Our content is reader-supported, which means that if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.     X

15 Best Employee Monitoring Software of 2021 Reviews


Discover the best employee monitoring software that’s actually legally allowed to use for tracking and analyzing employee behavior.

Best Employee Monitoring Software

Whether all your employees work together out of a single location or your staff is 100% remote, it is vital to stay on top of team productivity levels.

But while you must monitor your team to get the best out of them, micromanaging them won’t serve you well either.

And in this current age of remote work and distributed teams (78% of CEOs agree that remote collaboration is not going anywhere soon), you can’t be everywhere at the same time. Many businesses today face these challenges. 

Employee Monitoring Growth

Besides, there are several other motivations for monitoring employees. You might want to prevent a disgruntled employee from acting maliciously — by leaking customer data or sensitive information, for example. Or you might want to prevent employees from violating safety protocols. Or keep them off unsafe, malicious websites. 

If you have ever wondered how to deal with these issues, employee monitoring software may be the solution, and thankfully, you don’t have to be a techie to implement this solution.

With a wealth of employee monitoring software choices available today, you’re sure to find something suitable for your business.

What is the Best Employee Monitoring Software?

There are several options for employee monitoring software out there. Just as every business is unique, most employee monitoring software available today are vastly different and cater to different business types.

The best software for your business will depend entirely on your specific needs. Whatever you decide, your choice must not only cater to your current needs but also be capable of growing with your business.

In this article, we’ve researched and reviewed 14 of the best employee monitoring software to help you choose the best option for your business.

Let’s jump right in!

1. Teramind

Best Employee Monitoring Solution for Enterprises

Teramind is the best Employee Monitoring Solution for Enterprises

Not many employee monitoring software can compete with the endless, profound capabilities of Teramind. Among employee computer monitoring software, Teramind has become a favorite for its time tracking solutions, in-depth analytics, and efficient reporting features. Founded in 2014 in Miami, Florida, Teramind has won the trust of over 2,000 organizations. 

One of the key distinguishing features of Teramind is its Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR recognizes pieces of text information hidden inside images and videos. This handy feature means that you can create rules that automatically come into effect when certain words or text appear on a user’s screen, even inside images and videos. Or you can find out how many times someone saw certain sensitive information by simply searching the video recordings and screenshots of that person’s screen for that information. Teramind will search all text within the videos and screenshots and locate those that contain said information. 

Teramind lets you monitor your team visually and in real-time, whether remotely or on-premise. This capability goes hand-in-hand with its in-built messaging and alert system that makes it easy to communicate with your staff efficiently without having to pick up the phone and risk a distraction.

With the Social Media Activity Tracker, Teramind keeps you up to speed with how long your employees spend on social media and what they do there. You also gain remote access to control your employees’ workstations. This is useful for making actions like screenshots and screen recording.

Another useful tool for observing suspicious activity is Teramind’s email tracker, which lets you keep tabs on emails sent and received to and from a registered user. Also, Teramind keeps track of employee keystrokes. This data is analyzed to give accurate productivity reports.

One other key feature Teramind offers is the ability to block or restrict access to specified applications or websites. You can also label a type of activity suspicious, and Teramind will alert you of any potential threat.

Pricing

Teramind Pricing Plan

Quick disclaimer: smaller businesses that do not need all of Teramind’s extensive features may have a hard time justifying the pricing and overall complexity of Teramind. However, Teramind’s heavy-duty monitoring suite is particularly useful for larger companies with peculiar security and compliance needs.

Teramind has two payment plans which give you different levels of access to its employee monitoring tools. Pricing for the Starter Plan begins at $60 Monthly and supports five users. The User Activity Monitoring (UAM) plan starts at $125 and grants you full access to all of Teramind’s features. 

However, note that the price of Terramind’s UAM plan depends on the number of users. The $125 previously stated covers only five employees, and tracking more will cost you more per user. You can find more information on both monthly and annual pricing depending on user count on Teramind’s website. 

Pros

  • A comprehensive set of tracking tools
  • Intuitive UI and dashboard
  • Keystroke tracking
  • Versatile deployment for cloud or on-premises environments
  • Privacy compliance and access control

Cons

  • In-depth monitoring features can be complicated

2. Hubstaff

Best for Productivity Tracking and Employee Monitoring

Hubstaff is the best for Productivity Tracking and Employee Monitoring

Hubstaff is possibly the most efficient employee monitoring software for closely keeping track of productivity. Its monitoring tools emphasize user activity over the strict surveillance methods that its competitors use.

It also comes with easy-to-use web and mobile apps that make it a great option for businesses that work with independent contractors, freelancers, and remote workers who are paid by the hour. Besides, Hubstaff’s extensive third-party integrations let you easily and efficiently automate numerous aspects of your business, including financial management.

With Hubstaff, you can also remotely take screenshots and recordings of your employees’ screens. This tool is super useful to capture evidence if you have caught an employee violating any security or ethical guideline. 

Hubstaff’s keystroke monitor lets you actively track and record employee keystroke data. This function, coupled with Hubstaff’s time tracking function, makes for very accurate productivity analyses

Besides Hubstaff’s 24-hour support, which offers help at any time of the day, Hubstaff also has a flexible user customization feature that allows you to customize Hubstaff’s functionalities to each employee. In other words, you can monitor each employee differently.

For example, you could choose to take screenshots more frequently for newer employees who have yet to prove themselves while taking none at all for older employers who have earned your trust.

Pricing

Hubstaff Pricing Plan

Hubstaff’s free plan comes with quite a few restrictions that make it more profitable to purchase a paid plan. The Basic Plan starts at $7 monthly per user with a two-user minimum (this means you cannot monitor fewer than two employees with Hubstaff’s basic plan). 

The Premium Plan starts at $10 monthly per user. The two-user minimum still applies, making it mandatory to pay at least $20 to access Hubstaff’s premium plan. Finally, Hubstaff offers an Enterprise plan that starts at $20 monthly per user with a two-user minimum.

