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Some managers love ithybrid radiationOthers hate it too, but the reality is that it will stay. Even before the global pandemic made it a necessity, many companies were already trying to enable remote work for some of their employees, even a few days a week.
However, the hybrid work model creates challenges for managers. More importantly, it leaves them at a loss when it comes to understanding the productivity of their employees. They lack the perspective they would have if employees were working locally, including not only how much work they are doing, but also the quality of the work and the reasons for any changes.
Hybrid work gives employees more freedom to manage their workday as they see fit, which many employees see as an advantage. However, some employees struggle with this self-directed model and find it difficult to manage their time. Others suffer from burnout because the line between home and office is blurred.
Employee tracking systems are one tool to address these issues and they are still evolving. In the age of the pandemic, solutions that have traditionally focused on monitoring employee activity, logging suspicious behavior, and detecting potential insider threats are now focused not only on monitoring productivity, but also on monitoring health and wellness, and even improve employee engagement.
With that in mind, it's the best employee tracking software we've tested. Check out our top picks, plus everything you need to know about choosing the right software for your needs.
Deeper Dive: Our Most Tested Picks
the best overall
Teramind's extensive tracking feature can record all user activities. This ranges from screen recording, live viewing of employee computers, email and keystroke tracking to Zoom sessions, all of which earned our Editors' Choice for employee tracking.
- A complete set of monitoring tools
- Intuitive user interface and control panel
- Unique viewing of live sessions and video recording
- Keystroke tracking
- Versatile deployment in the cloud or on-premises
- Respect for privacy and access control
- Deep monitoring features can be tricky
el cerebro de noriat
Best for detecting complex threats
Veriato Cerebral provides powerful employee tracking and engagement features and AI-powered data collection to not only track employee activity, but also help mitigate potential insider threats.
- Unparalleled insight into employee activities and communication.
- A useful risk assessment dashboard detects different types of threats
- Powerful security alerts for insider threat detection
- Measure and analyze employee engagement
- A robust combination of monitoring and analytics in a single interface
- It can be expensive for larger teams.
- Large data files can take up space
- Remote and hidden installation is a challenge
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Best for surveillance, activity tracking, scoring
Attractive pricing and an efficient user interface make ActivTrak a robust employee tracking and analytics tool focused on employee productivity. The enhanced opportunities around remote workers make it a good tool to watch during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Fast and intuitive user interface
- Easy agent installation
- Can recognize the most used apps and websites
- Track productivity at the project level
- Monitoring findings can be used to improve employee training
- Requires settings to define user and group productivity metrics
- No OCR to search for keywords in screenshots
- No keystroke logging
- Dashboard widgets cannot be customized
The best solution for distributed employees of small and medium businesses
Being a cloud service, Controlio's employee tracking solution is affordable and scalable. It is also capable of monitoring all aspects of employee activity taking into account productivity and potential risks.
- Accurate employee tracking focused on productivity
- Track productive and disruptive activities
- Evaluation of the productivity of users and departments
- multiscreen videos
- Synchronize keystroke logging with video recordings
- Video recording has no AI or OCR features
- There is no universal search function.
Best for tracking time with tracking
While Hubstaff is best known as a time tracking tool, it has a strong complement of employee tracking features, including keystroke logging, URL and app tracking, GPS and location tracking, and more.
- Record and monitor screenshots and keystrokes
- Performance monitoring features for remote workers
- Characteristics of the workplace and geolocation.
- Easy shift scheduling for employees
- No advanced tracking
- Stopwatch requires another desktop app
- Informing is key
The best solution for widely dispersed employees
With an enhanced user interface and a variety of employee performance monitoring features, InterGuard turns data into actionable insights and offers a host of proactive alerts for larger businesses, especially those currently focused on remote management of the workforce.
- A wide range of additional modules and functions
- Updated interface is more intuitive
- Convenient search function
- Ability to block endpoints
- Excellent automation of reports and notifications
- The requirement to have more than 10 licenses could scare off smaller SMEs
- Modules can be added quickly
Best for business tracking
StaffCop Enterprise is an accurate employee tracking solution with a rich selection of tools. It provides powerful monitoring, data collection, and reporting, though it still requires on-site installation.
