Business Math Series: How to Convert Minutes to Decimals and Decimals to Minutes

Decimals by Dave BleasdaleTime can be expressed either as fractions, decimals, or as minutes and hours. In order to calculate payroll, minutes need to be converted to decimals so that they can be multiplied by an employee’s pay rate.

If you’re calculating hours at home, you’ll want to convert minutes into decimals. If you’re using the software, you’ll see decimals and might want to convert them back to minutes (although we do that for you on the time cards). People like to convert back to minutes because that is the way we’re used to thinking about time.

Don’t fret. It is one of the easier business calculations.

Converting from decimals to minutes
To convert time expressed in decimals back to minutes you will simply take the decimal portion of the number, i.e. just the digits to the right of the decimal point, and multiply it by 60 (for how many minutes there are in an hour).

For example, if you have 1.45 hours, then take .45X60. This gives you 27. So 1.45 hours is the same as 1 hour and 27 minutes.

That’s it!

Converting from minutes to decimals
Going back to decimal form is just as simple. For 1 hour and 35 minutes, you will simply divide the minutes by 60, In this case divide 35 by 60, i.e. 35/60. Back in decimal form, 1 hour and 35 minutes is the same as 1.58.

Easy peasy once you know how!

As a fraction just for fun
If, for some reason, you want to see what this looks like represented as a fraction, you can easily do that too.

First, convert your minutes and hours to decimal form. Let’s use our last example. 1 hour and 35 minutes is represented as 1.58 in decimal form. As a fraction you have 1 and 58/100 – since you have one whole and 58 pieces of a whole. Of course we can reduce that fraction by dividing both numerator and denominator by their greatest common factor, 2 in this case, to get 29/50. So 1 hour and 35 minutes is the same as 1 and 29/50.

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