Pros

  • Can capture screenshots and monitor keystroke
  • Lets you track how productive your workers are, even when they work from home.
  • Job site and geolocation features.
  • Makes it easy to plan employee shifts.

Cons

  • No advanced tracking
  • You need another app on the desktop for the stopwatch
  • Reporting is basic

3. ActivTrak

Best Free Employee Monitoring Software

ActivTrak is the best Free Employee Monitoring Software

A cloud-native employee monitoring tool, ActivTrak specializes in measuring employee productivity. This solution is hosted on the Google Cloud Platform, which means that it works well with a lot of Google’s inbuilt functions, including in-depth data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and security.

Despite the limitations imposed on the free version of ActivTrak, it still presents an impressive lineup of tools to assist you as you keep track of your employees and their activity. ActivTrak employee monitoring software is available on Windows, macOS, and Chrome devices.

ActivTrak’s user activity monitoring delivers real-time insights about the activities of your employees and remote teams, whether in applications or on webpages. Now you can isolate and monitor suspicious activity more accurately. 

You also get an opportunity to minimize abnormal idle time with ActivTrak’s productivity monitoring feature. You can simply select applications and websites that you consider unproductive for your employees and teams and keep track of who goes on those apps and sites, and how long they are there.

The web content filter is another great feature. Besides labeling particular apps and sites unproductive, you can also restrict access to a specific type of web content entirely. However, if you notice any suspicious activity, you can remotely take a screenshot or screen-recording as evidence.

ActivTrak also comes with a dashboard. The dashboard is the center for information on general organizational activity. It displays condensed, real-time updates on the activities of your employees or teams. 

Pricing

ActivTrak Pricing Plan

One amazing feature of ActivTrak’s pricing is that if none of their existing plans suits your needs, you can create a custom plan and quote based on your requirements. That said, their standard plans are also cost-effective, productive, and flexible enough to suit your needs just fine.

Their free plan is the best free plan on the market; it lets you monitor up to three users and is great for keeping tabs on user activity and measuring general productivity. The advanced plan, however, supports an unlimited number of users and is priced at $7.20 monthly per user on a mandatory annual contract.

ActivTrak also has a Sensitive Data Bundle, which starts at $11 monthly per user on an annual contract and adds screenshot flagging and redaction add-ons to the advanced plan.

Pros

  • Fast and easy to use 
  • Quick and easy setup 
  • Can keep track of the most-frequently-used apps and websites 
  • Tracks productivity on a per-project level 
  • Observing insights can aid effective employee coaching 

Cons

  • Requires fine-tuning to define productivity metrics 
  • No OCR for keyword search within screenshots 
  • Lacks keystroke logging 
  • Dashboard widgets can’t be customized

4. InterGuard

Best for Remote Teams and Productivity Analysis

InterGuard is the best for Remote Teams and Productivity Analysis

If you intend to augment your company’s security and remote employee monitoring systems, then Interguard is the software for you.

If you regularly have to give employees access to sensitive information, InterGuard is most likely the best solution for you to consider. The software is optimized to prevent suspicious or fraudulent activity while also actively responding to threatening situations.

Besides keeping tabs on keystrokes and employee idle time, you can also take screenshots and screen recordings with InterGuard’s employee monitoring tools. InterGuard also tracks the user activity to idleness ratio, thereby mitigating abnormal idle time and giving you insight into overall employee productivity.

You can track what websites and apps your employees use or visit, how long they stay there, and even block employee access to suspicious websites and apps. You can take things a step further and block potentially risky incoming attachments, USB drives, and programs with InterGuard’s advanced blocking system.

Also, you can avoid data losses or leaks with InterGuard’s insider threat protection feature. This feature not only alerts you about suspicious employee activity but can also fetch you a detailed report on employee’s search activity. You receive an alert when InterGuard notices activity that violates your security policies.

Pricing

InterGuard Pricing Plan

InterGuard costs $9 monthly per user with an annual contract for the online version. To install the software in your data center, InterGuard requires that you get a quote for an enterprise solution.

Pros

  • A wide selection of add-on modules and features
  • Refreshed UI is more intuitive
  • Convenient search function
  • Endpoint lockdown capability
  • Outstanding reports and notification automation

Cons

  • The requirement of more than ten licenses might put off smaller businesses.
  • Modules can quickly add up in price

5. SentryPC

Best for Small Businesses

SentryPC offers a diverse range of monitoring solutions

SentryPC offers a diverse range of monitoring solutions. In addition to solutions for businesses, they have solutions for schools, homes, and families. For businesses, SentryPC will show you exactly how your team members use their devices and the internet at work. 

Also, SentryPC offers reporting that features a breakdown of alerts triggered on the system. This allows admins to review general and specific user activity, such as the most frequently used applications or chat tools.

You can customize reports to help you identify and analyze the most relevant usage data to you. SentryPC monitors the health of all the computers that are licensed and synced with the software and provides device status reports.

Real-time alerts notify you of misbehavior. If you do not see the alert until well after it is triggered, SentryPC thoroughly documents the incident, using screenshots for easy review after the fact. SentryPC’s applications tab shows which applications a user launched and at what time. 

You can access any chats in which a monitored user has engaged. You can get a brief of some chat details such as timestamps, the other party’s identity, the application used, and a transcript of the chat. Besides chats, You can also see any material a monitored user copies to the clipboard, along with its timestamps.

You can use the block feature to restrict user access to certain websites and applications that you consider harmful, suspicious, or unproductive. Another useful tool is the events tool.

This tool gives you insight into how your employees operate their workstations, revealing user activities like printing, opening new tabs in the browser, or logging onto a particular webpage, as well as keeping track of time spent idling.

You can also see when files are created or removed or have generally been modified, printed, or copied, as well as when the modification was made.

The keystroke logger tool keeps track of and reports your employee’s keystrokes, recording when the stroke was made, in what application, and a transcript of what they typed.

