Overtime hours is a relatively simple KPI to calculate and monitor: you simply look at the overtime hours being used by your back-office staff and technicians. You generally want this number to be lower for two reasons:

  • More overtime is typically more cost that you need to pay out
  • If your employees are registering a lot of overtime, there is a concern around their productivity in terms of getting jobs done during established working hours 

This is a tricky KPI in the hands of novice managers, because a less experienced (or ‘not good’) manager might tell the technician, “You need to take less overtime!” While that is potentially a solution, it does not really get to the heart of the issue at hand: Why is that employee taking so much overtime?


This is the key factor around this KPI: you want to determine which clients are creating the most overtime, but also which employees and technicians are putting the most overtime on their timesheets. This can give you some broad ideas around:

  • Demands/responsibilities people are feeling
  • Workload/workflow
  • Productivity measures
  • Effectiveness of work style

Oftentimes, the belief when employees put a lot of overtime on their pay sheets can be “They are trying to get extra money from us!” In some cases, that might be true. In reality, it is usually a combination of the four bullet points above. There are typically issues around client demands, workload, technician/employee productivity, and effectiveness of work.

Because there is a lot to be done in a given day, FSOs often begin days by diving head-first into tasks or client needs. When there is not a lot of thought given to who is doing what and how or where they need to be doing it, these overtime issues can result. 

So your bottom line here is simple: look at this KPI less about accountability and cost measurement and more about what it tells you about your organizational productivity and workflow.

We put together an eBook on eight important real-time field service KPIs to track and why they are important and relevant to your business. If you are a younger FSO or generally new to using data and analytics, this is a good eBook for you to check out. It will provide a solid framework of what to consider tracking and why. You can download it now.


Written by Shloma Baum