Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
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$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
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 onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
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
Screenshots
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

Business productivity is an elusive goal that often pins managers in an endless game of optimization, inevitably leading to micromanaging. 


Rather than squeezing the tiniest morsels of speed and efficiency from your employees, there’s a better way. 


And it comes through the help of technology.


However, as we will see, technology alone won’t avoid micromanagement.

The Evils of Micromanagement


The attempt to manage every business operations detail, or helicopter management, can make employees feel stifled, overly cautious, and counterproductive. 


In fact, 85% of employees note a drop in morale when they feel like they are being micromanaged. 


A decline in morale and job satisfaction will not only dent employee productivity in the long-term, but likely lead to key employees considering other work options that offer more autonomy.


Hovering over employees looking for anything that might improve performance, no matter how small, like exact employee clock-in times and lunch breaks, can create more problems than it solves.

You may see a minor short-term uptick in productivity, but it comes at a cost. Around 55% of people said that micromanagers actually hurt their performance. 

Put simply, people don’t like feeling as though Big Brother is watching every move, or that they’re not trusted. That’s why micromanaging is among the worst managerial offenses of all.

Countering Micromanaging with Technology

Like with so many problems in our modern world, technology can be the savior when it comes to micromanaging.


Employee monitoring software, when used correctly, can reveal productivity in real-time, allowing managers to understand where they can make the most meaningful adjustments. Without having to stand over the shoulder of employees.

For example, rather than using your employee monitoring software to make employees feel rigidly tied to processes, you can highlight and reward top-performers that think outside the box to do their jobs more efficiently. 

But, tread carefully, the real-time flow of data generated by computer monitoring software can still invite overbearing management practices.


Many managers fall into the common trap of micromanagement, especially when they have data to support every minor confrontation. 


So, even with technology, micromanagement remains a risk. However, dreaded micromanaging can be avoided with the following tips...

Use Data Wisely

Data is your business’s strategic advantage, if you know how to use it properly. 

On one hand, employee tracking data can be used to support micro-optimizations and chase hard metrics at every turn. Or, data can be used to highlight patterns and trends in aggregate, helping one make more balanced and impactful decisions.

Productivity monitoring software can give you a ton of information, but the value is completely in the analysis. 

One of the most effective ways to use individual data is to assess and improve task execution. An employee time tracker is a great way to assess task execution and understand how effective your processes and workflows are. 


By using employee tracking data, you can set benchmarks for individual tasks. Then, if trends show them being consistently missed, your data can reveal if this is due to processes, the need for additional training needs, unbalanced workloads, or something else.

Look at the Big Picture

Micromanagement isn’t a software issue–it’s a people issue. 

While productivity software can be used to monitor individual performance in real-time, it adds significant value by collecting productivity metrics in aggregate. 

Software takes all the tiny data points and paints a landscape picture of your organization’s performance. 

So, change the way you view the (work) world. 

When using employee monitoring software, resist the temptation to primarily view data at the individual level. 


Instead, use team-wide data to stay focused on preventing bottlenecks, identifying trends, and finding workflow efficiencies. 


Instead of being drawn to individual actions and behaviors, focus on a more complete picture made up of millions of data points from productivity and analytics software. Don’t let blind yourself to the big picture by constantly zooming into the smallest details.


Don’t Micromanage–Macromanage

Aggregate data from employee monitoring software allows for a panoramic view that is otherwise lost in the hustle and bustle of daily operations.


This can help you spot bottlenecks that can cause productivity issues further along the line, whether that bottleneck is an individual employee or an inefficient process. 


You can’t hit a target you can’t see. 


By making the monsters hidden in the dark visible, you can recruit your employees to work as a team to solve your organization’s inefficiencies. 


Data visibility is about empowerment, not demoralization. 

Be Transparent

A policy of transparency goes a long way.


Sharing productivity data generated by employee time tracking software with your employees lets them inside the productivity monitoring process. It makes them part of the journey.


As well as generating more on-the-ground feedback, involving employees in the productivity tracking process reveals what is and isn’t being captured. 


To make it clear you are not micro-analyzing every working minute, you have to show employees what’s going on “under the hood”. 


Show employees how the information collected is being used, how it’s secured, and how their privacy is being respected. 


Transparency around productivity can also benefit employee career progression by enabling them to track and improve day-to-day.

Final Thoughts

All organizations are bound to the same 24 hours in a day. 

“Winning” may seem like it comes down to squeezing every minute out of every day, but the incessant drive to maximize productivity can blind us to the long-term effects. 

When we’re talking about organizational productivity, as we have seen, micromanaging is counterproductive.

If your employees are solely judged on their ability to appease micromanagers, they’ll either constantly be in a state of underperformance, or will have little else worth striving for beyond the bare minimum.

So, when striving for productivity, remember the tips above.


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