# How to Calculate Hours Worked: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating hours worked is an essential task for managing payroll and tracking productivity. Whether you’re doing it manually or using software, it’s important to get the numbers right. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of calculating hours worked, step by step, using **decimal format** for easy and accurate payroll calculations.

## Follow These Steps to Calculate Worked Hours:

### 1. **Determine the Start and End Time**

The first step is to figure out the time an employee starts and finishes their shift. This can come from a physical timesheet, clock-in system, or even a digital app.

**Example**: An employee clocks in at **8:20 a.m.** and finishes work at **6:10 p.m.**.

### 2. **Convert Time to Military Time (24-Hour Format)**

In order to make calculations easier, convert both the start and end times into **24-hour format**. The morning times stay the same, but for times after noon, you add 12 to the hour.

**Example**:

**8:20 a.m.**remains**08:20**.**6:10 p.m.**becomes**18:10**(since 6 + 12 = 18).

### 3. **Convert Minutes to Decimals**

Now, you need to convert the minutes into decimal format. To do this, divide the number of minutes by 60. This will give you the fractional hour.

**Example**:

**08:20**represents 8 hours and 20 minutes. Divide 20 by 60 to get**0.33**. Now,**08:20**becomes**8.33**hours.**18:10**represents 18 hours and 10 minutes. Divide 10 by 60 to get**0.17**. Now,**18:10**becomes**18.17**hours.

### 4. **Subtract the Start Time from the End Time**

Next, subtract the start time from the end time to determine how many hours the employee worked.

**Example**:

**18.17**(end time) -**8.33**(start time) =**9.84**hours worked.

### 5. **Subtract Unpaid Break Time**

If the employee took any unpaid breaks, such as lunch or personal time off, subtract that from the total worked hours. Many businesses require employees to clock out for long breaks.

**Example**: The employee took a **1-hour lunch break**.

**9.84 hours**-**1 hour**=**8.84 hours**worked.

### Final Total:

The total hours worked for that day are **8.84 hours**.

## Putting It All Together

Using the steps above, you can easily calculate the total hours worked for an employee, and here’s a quick summary using the example:

**Start Time**: 08:20 → 8.33 hours**End Time**: 18:10 → 18.17 hours**Total Time Worked**: 18.17 - 8.33 = 9.84 hours**Subtract Break Time**: 9.84 - 1 = 8.84 hours worked

## Bonus: Calculating Gross Pay

Once you’ve calculated the total hours worked, you can easily determine an employee’s **gross pay** by multiplying the hours worked by their hourly wage.

**Example**:

**Hours worked**: 8.84**Hourly wage**: $15

Gross wage = 8.84 × 15 = **$132.60**

## Why Use Decimal Hours?

Converting time into **decimal hours** makes further calculations easier, especially when determining wages or comparing working hours across employees. For example, it avoids confusion when adding hours and minutes across multiple days.

By following this method, you can ensure that your calculations are accurate, and that your payroll process runs smoothly.