There is no doubt that time tracking and employee monitoring are 2 very useful tools. But, there are cases where for some reason (and there are a lot of them) you can only opt for one of them. So the question is, if you could only pick one, which one would you choose?
Know What You Need
Even though it may seem that time tracking and employee monitoring are very similar, at the same time they are also very different. You need to pinpoint the problem you have (let’s face it, if you want to implement even one of these two tools, you must have some kind of an issue) and what’s the nature of it. Let’s say you have a number of employees who don’t do their job, spend their time on unproductive activities and overall aren’t very trustworthy. In this situation, computer snooping software is what you may need. Simply put, you need to monitor your employees, not to track their time.
In other situations, let’s say that you have a couple of freelancers that work for you remotely on a specific project. You, as the one who’s paying them, would probably like to get specific updates on how the project is progressing and what has been done so far. You can’t really monitor them since they aren’t your employees, they are freelancers and here is where client time tracking software comes useful. You can see how the project is progressing based on their time spent on certain activities and that way, you won't need to constantly ask them in person. Everything is available on your PC.
All in all, it really depends on the situation. There isn’t a specific answer here. Each business is different and something that works in one might not work for others. That’s why pinpointing your internal issue is the key.
Try Them Both
Let’s see you don’t know what you need. You’re new to the game and you aren’t very tech savvy. What you need to look for are apps that let you try them first. You won’t buy anything until you see how it works. Luckily, most free employee monitoring platforms and free time tracking software offer that. They all offer 7 or more days of trial period, where you can see all the benefits that such tools bring.
Only after that, when you see how it compliments with your business and whether it will solve a problem for you, you should opt for one of these tools.
Integrate Both of Them
Now, you might have seen this coming, but it would be best if you used both tools at the same time. And I know what you might be thinking. But I don’t need employee monitoring/time tracking at the moment. That might be true, BUT the chances are you’ll need it in the future.
As you business grows, more and more issues come with it. And, in most cases, one of these tools will be useful when a problem occurs in the future.
Plus, cloud employee monitoring software and web based employee time tracking software go hand in hand. They complement each other quite well and in most cases come as a whole package. That’s why you should find a platform that has both of them integrated and use it to prevent future issues.
So, you if you just want to pick either employee monitoring or time tracking tool, the most important part is to diagnose the issue you may have and then pick whatever you find more useful. Apart from that, the best thing that you could do for your business is to acquire both tools at the same time. In most cases, it won’t even get more expensive as many platforms have them integrated. But, that would surely be one of the best decisions you ever made.