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.


Conclusion


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. 


Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Sreenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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