- Comprehensive on-site monitoring
- Powerful reports and data visualizations
- Audio, video, desktop remote control
- The possibility of recording with a webcam
- OCR function for screenshots and documents
- very adaptable
- full reports
- Deprecated multi-step client and server configuration in place
- Not designed for remote or distributed workers
- There is no cloud-based administration interface
- No mobile app integration
Best for activity and time tracking
VeriClock is a well-equipped time tracking and employee monitoring tool, aimed squarely at small and medium-sized businesses. You may not be crazy about the UI, but it will work as advertised.
- Perfect for managing remote workers
- Affordable prices
- Versatile clock in options via mobile, SMS or telephone
- A good combination of time tracking and geolocation.
- The user interface is empty.
- Mobile app brings some features to the browser window
Best for managing activities and tasks.
DeskTime Pro's excellent time tracking features make it cost-effective for SMBs that also need basic employee tracking. The calendar and billing features add a lot of value to the platform, which is also easy to set up and use.
- Automatic time tracking
- billing function
- calendar function
- URL, Application and Document Tracking
- Private time for employees.
- Project and task management
- limited reports
- XLS export only; Missing CSV file
- There is no shift time
DeskTime Pro Review
Best for employee privacy
Affordable, versatile and designed to empower employees and managers, Workpuls provides SMEs with a wide range of time and performance tracking tools, as well as basic reporting.
- Modern and intuitive user interface
- Favorable prices for small and medium-sized companies.
- Employee Desk app puts control in the hands of employees
- Focused on remote work and group productivity
- Basic functionality of the Kanban board
- Cloud and on-premises installation options
- Mail reports need to be more flexible
- Testing and configuration require consultation and demonstration
- No mobile apps
Buyer's Guide: The Best Employee Tracking Software of 2023
Advantages and Disadvantages of Employee Monitoring
For most of us, the idea of someone else monitoring your computer use is sickening at best. We value our privacy, and that includes our computers and devices. However, our expectations for privacy in the workplace should be different than in our personal lives. Whether we work at our employer's premises or remotely, we generally do not own the equipment we use or the data that passes through our desktop computers. As such, many employers will have compelling or even compelling reasons to monitor how we use these resources throughout the day.
One reason is to measure productivity. Managers do not have the same perception of how a distributed workforce spends its time as when all employees are centrally located. The same is true when the workforce is very large and turnover is high, such as in a call center. Keeping up with productivity has become an even greater challenge since the pandemic, as many remote workers now have to juggle their nine-to-five hours with half a dozen other personal tasks, like babysitting or cooking family meals. . Working from home challenges the existing productivity tracking framework, which means tracking tools need to be rotated as well. Using tracking tools to record the time employees spend on specific tasks can give managers insight not only into individual employee performance, but also how current business processes are meeting company goals.
Sometimes this type of activity tracking can also catch bad behavior. Traditional security measures, such as firewalls, protect well against Internet attacks. However, they are less effective against insider threats when an employee has access to systems but uses that access in a way that violates company policies. In these cases, a detailed activity log can become important forensic evidence for disciplinary action or (in the worst case) prosecution.
Serious employee misconduct often involves the mishandling of confidential information. This can mean trade secrets, but it can also mean certain kinds of data that are protected by government regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, or the EU.DEMONSTRATION. Employee tracking systems can help provide the information needed for a compliance audit. The most sophisticated systems can even scan outgoing files, emails and employee chats and flag or block messages that appear to violate the rules before they are sent. Such measures can be invaluable in preventing big data breaches.
However, it's also important to consider the downsides of employee tracking. Employers should carefully consider the scope and degree of supervision they wish to implement. As mentioned above, many employees may feel uncomfortable being watched. A paranoid atmosphere in the workplace can contribute to low morale, which can lead to staff turnover.
It should also be noted that performance monitoring efforts can sometimes backfire, producing the opposite of what was intended. Employees who know they are being tested against productivity limits may develop a pattern of trying to cheat the system by spending time on apps and websites where they believe it is expected, rather than on activities that materially benefit the company. Similarly, managers tasked with reviewing large amounts of employee monitoring data may spend excessive time doing so, even if the reports show few problem areas.
