Having a way to monitor staff computer activity is a powerful tool to secure your data, oversee employees’ performance, optimize business processes and increase workplace productivity. But these is such a thing as too much good stuff.


Regardless of how beneficial employee monitoring software is to your company, you should be careful not to get carried away. So many useful features and such high accuracy of data and reports can quickly lead you to think that letting the software monitor computer activity of your employees is the only thing you need to do in order to have the entire picture of their performance.


Monitoring software is easy to overuse. And you might not even notice that you’re doing it. In order to prevent this from happening, there are three important things you should keep in mind when using business computer monitors.


Have a Healthy Mix of Monitoring and Non-Monitoring KPIs


Computer and web app tracking can give you a lot of useful data that can also be your key performance indicators when it comes to estimating the performance of each of your employees as well as your company as a whole. You can track time and processes with live computer monitoring software, you can get reports on productivity, attendance timesheets and so much more.


And employee monitoring software is a very easy and automatic way to measure those activities and time-based KPIs.


But don’t be tempted to take the easy way out at the expense of overlooking some important aspects of business processes. In other words, chances are that you’ll also need to take into consideration some of the things that tool tracking software can’t measure. For example, quality of work, client satisfaction, taking initiative, creativity and team collaboration, just to name a few.


So it’s extremely important not to get too preoccupied with how to track computer activity that you forget about these non-monitoring KPIs. Only by taking all of the factors into consideration can you really have a holistic view of your employees’ progress.


There’s a Story Behind Every Number


Another thing you should keep in mind is that not everything is in the numbers. There’s an explanation for every piece of data that your employee computer monitoring system provides you with. Especially for untypically low or high performance stats.


So don’t be quick to judge and always ask for the employees’ side of the story instead of taking everything employee activity monitor professional software tells you. Here’s an example to illustrate the point.


You see a drop in productivity in one of your employee’s reports. It might be because they got lazy and distracted but it might as well be because they’re going back to normal after an unusually productive period, they have personal issues, they get called out to meetings with clients more or a dozen other things that could explain the drop in productivity.


So follow up on anything you believe doesn’t add up. This is your chance not only to set the record straight and avoid jumping to conclusions, but also to show employees that you care and that you see them as human beings who make mistakes, get distracted and have bad days, but who can also learn from their errors and work hard to improve.


Don’t Let Computer Monitoring Replace Face-to-Face Communication


Or in other words, don’t let yourself get to the point where your employees are just a number to you. Knowing who comes to work early, whose productivity could be improved, who uses Excel most efficiently and who’s wasting a bit too much time on Facebook could be useful. But make sure you also remember your employees’ names and faces.


Accusing someone of turning off their computer 4 minutes before the end of their working hours while at the same time not being able to recognize them on the street wouldn’t exactly nominate you for the manager of the year.


This especially goes for evaluations. They need to be regular and personal, otherwise they’re pointless. Employee tracking software is a great basis for objective and detailed feedback and this is one of its most impactful uses but throwing in a couple of those non-monitoring KPIs we’ve talked about earlier would help employees feel valued for more than just a high enough number in a monitoring program.


And one more thing - go into the wild every now and then. We know that employee monitoring system can give you a pretty accurate idea of what your employees are doing on their computers but it can’t show you their personality. Take a look at the office from time to time. Is the employee with the most inactive time going around helping their junior colleagues or organizing a weekend barbeque over the phone? The software can tell you a lot, but it can’t tell you everything and it definitely can’t replace a casual hallway chat.


Conclusion


Knowing how to monitor employee computer usage and optimize your business according to the data you have will get you far. But the danger of focusing all your attention on one thing is just as applicable to this powerful tool as it is to anything else. Don’t forget that time, apps and computer activity isn’t all there is to employees’ performance. Making sure you don’t overuse employee monitoring software is the only way to get the complete picture.


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
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
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

Ready to Take Full Control Of Your Workplace?

Try the simplest solution today…

Try Now For Free