It took me four times longer than usual to write this article. In a couple of minutes you need to read it, you’ll probably check your phone, answer a text, check Slack, read an email, or maybe even switch tabs to your Facebook news feed. It’s also quite possible that one of your colleagues will come to your table to ask something - whether it’s work-related or not.


It seems paradoxical, doesn’t it? The place that was specifically designed for productive work, an office, is one of the most distracting places. 

But, there might be something you can do, and save yourself and your team from this distraction-apocalypse.

‍Most Common Workplace Distractions

I know you’re expecting me to say that the biggest workplace distractions are social media, clickbait articles and funny cat videos. Truth is, they are.

However, there are some things in the workplace which were originally designed to help boost workers’ productivity, but they somehow managed to do otherwise. 

Researchers have been studying these for a while, and numerous studies have shown that the top productivity killers in the workplace are:

  • Meetings
  • Emails
  • Multitasking
  • Chatting with coworkers

Unfortunately, these are inevitable in a modern business, and it might seem that the modern workday is designed to destroy individual focus. Good news is that it is possible to eliminate (or at least reduce) some of them. The best way to do it is by keeping track of your workers’ productive time - which websites they visit, which apps they use, how productive they are, and so on.

And the best news is that there are remote employee monitoring software that can help you with that.

Cut Them Some Slack

It’s impossible, and you shouldn’t even abolish all daily meetings or forbid employees from talking to each other.  But, there are other office distractions you can minimize.

A survey conducted by Ask.com showed that the majority of US workers (61%) agree that loud or annoying colleagues are their main office distraction. 27% of them agreed that cubicle workspace is their biggest downer, while 38% of all respondents said they’d rather perform some mundane or hard tasks than sit next to their boss.

You can provide good headsets to all employees, so those who are getting distracted by the coworkers can play some motivating or relaxing music. Cubicles are more private, and they might seem like they’re making your employees productive. But the reality is that they’re depressing, and employees rarely talk to each other over the “wall”. Open space might seem more distracting, but your employees will be much happier.

Additionally, unless you own a startup and have a very good, friendly, relationship with your workers - don’t sit next to them. There’s no need for you to look over their shoulders. 

Be Present and Involved

Group-oriented workplace fosters creativity, bonding and motivation, however, in many cases it can cut down the efficiency.


The key is to find the right balance between strict and laid-back office atmosphere. The environment you’ll create in your office depends on the type of work you’re doing, but also on your workers. Not all people are the same, and your more introverted employees might feel intimidated in an open office, or would find it better to work at home. On the other hand, extroverts won’t enjoy the cubicles. 


It’s important you talk to your employees, see what works for them, what doesn’t, until you find an optimal solution. Take time to find out their preferences, and combine their wishes with the data you’re collecting using an employee tracking software which keeps track of their time.


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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