Having a remote team is getting more and more popular. There are many good reasons for it, too. It does, however, come with its challenges, not least of all the difficulty of overseeing all the processes and daily tasks that telecommuters do.


One way to solve this common problem is to implement a software that will enable you to monitor remote workers’ computer activities and keep track of their working hours. But, as you’ll soon discover, there’s a huge array of different options for you to choose from - from computer time monitoring software free versions to the more advanced paid solutions, from the most basic to extremely sophisticated ones.


Going through all these computer surveillance software reviews and choosing the right one can seem like an impossible task, but this article is here to provide you with some tips on what you should pay special attention to if you want your choice to agree perfectly with your remote workers in particular.


Paid vs Free Computer Monitoring Program


Getting the most for the best price is the ultimate goal for many companies out there. But you also have to factor in the features that you want.


In other words, although computer usage monitoring software free versions are your cheapest option, they might not have all the features, support and compatibility that the process of tracking a remote workforce requires. So list out all the things you’d like to have, prioritize, do your research and then, once you have your own top 10 employee monitoring software list, choose the one that you believe offers the best value for money.


System Compatibility and Installation Process


Easy as it is to make sure that the software works on your own machine, you have to consider its compatibility with other operating systems, especially if your remote workers use their own computers and you have no authority over which operating system they run on or how much memory they have.


It’s best to ensure at least both Mac and Windows user activity monitoring support, but it’s advisable to get the software that’s going to work on as many different systems as possible. For instance, you might want to not only get Windows 10 PC monitoring software, but also Windows 7 monitoring software, just in case your telecommuters have this older version.


Another thing you should consider is the installation process. It needs to be super easy for you to implement the software on your remote workers’ computers. The latest technology allows you to send an email invitation to your remote employees so that they can just click a button and download monitoring software without even having to come into the office. Pretty handy for someone who’s on another continent!


Basic and Advanced Features


Probably the most important thing to take into account are the functionalities that you need.


Considering it’s the remote team you’re going to be using monitoring software for, you’re going to need, first and foremost, attendance tracking feature. Time spent doing tasks on their computer is essentially like working hours for telecommuters, so having clear reports and timesheets on this is critical. Apart from this, you should look for app and website monitoring and time tracking functionality, which shouldn’t be hard to find as most systems offer these.


As for the more advanced features that you might come across when choosing the top PC monitoring software, think about whether you really need them or not. The key is to consider what you can and can’t do when conducting employee tracking on remote workers.


Some systems will include stealth mode which there’s no point in using because you have to tell remote workers about monitoring anyways. Another such feature can be automatic screenshots. Again, you shouldn’t really use this on employees who work from home because they might be using their computers outside working hours for private matters.


Basically, if you don’t need it, make sure you’re not paying extra for it.


Conclusion


If you’re looking for the answer on how to track computer usage of remote workers in the best possible way, considering these three things should be your first step to choosing the perfect employee monitoring software. It all boils down to which metrics you need to track in order to improve remote employees’ performance and how to do this in a way that’s fair and respectful of their privacy.


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

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