using MTS or other software application. The application makes it easier to keep track of billable hours and hours work with each company or project.


Make sure that time sheet entries are complete.

Follow through with the time sheet submission process.


Never use a time sheet tool that is not authorized by your company or organization.