Pricing

SentryPC Pricing Plan

SentryPC’s Basic Plan starts at $59.95 per year for a single license and storage for up to 500 screenshots. Each additional license costs $19.95 per year. That means you can only monitor one user with this plan until you pay for another license.

Beyond the Basic Plan, SentryPC offers a series of plans that grant you a bundle of licenses at a discounted rate per extra user, per annum. 

Pros

  • Multiple reporting features including priority alerts.
  • Device status reports that monitor the health of all computers being monitored by SentryPC.
  • Allows admins to set maximum allowable working hours to ensure employees don’t work overtime.
  • SentryPC allows you to decide whether you want to use the software transparently or on stealth mode.
  • SentryPC is cloud-based which means you can access your account from any device that has a browser.
  • Intuitive and accessible Dashboard that is both easy to navigate and easy on the eyes.

Cons

  • Tech support isn’t available by phone or live chat so customers must use a ticket system if tech support is needed. For urgent issues, customers could be left waiting quite a while for a response.

6. Time Doctor

Best Full-Featured Employee Monitoring Software

Time Doctor is the best Full Featured Employee Monitoring Software

Time Doctor is an employee monitoring software with accurate time tracking that helps you know if your team is productive. It is optimized for teams of 20 to 500 employees and excels in keeping tabs on your remote employees and what they do during work hours.

Time Doctor’s employee monitoring features grant you access to a wide range of tools that produce an in-depth analysis of your team’s dynamics, strengths, and weak spots. Besides the productivity report, you can also keep an eye on your organization’s security and data safety with Time Doctor’s employee monitoring tools.

For example, you can monitor a user’s browsing history, restrict employee access to web content that you consider unproductive, and block access to certain apps and websites that are risky or suspicious by your company’s standards.

If you have caught an employee engaged in suspicious activity and need something for evidence you can easily make a screen recording or take a screenshot of the user’s pc discreetly. Time Doctor also records data such as keystrokes and idle time to give accurate productivity analyses on request.

You can either have Time Doctor installed on your Mac or Windows PC, or use it online or on your Android and Apple mobile devices. They also offer 24/7 online technical support and online training.

Pricing

Time Doctor Pricing Plan

Time Doctor’s pricing starts at $5 per user, per month, but they offer a 30-day free trial so that you can take the software for a spin and see if you like it.

Pros

  • You can generate invoices within the Time Doctor app
  • Advanced employee monitoring functions
  • Plenty of integrations with third-party services such as Asana

Cons

  • Requires a Chrome extension or other application to run the stopwatch feature.
  • Janky front-end interface.

7. VeriClock

Best for Managing Remote Teams

VeriClock is the best for Managing Remote Teams

VeriClock’s priorities aren’t team management or remote collaboration. But it does offer some employee monitoring features, even though it cannot take screenshots or recordings, keep track of employee keystrokes or carry out some of the other more specialized employee monitoring tasks.

That said, VeriClock boasts quite impressive flexibility when it comes down to tracking how and when employees log their time. This and the fact that it, being a SaaS, would run on almost any web browser and any computing device makes it pretty efficient and accessible.

Another noteworthy feature of VeriClock’s time tracking software is its incredibly intuitive user interface which, being mostly text-based, makes it a non-techie’s dream. Its accessibility and its reasonable pricing make it perfect for SMB’s (small to medium-sized businesses).

VeriClock, primarily a time tracker, also comes with some basic employee monitoring tools. For example, VeriClock gives you the ability to block users from clocking in from any IP addresses you chose to restrict.

By this, you can make it impossible for your office staff to clock in from home. You also get access to GPS tracking for clock-ins done via smartphones. This lets you monitor where employees are located during work hours. 

But for all its benefits, VeriClock does not do much for the data security of your organization. It doesn’t do much to neutralize insider threats, but that’s just fine for the needs of its target market.

Pricing

VeriClock Pricing Plan

VeriClock is priced at $5 monthly per user with a $10 monthly account fee. Cost per-user and account fees don’t change regardless of how many employees you chose to monitor at the same time.

To calculate your cost, add $5 per user to the $10 monthly fee, and that’s how much the VeriClock software will cost you.

Pros

  • Reasonable pricing.
  • Perfect for monitoring remote staff.
  • You have the flexibility to clock in either via SMS, online, or in-app.

Cons

  • Lackluster UI
  • Mobile app kicks certain functions to a browser window

8. Workpuls

Best Billing Management and Time Tracking Solution

Workpuls is the best Billing Management and Time Tracking Solution

Workpuls is targeted towards small businesses and has features that are optimized to the employee monitoring needs of organizations within that category. Workpuls desktop version can be installed transparently or in stealth mode, with the monitored employee oblivious to the software’s activities. 

Workpuls also offers a clock-in and clock-out feature, which is extremely useful for scheduling remote employees and time management. If your company requires tighter data security, Workpuls provides installations, on-premise, to your organization’s private cloud.

Workpuls’ employee monitoring tools are optimized to help you keep track of employee activity, boost unit and organizational productivity, and manage employee time and scheduling like it’s a piece of cake.

With Workpuls real-time monitoring, you are granted access to take administrative actions, and can discreetly do things like taking a screenshot or screen recording of an employee’s desktop.

You can also keep track of what websites your monitored users visit, view their browsing history, what apps they use, and for how long they are there. You, however, do not gain access to some tools like employee email monitoring or keystroke recording.

Workpuls can also give you an accurate employee productivity analysis based on data it collects from monitoring your employees’ idle time, recording visits to websites that you have labeled unproductive, and keeping track of how long an employee makes use of any non-work-related applications.

Pricing

Workpuls Pricing Plan

Workpuls’ pricing starts at $4.80 monthly per user on an annual plan for the Employee Monitoring plan. There are two additional plans with more features and higher prices, and an enterprise plan.

