How To Convert Decimal Hours To Hours And Minutes

Its Decimal Hours VS Hours:Minutes

We talk with customers everyday who are confused about decimal hours(e.g. 4.25)and hours/minutes (e.g. 4:15).  Here we go into the math on performing the decimal to hours/minutes conversion and the reasons why you one would want to do the conversion at all.

Kind of a big thing if you work with employee hours for payroll!

Spoiler

There is an awsome hours converter link at the bottom of this page, or just click here

The big thing to look for is a decimal point(.) or colon(:)

So our time cards page displays employee hours in the decimal hours format. Decimal hours can sometimes cause a bit of confusion for people who are used to looking at hours in the hh:mm format.  Here are a few examples of decimal hours and how to interpret them…

  • 8.00 hours - this is exactly 8 hours OR 8:00 in the hh:mm format - note colon, not a decimal point
  • 8.25 hours - this is 8 and 1/4 hours, or 8 hours and 15 minutes OR 8:15 (hh:mm again), again note the colon
  • 8.50 hours - here we have 8 and ½ hours or 8 hours and 30 minutes. OR 8:30
  • 8.75 hours - 8 hours and 45 minutes OR 8:45

Here are a few which are commonly confused.

  • 8.20 hours - you may want to read this as 8 hours and 20 minutes, but notice the decimal point, it is actually 8 hours and 12 minutes
  • 8.45 hours - this one is 8 hours and 27 minutes

Why use decimal hours? We use decimal hours for two reasons…


They are more precise - decimal hours are almost 2 times more precise than minute hours.  Minute hours have a maximum of 1/60 resolution, while decimal hours have a 1/100 resolution. Kinda technical, sorry.
Decimal hours are easier to work with - Imagine trying to multiply 8:12 (which is 8 hours and 12 minutes) by an employee hourly rate.  It’s much easier to multiply 8.20(or 8 hours and 12 minutes)  by an hourly rate to calculate payroll.

A Bit Of Time Clock History


While we could not find  a lot of data on why the hh:mm format lasted so long we do have a few ideas…

  • The very first time clocks were people.  A person would simply write down when an employee got to work and when they went left work.  What would they write down?  Times such as 8:00am and 5:00pm. To calculate worked time, a payroll person would figure hours and minutes worked, but would then convert to decimal hours to do the multiplication.
  • The next time clocks were the old school wall mounted punch clocks.  An employee would insert their punch card and what would be “punched” on it, again a time in the hh:mm format. And again a payroll person would convert to decimal hours.
  • So what came next, computer based punching.  The early computer systems simply mimicked their predecessors.  The hh:mm addition persisted, and at the very end the hh:mm format would be converted to decimal hours for payroll.

So why the big ole hairy article?  

We wanted to tell you that we built a nice converter for you, here it is...

 

Minutes To Hours Calculator

 

a thought From Howard on 6/27/2020 ...
How do you convert 7.2 hours to get 8 hours? I need to know A S.A.P for work. Reason being is that I have to use comp time and I need to figure howong for I have to work in order to make it total 8 hours, if that makes sense
reply from OTC - Hi Howard! Thanks for reaching out. Check out our Decimal Hours Calculator that will conveniently help provide you with decimal hours. Please let us know what you think. Have a great day!
a thought From Kaya on 12/5/2018 ...
It would be really nice if it explained how to do the manual maths to make decimal time into a normal time, other than that this is really helpful
reply from OTC - Hi Kaya, We will be more than happy to show you how to do a manual math example if you would like to provide one :)
a thought From Réjean Mayer on 11/27/2018 ...
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is such a great way to learn the decimals. I love to cook, so conversions are always necessary! This Canadian is extremely happy to learn this new and easy way! They need to teach it this way in schools!
reply from OTC - Hello Rejean! Wow, this is great to hear! We love when we have the opportunity to help someone, and it seems like this blog did! Have a great day :)
a thought From sharon on 9/23/2018 ...
thank you for this explanation... I was breaking my head when I saw a question about this in my maths textbook and after I discovered your website I understood everything really well. Nice explanation, thank you!
reply from OTC - Hi Sharon, I'm happy we could help! ~Dean
a thought From SANDRA on 8/2/2018 ...
great. But how do you convert decimal hours to hours and minutes manually? could you help with a formula like that for excel?
reply from OTC - Hi Sandra, here is a link on how to manually calculate decimal to hours and minutes - Converter. For the excel decimal to hh:mm conversion, check out ExcelJet
a thought From crayziechick2 on 6/24/2018 ...
So glad I came across this site. The converter made it so much easier to understand my pay hours and with figuring out my hours and minutes I worked for the week. Thank you for the chart and use of.
reply from OTC - Your very welcome! Let us know if you have any suggestions!
a thought From Aileen on 6/18/2018 ...
Hi this is great, would it be possible to have the formula to use in excel please as I have a whole list to convert? Many thanks Aileen
reply from OTC - This is a great idea, possibly we can add this functionality.
a thought From Rina on 3/13/2018 ...
How many minutes is 3.15?
reply from OTC - Hi Rina, if your asking hour many minutes is 3.15 hours, then it would be 3 hours and 9 minutes. I hope this helps~Dean
a thought From hello on 3/4/2018 ...
i love this
reply from OTC - Were glad to hear that!
a thought From Srinivas on 2/25/2018 ...
4.45am to 9.15am How to calculate duration
reply from OTC - Hi, you could use our time card calculator - Time Card Calculator
a thought From Lucy Stastny on 12/23/2017 ...
This is very helpful to me and I appreciate understanding the computations. I this past year, the privately owned grocery store was bought by one of the largest grocery retailers in the midwest. The time clock system has now changed to the computer based punching. Now that I know how the conversion works, I can keep clear records for myself. Merry Christmas to you.
reply from OTC - Hi Lucy, I am happy to hear you are using our convertor, if you would like to see other tools please let us know!. Thanks ~Dean

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