Finally, employers should pay special attention to the potential legal and ethical implications of employee tracking. Several products we've tested allow you to install surveillance features on employees' computers without their knowledge and in a way that avoids detection, but that doesn't mean you should. This type of surveillance is not only the most invasive form of surveillance, but it can also leave you vulnerable to breaches in various jurisdictions. Countries, states and provinces and even cities will have their own opinion on this, so proceed with caution.
What does employee tracking software do?
Employee tracking systems go beyond the brandtime trackingcheck-in and check-out functionality and cargo management. While some of the service providers in this roundup are basically player trackers that have added nifty tracking features like keystroke logging, location tracking, and screenshots, others offer in-depth monitoring platforms that track all activity. of the employees. Especially for large corporations budgeting thousandsshift workersin settings for examplecall center, employee monitoring agents installed on company machines provide these companies with complete visibility and traceability of their operations.
Employee monitoring agents also collect key data on employee performance. To start tracking your productivity, you typically divide your apps and websites into productive and non-productive categories. Next, you'll discuss the expected productivity of each team, department, or individual employee. Productivity evaluation algorithms allow you to compare people with their past performance, as well as with the performance of their peers. This data has less to do with disciplining employees and more to do with helping teams correct course and stay productive.
Personalization and user pooling are important here because an application that is considered productive for one function may be considered unproductive for another. For example,social mediamanagers spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter because it's the core of their role, whereas a sales manager who spends many hours a day on LinkedIn or other social media should raise a red flag. Automation and the ability to set email reminders and alerts are also effective ways to manage a large distributed workforce.
Some products can also aggregate real-time macro-level activity data to display on administrator and manager dashboards. It is also possible to build detailed reports to break down different performance metrics. For example, you can analyze data using factors such as the most productive or least productive employees, or compare the performance or productivity of a team or department on specific projects.
Employee tracking tools often provide a quick overviewdata visualization. Examples might include a productivity bar that breaks down the percentages of productive and unproductive applications, or lists and leaderboards that show active or inactive users or the most used applications. Many of the solutions we tested can also track and record which websites or services employees spend the most time on and which are underutilized.
Another aspect of activity tracking is keystroke tracking, which provides a benchmark for employee activity. Once you have data on how often employees are typing or interacting with their machines, you can map it to the correct factors to complete a comprehensive profile of their online activities. Examples of factors might include screenshots, activity logs, audit trails, and other deeper tracking vectors that we'll explore later.
Some of the most powerful monitoring tools we've tested can take raw keystroke data—that is, a temporal map of system keys being pressed by users at any given time—and compare it to any other metrics or activity logged. .DanishHarvested. Additionally, newer tools like Controlio can add keystrokes and sync them with video recordings for a more accurate representation of employee activity. As a result, you can see the full context of what employees did and when, and draw insights about why they did it. This level of insight is unparalleled for companies that need to collect forensic evidence, such as a regulatory compliance audit.
Surveillance systems are getting smarter
Today's employee tracking systems use new technologies such as geolocation, keystroke logging, screenshots, video recording, and even access to cameras installed on remote computers. Enabling cloud computing means you can capture terabytes of that data and store it online where administrators can easily access it. More importantly, this data isn't just sitting idle. Pattern-matching algorithms can scan them to predict insider threats, measure individual and team productivity, and trace the steps that led to problems or data breaches.
The most powerful employee tracking tools can act as an all-seeing eye. They provide information on everything from the apps an employee has opened to who they're talking to and what they're saying. They can also use automated logic, such as keyword triggers and policy rules, to tell administrators when employees are doing things they shouldn't be doing. They can often do this by running the anonymous process as a hidden process, so employees don't necessarily know when they're being monitored.
Screenshots and screen recording are among the most popular monitoring tools. Administrators can usually configure policies and settings to take screenshots at specific intervals, such as once an hour, every 15 minutes, or even every 10 seconds or less. Some tools also support live screenshots or continuous video recording, allowing managers to check in live on employee computers or view a timed recording.