Pros

  • You can opt for on-premise or cloud installation
  • Advanced yet easy-to-use UI
  • Has efficient Kanban board features
  • Reasonable pricing for small to medium-sized businesses
  • Thoroughly aids productivity for both remote workers and groups

Cons

  • Does not have mobile apps
  • Mail reports could use some more flexibility
  • You might need a demo or tech support to complete the setup

9. Kickidler

A Good Employee Management Tool for SMBs 

Kickidler is a good Employee Management Tool for SMBs

Kickidler is an employee monitoring and user activity tracking software developed in 2013 by Tele Link Soft in Russia. It is a very useful tool for automating control of staff, information security, monitoring employees, and increasing overall productivity for your organization

Besides its usefulness for boosting communication within your organization, Kickidler also helps with monitoring your staff who do not resume their day in the office.

Offering time tracking solutions that let remote workers clock in and clock out from the comforts of their workstations, Kickidler’s cloud-based employee monitoring software also helps you keep track of your remote staffers’ activities.

Kickidlers employee monitoring features include a violations detecting system that lets you set out parameters which your staff should work within. For example, you can set a restriction on a certain kind of web content and Kickidler will notify you with an alert that one of your policies has been violated.

Another feature that goes hand in hand with the violations detecting system is Kickidler’s remote control tool. Easily take screenshots and screen recordings of an erring employee’s desktop for, maybe, evidence’s sake. This, and you get access to a play-by-play report of your staff’s browsing history.

Kickidler also offers the productivity analysis feature which makes use of data collected from a combination of keystroke recording and idle time monitoring. Kickidler is the perfect tool to help boost organizational productivity and ensure data safety.

Pricing

Kickidler Pricing Plan

Kickidler starts at $9.99 per month. While they do not have a free version, they do offer a 7-day free trial which can be extended to 14 days if you give them your phone number. 

Pros

  • Works remotely
  • Free trial period
  • Can filter applications and websites
  • Flexible tool settings
  • Free technical support for an unlimited period

Cons

  • Does not work with mobile apps
  • No email monitoring feature

10. StaffCop

Best On-Premise Solution for Enterprises

StaffCop is the best On Premise Solution for Enterprises

StaffCop Enterprise is a software system great for both employee monitoring and data security. StaffCop gives you access to highly-intuitive and properly-integrated tools that focus on insider threat detection and notification, and it does this via an advanced behavioral analysis system and context-rich recording of employee activity.

It is an all-out efficient employee monitoring and threat detection software optimized for larger-sized businesses. For organizations safeguarding confidential information or trying to protect intellectual property, StaffCop’s ability to switch quickly from threat alert to proactive endpoint shutdown proves extremely useful.

Besides remotely wiping data from a monitored device, StaffCop Enterprise offers the complete package of granting you access to set up alerts and automated responses to keep track of any employee violations or any other thing that could compromise network security, and then rapidly seize control of their workstation.

StaffCop’s administrative UI is simple and easy to use with a dashboard displaying several tools and menus that you can use to zone in on the aspect of employee activity you want to monitor. 

There is a menu on the left-hand area of the screen which rounds up, policies, server preferences, accounts, contacts, configurations, and your settings.

With StaffCop’s live administration you can take full remote control of an employee’s desktop workstation, which is incredibly useful in emergencies to avoid any further loss or damage. 

Pricing

StaffCop Pricing Plan

StaffCop differs slightly from other employee monitoring tools in that it does not feature a recurring fee. This means that all its $69.00 payment is a one-time payment per user and you essentially do not have to pay anything after this to use StaffCop.

Pros

  • Efficient reporting and data presentation
  • You can control audio and video remotely
  • Webcam capture enabled
  • It features OCR
  • Flexible system configuration

Cons

  • Outdated multi-step on-prem server and client setup
  • Does not support cloud-based admin interface
  • Lacks mobile app integration
  • No free trial

11. Work Examiner

Best Employee Monitoring Software for Customization and Automation

Work Examiner is the best Employee Monitoring Software for Customization and Automation

Work Examiner is an employee monitoring and productivity tool released in 2005 by EfficientLab in Russia. However, Work Examiner offers features that other internet monitoring tools do not.

Besides recording data about where your employees spend their time online, when they visit websites, and how long they’re there, Work Examiner also gives you the ability to analyze your users’ active and idle times.

You gain access to detailed statistics on the online activity of your company and how it is shared between staff, departments, websites, and even days of the week.

To further ensure your data security and organizational welfare, Work Examiner curates a subject profile on any suspected violation of your company’s security policies, and on its culprit.

Another very important Work Examiner feature is the keystroke recording tool, which keeps track of employee keystrokes, timestamps, and a transcript of what was typed. You can also take a screenshot or record the screen activity of an employee who violates your company’s policies, security, or otherwise.

In terms of productivity, Work Examiner lets you flag certain web content or websites and applications as unproductive or suspicious, and keep track of your employees’ visits to such sites via a browsing history system that works hand in hand with Work Examiner’s online activity analytics. You also have access to block such sites and restrict employee access to them altogether.

Pricing

Work Examiner Pricing Plan

Work Examiner has two plans, Work Examiner Standard and Work Examiner Professional. Work Examiner Standard is optimized for small to mid-sized organizations, while the Professional plan is more heavy-duty with more access to in-depth employee monitoring tools.

Standard Edition begins at $60 per license for 1-2 users, then drops to $45 per license for 3-24 users. It costs $40 per license for 25-49 users, $30 per license for 50-99 users, and $25 per license for 100-149 users. Your order will be priced by custom quote if you require tracking for more than 150 users.

The pricing for Work Examiner’s Professional plan starts at $60 per license for 1-19 users, $45 per license for 20-49 users, $43 per license for 50-99 users, $40 per license for 100-199 users, and $37 per license for 200-299 users. We recommend you stick with the Standard plan if you will be monitoring 20 users or fewer, and only make use of the Professional plan for a thousand users or more.

