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

If you’re like many businesses today, you may have built a team of virtual assistants capable of taking hundreds, or thousands, of hours off your in-house team’s plate per year.


However, when managing virtual assistants, it can sometimes feel like time and tasks are slipping through the cracks. For instance:


  1. Are you unnecessarily paying for unneeded work or unproductive time? 
  2. Are your instructions and virtual team architecture ready to take on the next dozen or hundred virtual assistants? 
  3. Are you using the right tools to manage your virtual assistants?
  4. Are there ways you could be getting even more out of your virtual team’s performance?


All important questions to ask when it comes to effectively managing your virtual team. Let’s take a look behind the scenes at how any company can optimize its current virtual office. 


It’s worth noting, while the tips in this article will work for virtual assistant workforces of any scale, the tips to come are especially valuable for enterprise-level virtual assistant teams managing hundreds of virtual assistants.

Create Clear SOPs

Virtual assistants, or any sort of automation or business process outsourcing, can be a double-edged sword. 


First and foremost, a virtual office is an excellent way to streamline your business by knocking out the more repetitive and mundane, but necessary daily tasks.


However, suppose your virtual team isn’t exactly clear on what to do. In that case, they could magnify any mistake or inefficiency to chaotic proportions – what happens when you have 500+ virtual assistants making the same mistake over and over? 


Your Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs, will determine how effective your virtual office is. Well designed SOPs are like a customised blueprint for your business. 


Sure, there’s a little time needed to create SOPs, but this back-end work has an asymmetric upside by making your daily workflow more efficient, effective and minimizing errors. . 


Take the guesswork out of it: Create videos, walkthroughs, and step-by-step guides that explicitly define each step and what constitutes successful completion of tasks. 


We’ve found that condensing everything into a single one-pager (with links to other relevant documents) is a straightforward way to onboard and upskill your virtual assistant employees.


Use Software to Optimize Individual Productivity 

Pairing virtual assistant services with software is a match made in productivity heaven. 


Although virtual assistants can save you a ton of time on some tasks, managing a virtual team can become a full-time job on its own. It takes time to develop a highly-functioning virtual workforce, and it’s next to impossible to scale it without the proper software stack. 


Think of your virtual team as a car – ignoring the ‘check engine’ light on your dashboard could lead to a very expensive mess if you don’t check under the hood.


The proper software stack is like seeing under the hood of your virtual team’s performance -- and having a mechanic on hand to fix issues.


Productivity software such as Workpuls allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your entire virtual workforce. It enables managers to monitor productivity over time periods, benchmark top performers, and support employee wellbeing.


Rather than calculating productivity metrics yourself, productivity software can help you evaluate individual and group performance via actionable behavioral and productivity insights. 

Use Software to Track Projects, Tasks, and Time


By their nature, virtual assistants are task-orientated. It’s common for them to juggle multiple tasks across multiple projects at any one time. This makes tracking time on tasks and projects a must-do.


Even a highly functional and seemingly autonomous virtual team can benefit from software-generated time and task insights. In other words: there’s always ways to optimize time on tasks. For instance:


What projects are using the most significant amount of our virtual assistant resources?


What tasks might be better automated completely by our own or third-party software, rather than using virtual assistants? 


What tasks are we getting the most bang for our buck? 


This higher level of analysis is only possible with data aggregated over time, something that’s hard to do objectively without the automated assistance of software. 


Workpuls, for example, has an Automatic Time Mapping feature that automatically analyzes the time required for each project. 


Time mapping allows you to see how much time was spent on each stage of a project, and then predicts the resources needed for the next job. These insights help identify the most efficient and inefficient processes so you can replicate success and mitigate inefficiency.

Build a Fair and Clear Reporting System 

When an organization scales to hundreds of virtual assistants, it’s nearly impossible to deliver personal, fair, and clear feedback without a well-thought out, robust performance, and reporting system.


A fair and clear reporting system helps do the heavy lifting of providing feedback. After establishing clear statements of work (SOW) and objective measures of success, managers can seamlessly move from a bird’s eye view to a more granular understanding of individual performance.


Reporting and performance reviews should be based on clear KPIs and undertaken at clear, regular intervals.


When your virtual employees benefit from transparent, honest and objective feedback, it will help their performance, allow you to commend them on great work, and boost collective team success.

Protect & Secure Your Data 

The “here is everything you will ever need” approach to providing SOPs to virtual assistants might seem the best way to train your virtual team. The more info the better, right? Not always.


When building work outlines for your virtual assistants, it’s important to be aware of the sensitivity of any data or company information you include. Handing at the wrong -- or too much -- information can create data leaks that cause problems with your virtual team. 


Being vigilant doesn’t mean suspecting your virtual assistants of malicious intent. But the reality is that hacks do happen -- often accidentally -- and there is only so much an NDA can cover. 


For instance, what happens when one of your hundreds of virtual assistants gets their Google account hacked? Or accidentally share the wrong Google Doc link with someone?


Proper virtual workforce data security should be part of your overall company security and privacy plans. In particular, be clear and set policies around:


  1. What files are actually needed to perform the virtual assistant services?
  2. What files are “extra” that may help virtual assistants learn how to perform their roles better?
  3. What files do we not need floating around for competitors to see?  


Be completely clear on data that your virtual team has access to, set your permissions and access levels accordingly, and have plans in place for unauthorized data access.

Final Thoughts

The global outsourcing market is anticipated to grow to $405 billion by 2027 (Grand View Research), up from $92.5 billion in 2019 (Statista). As more companies leverage the power of a virtual workforce, simply having a virtual assistant isn’t going to be a competitive advantage; it’s how you plan on using them. 


With the proper SOPs, supporting software, and secure information architecture, you can help put your business in the upper ranks of companies effectively utilizing a virtual team. 


However, at the end of the day, your interaction with virtual assistants is still a very human relationship, regardless of the scale of your operation. So maintaining communication and transparency are core parts of any virtual team management plan.


With the proper systems in place, you can ensure that your virtual workforce is productive, motivated, and driven to help you achieve your mission. 


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