Some monitoring systems store screenshots along with relevant metadata. They can be included in a dashboard where administrators can use them as additional information about any user activity or data point they are reviewing or investigating.
The latest surveillance technologies.
EfficientLab, which makes the on-site monitoring solution Work Examiner, has a more compelling cloud-based solution at Controli that combines performance appraisal with in-depth employee monitoring. Controlio represents a new way of thinking in the segment and even offers real-time video recording and synchronized live streaming with keystroke tracking.
Video recording is another frontier already offered by companies like Teramind, StaffCop Enterprise and Controlio. Access to live or recorded video gives you the most accurate forensic evidence, not to mention the ability to quickly search, view, and even use OCR technology to get every detail of videotaped documents.
Teramind Editor's Choice takes video recording to a whole new level by enabling Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that can scan video files. This means you can recognize text on the screen and in documents and enable video searches using that data. Local service provider StaffCop Enterprise also offers OCR for screenshots and documents.
Adding these kinds of live streaming and video recording features allows these offerings to surpass what was found in older solutions that focused primarily on screenshots. The new generation offers companies complete control of employee activities, which is likely to become the norm for the growing category.
Beyond the images themselves, these tracking platforms can provide an amazing degree of visibility into any app, file, message, and evenIncreasecall. Through the use of OCR, in-depth monitoring can provide much more information about how employees use computers or specific web applications.
More sophisticated employee monitoring tools can also analyze emails, chats, instant messages (IM), and other personal orteam communicationApplications Will keep track of any parameters or keywords set by administrators. Truly innovative solutions can even detect credit card numbers and other sensitive data in screenshots and videos and automatically trigger an alert.
This deep tracking also applies to document tracking and file name scanning. The software can often capture the document or attachment so that the administrator can view it. For example, suppose a company's management wants to know whether employees talk internally about the CEO or the CTO. In this case, they can set up automatic keyword triggers and receive automatic email notifications or reports.
Policies can often be set to prevent employees from sending corporate data through personal channels, downloading applications or files not approved by IT, or even accessing USB drives from corporate computers. Not all platforms provide this level of automation, but those that do can alert the user to stop, or simply notify an administrator, or update the audit log.
Weigh the perspectives of employees
As mentioned above, not all of these will sit well with the employees you plan to supervise. Clear and full engagement means you'll know exactly what your employees are doing during working hours and how well they're doing it. But the desire for this level of insight must be balanced with your fears. The pandemic has had a huge impact on employee morale and motivation, so much so that many do.to look for a new jobor even the total withdrawal from the labor market. The sudden introduction of a Big Brother-style environment to an already stressed workforce could be a blow.
In fact, the challenges of monitoring employees lie primarily in the human side of the process, with objections raised by both employees and managers. Many employees will be concerned when they hear that surveillance software has been installed on their computers or, even worse, when they discover it. Managers, on the other hand, only have a certain number of hours to look at hundreds, if not thousands, of screenshots of their subordinates' work days.
While some companies will have a legitimate need to monitor without the knowledge of their employees, we recommend that most organizations do not take this approach. Arguing in a forum about why you need to monitor can be embarrassing, but it's nothing compared to the backlash you'll get if you're caught monitoring people without their consent. Such covert tracking could even get you into legal trouble in some jurisdictions.
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Open communication is certainly a better solution. Understanding how your employees spend their time is something you've already done while they were in the office, so it makes sense that you'd want to do it now that they're working remotely. This shouldn't be hard to explain even to skeptical employees.
And while the deep surveillance capabilities described above can be intimidating for the average worker, there's no reason to use them across your entire workforce. Limiting them to only those employees who regularly access highly sensitive data or applications is probably all that's needed, and that's a scenario these employees are likely to understand.
size and security
Two important criteria to consider before launching one of these systems are the size of the workforce you want to manage and the level of data security you need to maintain. In turn, they are related to understanding what you want to track.
Is your company investing in an employee tracking tool primarily to improve productivity and efficiency? Or maybe you really want or need a complete overview of everything your employees do during their working hours in the company, down to the smallest detail? The answers to these questions relate to the size of the workforce, as we are talking about the potential to collect massive amounts of data in near real time. This perspective creates problems not only with storage, but also with analysis.