Pros

  • Application and website filters
  • Keystroke logging
  • Offers perpetual software licensing
  • Real-time surveillance
  • Takes Screenshots

Cons

  • Local installation
  • Outdated UI
  • Doesn’t support location tracking
  • Lacks remote control

12. DeskTime

Best for Basic Employee Monitoring and Time Tracking

DeskTime is the best for Basic Employee Monitoring and Time Tracking

DeskTime Pro is a capable employee monitoring and time tracking software that offers productivity-focused solutions.

With simple, easy-to-use features, DeskTime is optimized for small to mid-size businesses. DeskTime Pro makes employee productivity and time tracking clear and intuitive while giving your employees the ability to clock in and out without hassles.

While not as flexible or in-depth as some of its competitors, DeskTime is adept at its specialties. For example, DeskTime’s automatic time capture feature provides you with an in-depth report of your workday that only you have access to.

Another useful feature DeskTime offers is automatically calculated billable and non-billable hours, complete with multiple billing rates in case your staff earn different wages. DeskTime also seamlessly keeps track of employee overtime so you don’t have to do the calculations yourself.

DeskTime also has a productivity analysis feature that gives you insight into how much work is actually done based on a series of metrics. You can keep track of how far your teams have come with organizational tasks and goals, and also stay on top of who slacks and who deserves rewards.

While being primarily a time-tracking software optimized for time management of remote staff and teams, DeskTime does pretty well in the employee monitoring front with more features like idle time monitoring, screen activity recording, screenshots, and analytics reporting.

Pricing

DeskTime Pricing Plan

DeskTime offers a free DeskTime Lite plan that supports a single user, gives you access to fundamental time tracking and employee monitoring tools, and access to the DeskTime Android and iOS apps.

The DeskTime Pro plan starts at $7.00 monthly per user, and you get a discount per-user with volume-based pricing, which you can gauge using the slider on the company’s website.

Pros

  • Calendar feature
  • Project and task management
  • Automatic Time tracking
  • Invoicing feature
  • Private time for employees
  • URL, app, and document tracking

Cons

  • Limited reporting
  • No shift scheduling
  • Only XLS export; no CSV

13. Veriato 360

Best for Cybersecurity Monitoring 

Veriato 360 is the best for Cybersecurity Monitoring

Veriato 360 is an expert employee monitoring tool for generating analytics and recording and reporting actionable employee behavior data. The software includes two main products: Veriato 360 and Veriato Recon.

Together they make up a suite efficient at employee activity monitoring, detecting insider threat, and tools for scanning and responding to cloud-based interactions and employee activities within your organization’s network.

Veriato 360’s features include keystroke auditing, which delivers a report on the keys typed by your staff, corresponding timestamps, and a manuscript of what was written. Veriato 360 also keeps track of user status (i.e. employee idle time and active time) and uses this information as a metric for productivity analysis.

Besides the aforementioned, Veriato 360 offers a wide range of employee monitoring and time tracking features that put you on top of both organizational security and productivity. Take advantage of features like email monitoring, application activity monitoring, chat & IM activity monitoring, web activity tracking, third-party integrations, screenshots, and an in-bred alert system to maximize tea efficiency and data security.

It is, however, important to note that Veriato 360 requires installation on a 64-bit Windows OS that runs either Windows 10 with Windows 7, Windows Server 2016, Server 2012, or using a version of SQL Server 2016.

It also requires a minimum of 40 GB empty disk space to ensure the recording of continuous data. This is because Veriato 360 does not store your data online. Veriato recommends a Quick Install with SQL Server Express 2016 for the database for organizations with fewer than 100 monitored users.

Pricing

Veriato 360 starts at $90 per endpoint to make use of Veriato 360 alone and costs an extra $24 per endpoint for Veriato Recon.

Pros

  • Active Directory sync 
  • Customized alerts and reports
  • Screen capture with playback
  • Keyword tracking
  • File tracking
  • Easy-to-use admin interface
  • Automated behavior grouping, anomaly detection, and incident response
  • Productivity monitoring
  • Full control over data collection

Cons

  • Requires SQL
  • All on-premises; currently no cloud-based option

14. ProHance

Best Operations Management Platform

ProHance is the best Operations Management Platform

ProHance is a top-tier organizational operation management software. A lot of Fortune-listed companies use ProHance in their global centers to access other organizations’ maximum productivity potential. You can use ProHance to drive efficiency while optimizing employee performance with deep insights into employee and team productivity.

With ProHance’s time tracking features, completing timesheets becomes a piece of cake. ProHance gives you the ability to automate employee time management so clock in and clock out is intuitive and hassle-free for all parties.

ProHance also offers employee monitoring tools like email monitoring, web content filtering, and application blocking. These help increase productivity and ensure data security. It also comes with a reporting feature and offline monitoring.

In the event that you have caught one of your employees violating company policy, you can simply take a remote screenshot of their workstation or record their screen for evidence. ProHance also notifies you about any abnormal employee activity.

Pricing

Prohance pricing is not disclosed on its website, but they do offer a free trial so that you can get a feel of the software before making a commitment.

Pros

  • Free trial
  • Live online training 
  • Online support during business hours

Cons

  • No billing and invoicing 
  • Automation and security features can be better

15. CurrentWare

Best On-Premises Solution For Productivity and Security

CurrentWare - Employee Computer Monitoring Software

CurrentWare is a software suite that includes solutions for employee and computer monitoring, device control, web filtering, and remote power management. Each solution operates from the same central CurrentWare console; they can be purchased separately for the most flexibility or as a full suite for the best value.

CurrentWare is hosted on-premises with deployment options that support the monitoring and managing of remote workers. It can be installed transparently or in stealth mode, with the monitored employee oblivious to the software’s activities. Due to the lack of a mobile app or cross-platform support it is best used in Windows-based environments.

With CurrentWare you can monitor a user’s browsing history, prevent the use of unauthorized USB devices, and block access to certain apps and websites that are against your company’s standards.

