It wasn’t too long ago when employee monitoring software wasn’t all the rage, but now it has gotten so popular because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers these days are now requiring work-from-home employees to install some type of monitoring software to track activity and productivity, as well as sniff out suspicious behavior.
What Exactly is Employee Monitoring Software?
An employee monitoring software is a platform that tracks the work of your employees — stuff they do on their work computers at home. From keylogging to their Internet usage, employee monitoring software allows you to monitor their usage across a wide range of activities.
Remember that this isn’t a Big Brother-type of situation. This tool is to ensure that your company’s employees maintain the level of productivity they are expected of performing and also to avoid or minimize security risks.
Below are five employee monitoring software we recommend to help you strike a good balance to help your workers while ensuring that your company is getting the most of what you invested.
It’s safe to say that ActivTrak is the best free employee monitoring software because the free version can already handle up to three workers and that already includes content filtering, website monitoring, and activity tracking. It’s essentially a great option for small businesses that need a basic solution for a relatively small amount of employees.
ActivTrak is an intuitive program that has all the important features a monitoring solution needs in a modern user interface. If you need room for more employees, the paid version is really affordable at $7.20 per user a month. An Advanced subscription gives you access to USB device detection, a remote agent installer, and a security audit feature.
However, the free version has more than enough features for a small office to get started monitoring their employees and ultimately determine whether paying for an employee monitoring solution is worth the investment.
InterGuard’s employee monitoring solutions give companies a quick insight into the productivity of their remote employees. This platform allows employers to see login and log out times, their active versus idle time, and how productive they’ve been spending their office hours while at home.
Some of the services InterGuar offers include file tracking, website blocking, screenshot capture, chat and website monitoring, and email. Employers can also customize their dashboards based on the business’ specific needs.
InterGuard can be used as an on-premises solution or as a cloud-hosted service. It can be used in iOS, Android, Chromebooks, and Mac computers, as well as VMWare and Citrix.
If you want to focus more on productivity due to remote working conditions, Hubstaff is the best way to go. It does have surveillance features but it focuses more on employee activity.
Hubstaff takes random screenshots, measures activity based on mouse and keyboard usage, tracks how much an employee spends on a specific task, and tracks apps and websites visited, making it incredibly helpful for businesses who pay workers by the hour.
When the software detects inactivity, idle prompts will pop up and ask employees if they still want to continue tracking their time. It has a free plan that supports one user and three paid plans, starting at $7 per user, per month with a two-user minimum.
Teramind is one of the best employee monitoring software overall. It is an intuitive and comprehensive application that helps track employee activity, as well as ensure the safety of sensitive data.
Teramind’s key features include activity monitoring, screenshots, webpage and program tracking, social media monitoring and live chat, and allows you to set policies that will alert workers of inappropriate behavior.
It is easy to use and quite versatile, although a caveat to this platform is its expensive price tag. One user costs $12 a month, and keep in mind Teramind requires a minimum of five. If your budget can handle it, this is one of the best investments for your business.
SentryPC is the best employee monitoring software for small businesses. This platform is priced at a reasonable annual rate with no user minimums. It is easy to understand and use and provides critical resources such as warnings for inactivity, content filtering, keystroke monitoring, random screen capture, and data loss protection steps. Its pricing strategy is unusual in that it requires you to buy one license a year and subsequent licenses at a substantially reduced cost.
Each license allows access to the full functionality of the app without limiting any functions. Since its employee tracking plans each have a maximum amount of available screenshots, you can buy extra screenshot storage at a one-time charge of $19.95 for 500 screenshots. This is useful for companies that require additional capacity but do not want to move to a higher plan.
How to Select the Best Employee Tracking Tools
How do you find the right employee monitoring software for your company? There are a variety of different considerations that can affect your decision.
How many employees or devices do you need to monitor? Some software is optimized for teams of only five or ten, while others are best for companies with hundreds or thousands of employees.
The position of your employees is also significant. Some software is cloud-based, and others are on-site. You’re going to need a cloud solution to track remote staff.
Each organization is providing applications differently. Some people charge you a weekly or yearly membership fee. Others are licensing the software.
Usually, a license is valid for one year. In that year, you could even get free updates. When the year is done, you’re going to have to pay for all additional upgrades.
Licenses may be more desirable to small companies who just prefer to pay a one-time fee. Only remember that if you don’t pay to upgrade the apps, you won’t get the new versions. But it’s going to continue working.
Usability is the most critical aspect of an employee monitoring solution. This comes to why you want workforce monitoring applications in the first place.
Do you just want to limit those websites and computer apps to your network? Or do you want to watch and record what your workers do online?
Are you looking for employee monitoring to improve productivity? Or do you need apps specializing in security?
These are the kind of questions you ought to ask yourself. Some software offers an all-in-one approach, but it won’t be sufficient if you’re only interested in a single feature set.
Ease of Use
Not every organization has an IT team or a department of internal security. Small company owners would presumably be handling software for employee tracking on their own.
You will need to make sure it’s easy to use and deploy the app. Otherwise, it defeats the reason you are searching for.
A free trial or even a free forever package for a restricted range of devices is provided by most platforms. I would recommend that you try a trial or a preview of some app before purchasing it.