A tracking system that needs to scan the feeds of 200 employees for trigger URLs or keywords in real time will provide faster and more accurate results than having to do the same for 20,000 employees. And it will certainly be easier than a system tasked with looking up detailed data from 20,000 employees using OCR or video analytics.
This means that the evaluation process for each of these platforms must include all of the alerts, data collection, and analytics that you intend to use in real life. You then need to compare this to system performance to see how it compares to the actual number of employees. Only this type of analysis can give you a good idea of how much data you can collect and what type of alerts and analysis you can perform.
Once you've collected that data, you need to protect it. Employee tracking data is just as sensitive as your customers' credit card numbers or other financial documents. If a data breach occurs, hackers could gain access to everything from employees' financial information to photos of their homes and children.
This is why it is so important that IT administrators build an accurate data lifecycle map for that information and ensure that both the organization and the monitoring service provider have the appropriate security measures in place. At a minimum, you should include access control not only for administrators, but also for third-party applications (such as analytics tools), with at least one layer of encryption.
Ask your legal team for guidance on security issues. Different states and municipalities have different guidelines and even different definitions of what exactly constitutes surveillance and how far it can legally go. This discussion is not only about what can be recorded, but also what types of analysis can be done with that data and how it should be stored. These decisions have become even more complex since the pandemic, as your employees are likely spread over a much wider geographic area than when they all reported to headquarters.
In general, you should carefully consider the needs of your organization and the value you want to gain from implementing an employee tracking solution. Next, you should choose a tracking tool based not just on what it can do, but also on how you'll use it and how much knowledge your employees will have about the process.
There are compelling arguments about the value of an employee's time and effort, and the new reality of remote work has made it even more important. It is now difficult for managers to determine and monitor the productivity of their employees, especially now that a distributed workforce means more flexible and uneven work schedules.
However, teams must still work toward common goals, and if you're a manager, you're expected to give employees a degree of freedom to decide how best to do their jobs. With this in mind, organizational tools and systems become essential for distributed teams that no longer work within an established office culture. Careful planning can ensure that these tools are useful.Human Resources(HR), except the control motor.
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- Teramind: Best for cyber protection.
- SentryPC: Best for low-budget businesses.
- ActivTrak: Best for robust free plan.
- DeskTime: Best for task management.
- Controlio: Best for video recording.
- Insightful: Best for promoting transparency.
- Hubstaff: Best for employee time tracking.
|Company||Forbes Advisor Rating||Starting price|
|Teramind||4.9||$10 per seat, per month (minimum of five users)|
|ActivTrak||4.8||Free; $10 per month (minimum five users), per user|
|DeskTime||4.4||$7 per month, per user|
|Controlio||4.2||$7.99 per user, per month|
The top alternatives for Veriato 360 employee-monitoring tool are TouchStone with 33.11%, Time Doctor with 11.31%, Hubstaff with 6.83% market share.How do I track employee computer activity? ›
One way to monitor computer activity is through keyloggers. A keylogger is a program that records every keystroke made on a computer. This can be useful for monitoring employee performance or for keeping an eye on what people are doing online.What is the best way to track employee performance? ›
- Watch employees work. One of the most effective ways to monitor an employee's performance is with your own eyes. ...
- Ask for an account. ...
- Help employees use self-monitoring tools. ...
- Review work in progress on a regular basis. ...
- Ask around a little.
Microsoft Teams Productivity Score gives you data-driven reports on: Number of messages your employees send or receive. Calls your employees make. Team Meetings and video conferencing calls.Do employers really use ATS? ›
Employers receive hundreds of resumes for every job opening. An ATS is a computer software program that simplifies and speeds up the hiring process. Over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS while 66% of large companies and 35% of small organizations rely on them.Can my employer see me through the camera on my laptop? ›
Can my employer monitor me from a work computer through a built-in camera? A: YES, your employer can monitor you from a workplace computer through a built-in camera. To do this, special monitoring software has to be installed on your computer. Although this is not a common practice, some employers in the US do this.What ATS systems do recruiters use? ›
- BambooHR. BambooHR provides solutions ideal for small and midsize businesses. ...