When monitoring internet use CurrentWare differentiates between active time and idle time to indicate if the employee was actually using their computer and whether or not they were actively browsing a given website.

In terms of data loss prevention, the web filter has a category filtering feature to block websites that are known to be high-risk or malicious. The device control software prevents the use of unauthorized peripherals, blocks USB file transfers based on file name/extension, and monitors file operations to USB devices.

Automated email alerts can be configured to notify designated individuals when unwanted activities occur such as visiting inappropriate websites or transferring files to USB storage devices.

Pricing

CurrentWare - Pricing - Contact form

Individual solutions from the CurrentWare Suite start at $2.99 USD monthly per user on an annual plan, with a minimum purchase of 10 licenses. 

CurrentWare provides a wide variety of discounts: 

  • Purchasing the entire CurrentWare suite is more cost effective than purchasing the solutions individually
  • Volume license discounts are available starting at 100 users, with discounts increasing depending on the number of licenses.
  • Discounts are provided when prepurchasing multiple annual plans
  • Discounts are available for educational organizations, non-profits, resellers, and managed services providers

Pros

  • Active Directory import and sync
  • Option to provide employees with access to their own data via a local dashboard
  • Lets you track how productive your workers are, even when they work from home
  • The web console allows you to access CurrentWare from any computer on the network that has a web browser.
  • Offsite mode enforces security policies and collects user activity data when employees leave the network
  • Allows you to decide whether you want to use the software transparently or on stealth mode

Cons

  • The minimum requirement of ten licenses might put off smaller businesses
  • There is no cloud-native option, only self-hosted cloud
  • Subscription pricing
  • No free tier available, only a 14-day free trial
  • Windows exclusive: Not compatible with Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android 
  • Lacks keystroke logging

What is Employee Monitoring Software?

An employee monitoring software is a platform that allows you to track and monitor your employees as they work on their computers.

It helps ensure that your team members are putting their time at work to productive use and that interactions — both employee-to-employee and employee-to-customer — follow established standards and protocols. 

Employee monitoring software core functionality

Employee monitoring encompasses and goes beyond time tracking or schedule and workload management. In addition to these, employee monitoring software may also offer several other features such as the ability to log phone calls, email, social media exchanges, live chats, and even keystrokes.

Other features include the ability to monitor internet usage (which websites employees visit, how much time they spent on each page, etc); track an employee’s location; and take screenshots of an employee’s computer screen to get a picture of what they may be doing or working on in real-time. 

There are also deep monitoring platforms that track and monitor employee activity of all types, and some even have features that allow them to enforce complex organizational compliance rules.

The goal of these platforms is not to encourage you to micromanage your employees, but to help you boost employee productivity and mitigate certain security risks

In the past, only a handful of companies had any genuine need for employee computer monitoring software. But COVID-19 has caused quite a surge in demand for them.

Since most organizations are now widely distributed and operate remote teams, employee monitoring software is necessary for ensuring business continuity and productivity, securing sensitive company data and intellectual property on remote employees’ PCs, and enforcing compliance outside the company premises. 

Without these solutions, managing these issues would prove nightmarish.
Employee monitoring software also used to be focused mostly on monitoring employee activity, reporting suspicious behavior, and uncovering potential threats from within the organization.

Now, there’s a shift towards not only tracking productivity but also monitoring the health and wellness of employees, as well as improving employee engagement.

Benefits of Using Employee Monitoring Software

Employee monitoring software can produce several benefits for your business. Features like keystroke logging, webcam recording, and mouse activity tracking can help you pinpoint which employees are actively working and which are mostly idle.

Other features like website tracking, content filtering, and screenshots can help you see what employees are working on at any time and what they spend most of their time on.

With these features, you can find out which employees spend company time watching cat videos or even block access to specific websites and inappropriate content. 

Besides, employee monitoring can help with security and legal disputes involving employees. By recording and storing data on employee behavior, you can back up your claims if an employee files a complaint against you.

With USB and print monitoring, you can also prevent or investigate data leaks. And by managing website permissions, you can restrict employees’ access to malicious websites or even prevent malicious activities from your employees themselves. 

Benefits of Using Employee Monitoring Software

Other more advanced benefits of employee monitoring include the following:

1. You Can Bill Clients More Accurately

Errors naturally occur when employees rely on their memories to record time spent with clients. A client may feel like you have billed him unfairly and file a complaint.

Without the hard data to back your billing claims, it would be difficult to convince the client that he received as much attention from your representatives as you claim. 

Besides hurting your bottom line, this could also harm your reputation as that disgruntled ex-client will go on to tell others about his ‘bad’ experience with your company.

But with time tracking, clients will be satisfied knowing they were billed fairly, and employee hours will be accurately recorded, potentially helping you save on payroll by preventing you from paying employees for unproductive hours.

2. You Can Manage Budgets Effectively

It’s often difficult to estimate how much time and resources are required to complete a project.

Naturally, you might think that a client who brings in more revenue should get more resources and attention than one who brings in less. But this assumption may not always be correct and could lead to budgeting problems. 

Employee monitoring allows you to see exactly how much time your representatives spend with each client and exactly what activities they perform for them.

With this information, you can more correctly estimate how much time and resources different activities take. You can then allocate financial and human capital accordingly. The more data you have, the more efficiently you can distribute your organization’s resources. 

3. You Can Improve Your Employees’ Productivity

According to Jimmy Rodela, employees are generally more conscious of how they spend their time at work if they know they are being monitored.

This means they can be more productive with their time because they know that screenshots are regularly taken, websites visited are tracked, and keyboard and mouse activity are being monitored.

Besides, by monitoring employees, you can more readily adapt to problems that arise in the field in real-time. This means that you can go from dealing with problems after they occur to dealing with them while they occur

4. You Can Help Employees Improve Their Performance By Delivering Objective Feedback

In your business, you probably have objectives and key results that you have laid out for your team. To reach those results and achieve those objectives, your team needs to be on top of its productivity game. And employee monitoring software are one way to stay on top of team performance and productivity. 

Because employee monitoring tools place the data to assess your employees’ working habits at your fingertips, you can give objective feedback on ways that they can improve their productivity. This is especially true for remote employees as they often cite a lack of actionable feedback as one of their pain points. 

With employee monitoring software, you can provide feedback on specific activities rather than commenting on overall performance. This way, you can coach the underperformers while recognizing and rewarding those that excel

5. You Can More Accurately Assess Your Employees’ Output

With employee monitoring tools, you can assess employees’ work in real-time. This way, you can see if you’ve assigned the right person to the right project. 

For example, if a particular employee is performing below average, you can decide to coach them or replace them with someone who might be a better fit for that project. 

6. Employee Management Tools Can Help You Manage Project Timelines Effectively

Before assigning tasks, you will create a project timeline. With employee monitoring in place, you can assess whether or not employees are adhering to the project timeline by looking at how much time they are spending on what activities. 

With this data, you can then coach and guide employees to better align with the timeline. Or create a new timeline entirely. Bottom line, you can avoid project delays by monitoring employees.

Federal law is relatively lenient when it comes to employee monitoring. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) allows employers to track activities on any devices that they give their employees, including files, social media, internet usage, and downloads. 

Goal of Workplace survelliance
Source: Ekran System

But there may be different guidelines in each state. While, at the federal level, it is not legally required to tell employees they are being tracked, various states require different levels of consent from employees.

The bottom line is that what you can monitor is determined by who owns the device (company or employee), where the employees work (on-premise or remotely), and what kind of data you plan on collecting

Furthermore, the ECPA stipulates that listening in or recording any oral or electronic communication is illegal. However, you are allowed to monitor and record phone conversations if you have valid business concerns as the motive for such actions.

But here again, consent is key. At the federal level, you only need one party’s consent to record phone conversations. But each state has its requirements, too. For example, Arizona requires only one party’s consent while California requires the consent of both parties. 

You are also allowed to access employees’ private emails if they are on a company-issued device. But at the state level again, regulations vary.

For example, Connecticut and Delaware require that you inform employees that private emails are not exactly private on a company device, while Colorado and Tennessee require that businesses monitor employees’ emails. 

Like phone conversations, video monitoring is legal federally but must also be motivated by genuine business concerns, and be kept within reasonable limits. This means there can be no surveillance in restrooms or private areas.

With security cameras on company premises, you don’t need to inform or obtain consent from employees. 

6 recommendations to keep legal employee monitoring

Types of Employee Monitoring

There are different methods you can use to monitor your employees during work hours. Let’s now discuss three of them. 

1. Software Monitoring 

Employee monitoring and productivity software are the most widely used solutions for tracking employee activity today. Compared to other methods, they provide the most direct way to monitor employees.

They are also the least intrusive method and can be used both on-premise by on-site workers and off-premise by remote teams. It doesn’t matter whether employees work on their laptops or the company’s systems; employee monitoring systems can still monitor their activities.

Most employee computer monitoring software offer various features such as time-tracking and distraction management. They can also differentiate between productive and unproductive activities, active and idle times, and system login and logout times, among other events. 

Some employee monitoring software also generate reports on employee productivity levels. These reports are calculated based on specific metrics that the software records. 

By studying each employee’s metrics such as attendance, logins and logouts, active and idle times, and over-time, you can identify top performers, underperformers, false overtimes, and overworked employees.

2. Email Monitoring

For most companies, email is one of the most fundamental communication channels. There are quite a few reasons why you may want to monitor your employees’ emails, such as ensuring that:

  • company policies and protocols are being followed
  • employees’ communications with one another and customers are appropriate and effective
  • employees are not behaving in questionable or troublesome ways

In 2018, a Gartner report revealed that 50% of 239 large corporations monitored the contents of their employees’ emails. 

Generally speaking, work email addresses are to be used for official purposes only and employers have the right to monitor their employees’ work emails provided they are stored on the company’s servers (even if the employee marks them as private). This is as stipulated by the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA). 

While your employees’ privacy as far as work email is concerned is not protected, it is still good practice to inform employees that their email may be monitored. This removes your employees’ expectation of privacy and also serves as a deterrent to employees; since they know that their email may be monitored, they will be less likely to engage in questionable behavior over email.

Private email is a different ball game altogether. So long as these emails are not stored on your company’s servers, you need to obtain the express permission of an employee to access them.

3. Network Monitoring 

Network monitoring tracks all incoming and outgoing traffic on your office network.

A network monitoring system can uncover malicious programs, identify infected computers on the network, and even track unusual internet usage in your company. It can monitor and limit your employees’ access to certain sites such as social media or adult websites. It may also allow you to:

  • view the screens of the computers on the network in real-time,
  • remotely log off, shut down, or restart any of the computers on the network,
  • pull up a list of all the applications used or websites visited on any of the computers in the network,
  • see what files and folders have been accessed or changed, and so on.
Types of workplace survelliance

How to Choose the Best Employee Monitoring Software

Before you choose any software, there are quite a few factors to consider.

Since employee monitoring can produce negative effects if used incorrectly, it is important to choose carefully.

Below are a few points to consider when choosing an employee monitoring software. 

1. Apply the Three-Question Framework

To avoid the negative effects of employee monitoring, there are three questions you must answer before adopting any system. 

  1. Will it improve your business?
  2. Will it mitigate liabilities (by preventing financial battles, for example)?
  3. Will it prevent issues from occurring or help investigate issues internally if they occur? 

Whatever option you choose must satisfy all three of these criteria. 

A tool that offers only time logging may improve your business, assuming no one abuses it. But it won’t help your business avoid liabilities, and neither will it prevent issues or help investigate them when they occur. 