- Bullhorn. Bullhorn is primarily a cloud-based recruitment software tool that is best suited for staffing and recruitment processes. ...
- Greenhouse. ...
- IBM Kenexa BrassRing. ...
- iCIMS. ...
- Jobvite. ...
- Oracle Taleo. ...
Veriato 360 uploads data every 4 minutes. With an active Veriato 360 license, if someone is actively using the computer the Recorder uploads data for investigation and reporting in the Dashboard. Uploaded data is deleted from the client computer.
Find the computer in the Recording| Manage Computers list. Check to see if the Recorder is still "Installed" and "Recording" on the computer. Restart the computer. If no one is using the computer, restart the computer (the option below Run Diagnostics in the Control Center) to see if the Client Recorder will respond.How do I uninstall Veriato? ›
- In Windows search, type Remove Programs. ...
- Search for Veriato.
- Select Veriato Cerebral and click Uninstall.
- The Uninstall program launches. ...
- Click Continue Uninstalling.
- Wait for components to be uninstalled.
- Restart the computer to finish the uninstallation.
- 1 Creating Tasks List. ...
- 2 Using Task Management Apps. ...
- 3 Encouraging Self-reporting. ...
- 4 Using Time Tracking Software. ...
- 5 Tracking Email Activities Of Employees. ...
- 6 Implement Managerial Supervision.
If you are curious about whether your employer-provided computer is surveilling you, one way to find out is by going to your computer's task manager or activity monitor and seeing if you can spot anything.Can my employer listen to me through my work computer? ›
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “if an employer gives notice to its employees that they should have no expectation of privacy in the workplace, then it may conduct video and audio monitoring of work areas and employee conversations.” In other words, your boss can listen in on work- ...How do managers keep track of employees? ›
The majority of companies just use monitoring software to track the employees' work data, such as their working hours, how much time they're spending doing their work, whether they're spending a long time sending social media messages, and general data collection that allows them to improve the employees' workflow.How can I track my employees productivity? ›
You can use a time tracking tool to monitor each employee's productivity and time spent on remote work. Time tracking applications come with various features such as deadline setting, attendance tracking, invoicing, app integration, and reporting.How do I create a performance tracker in Excel? ›
- Open Excel and create column headers based on your requirements. ...
- Fill in the details for each task. ...
- Add a filter. ...
- Use the filter to sort and prioritize your tasks. ...
- Continue using your task tracker. ...
- Project task list template.
Microsoft Teams assist businesses in monitoring their staff. Within Teams, you can track practically anything your employees do like text discussions, recorded calls, zoom meetings, and other features.Can Office 365 track employees? ›
Most of the world's workforce uses Microsoft 365 for their daily business needs. Monitoring Microsoft 365 activities can help businesses track and analyze employee productivity to make informed business decisions.
In the Microsoft Purview (formerly called Microsoft 365 compliance center), the admin can look through everything that Microsoft has to offer, including Teams, Skype, emails, etc. The content of any private channels you formed within teams and even the direct messages you sent are accessible by the admin.Is employee monitoring software a good idea? ›
Employee monitoring helps you keep your information safe. Having this information can also be useful if you need to provide evidence as to why you're terminating an employee. Let's say an employee repeatedly comes to work late. Having a time-tracking system in place gives you a way to prove they're chronically tardy.Should you purchase employee monitoring software for your company? ›
The key benefit of employee monitoring software is that it can help your employees keep track of their time. You will also be able to ensure they are doing the job correctly and aren't wasting time. It will also help you to keep track of how much work each employee is doing.How do I monitor my employees working remotely? ›
- 1 Creating Tasks List. ...
- 2 Using Task Management Apps. ...
- 3 Encouraging Self-reporting. ...
- 4 Using Time Tracking Software. ...
- 5 Tracking Email Activities Of Employees. ...
- 6 Implement Managerial Supervision.
Surveillance. In many work environments, employers may physically visit your workstation to monitor the tasks you are performing. Video surveillance is a common method used by employers to monitor employee workstations. Strategically placed video cameras can record and archive your daily computer usage.