On the other hand, a more robust solution will improve your business and actively prevent anyone from abusing the system. It will also help avoid liabilities by making payments accurate down to the second. And since such a solution would offer features like alerts, web content filters, and real-time reporting, it will help with issue prevention and investigation. 

Therefore, by following this three-question framework, you transform a tricky decision into a simple one. 

2. Consider The Type of Team You Have

Naturally, you should also account for the type of team you have. 

If all your team members work out of a single office location, it would be much more feasible to implement a system that tracks phone usage than if your team is distributed or works remotely. 

If your business has your team traveling regularly to meet clients or attend conferences, then a GPS tracking system might be the best solution for you. 

And if you pay your team members an annual salary rather than by the hour, you might need a system that’s more flexible and can accommodate this new variable. 

3. Choose a Flexible System

The system you choose must also be flexible enough to allow you to monitor everyone differently. You shouldn’t treat all your employees the same way, and this applies just as much to managerial oversight as it does other aspects of the employer-employee relationship.

A reliable, hardworking, and trustworthy employee who consistently turns out high-quality work deserves more autonomy and latitude than an uncommitted and disengaged employee who regularly fails to meet deadlines. 

For example, you may want to take more frequent screenshots for employees who have given you a reason to distrust them in the past or new employees who have yet to prove themselves. But you probably won’t need to take any screenshots for more dependable employees. 

Therefore, you need a system that allows unique settings for individual team members. And the problem may not be the fault of the particular software but of the system that software is built on.

Take video surveillance, for example, which 16% of employers use to monitor the performance of employees. You simply can’t turn it off for high-performing employees. This applies to email, voicemail, and phone tracking as well. 

4. Consider Integrations to Your Existing Toolkit

Finally, you must consider integrations to your existing toolkit before you adopt any system. Integrations allow you to move data effortlessly and automatically from one app to another.

In other words, integrations automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, making sure that none of your information is stuck in one place. 

You need to be sure that the system you choose can integrate effortlessly with your other tools. You would want a monitoring system that syncs effortlessly and automatically with your existing payroll system, for example.

When deciding on which employee monitoring tool to use, you should prioritize the integrations that your options offer.

Employee Monitoring Software FAQ

How much does employee monitoring software cost?

Employee monitoring software can cost anywhere from $20 to $150 annually per user, though most fall within the range of $40 to $60 annually per user.

Most providers often charge a monthly fee per user, while others charge a one-time fee that gives you lifetime access to the software, plus an annual subscription fee for software updates and technical support. 

When evaluating pricing, you need to watch out for minimums. Most providers have a minimum number of licenses you must buy. 

You also need to look out for additional fees. While most companies don’t charge additional fees, some do charge setup fees (which can run into several hundred dollars) and fees for an optional IP renewal. Ask the sales rep about additional fees and contract requirements, if there’s one. If there’s a contract requirement, also ask how long it would last. 

Finally, you must look out for add-on features. Some providers charge extra for additional features such as mobile licenses and geo-tracking. Also, note that installing an on-premises solution —that is, installing and operating the system on your company’s servers — often costs more up-front and will require a maintenance team.

But going this route grants you full control over your data. Going the SaaS route costs less up-front but means monthly or annual subscription payments.

Is employee monitoring secure?

Employee monitoring is mostly secure. You do have to turn off your firewall during installation for the program to work. You’ll turn it back on after the installation is complete, but during that short period, your network is susceptible to viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other similar threats. 

Also, note that some legitimate-looking employee monitoring software are actually viruses in disguise. They may work as advertised, giving you the surveillance capabilities you need but behind the scenes, they collect sensitive information to sell or use to bypass your security systems. The systems we recommend have been thoroughly researched to ensure that they are not disguised malware.

How do I get my team on board with employee monitoring software?

While you don’t need your team’s permission to implement a new system, securing their buy-in will make things go much more smoothly. If your employees are allowed to pre-approve a system, they’ll be much more likely to adopt it, and you won’t lose their trust as is common when employee monitoring systems are put in place. 

Besides, transparency will help foster a healthy work environment — consider that 77% of employed Americans are fine with being monitored on both personal and work-issued devices, as long as they are informed up-front. And implementing a secret monitoring system might lead to legal trouble down the road.

To get your team’s buy-in, you need to convince them that the new system will improve the business and, more importantly, help them achieve their goals and meet their targets. You can prepare a presentation that details the benefits of the new system — a simple slide deck or an all-hands meeting will do. 

It might also be a smart idea to propose two or three different options and have your employees select their preferred system by voting.

By doing this, you empower them with the feeling that they’re choosing the system rather than having one forced on them. In your presentation, you could compare and contrast the available options, presenting the advantages and disadvantages of each one. 

To make your presentation convincing, you must focus as much on what the new system will do for your team as on what it will do for you and the business.

After securing your team’s buy-in, you need to officially write out your policy. Your policy must be written in plain language and be easy to understand.

It must outline key details such as all the types of monitoring used, how often the monitoring will take place, what kind of data you plan to collect, what you intend to do with the data, and how long the data will be stored. 

The policy must also be distributed before the monitoring commences, and each employee should be required to acknowledge that they have read it.

Make sure to include any relevant legal provisions, and also include action steps that employees can take if they feel that the policy has been violated. Solicit anonymous feedback from your employees and ask them to make suggestions to improve the policy. 

Once you’ve gained your team’s support and published a written policy, you can move forward with implementation. Hold training sessions. Solicit feedback and ask team members what they think. And listen to the feedback without getting defensive.

Ready to Measure and Improve Employee Productivity?

Now you know all about employee monitoring — what it is, why you need it, and the pros and cons. You also now have the tools to decide the best system for your organization, and you know how to get the support of your team and lawfully implement the system. 

A good employee monitoring system will not only work for your business now but also grow with your organization. It will improve your business, mitigate legal and financial liabilities, and prevent or aid in the investigation of internal issues.

You must also take into account the kind of team you operate and your existing toolkit so that you can take advantage of integrations. 

  • Our overall top recommendation is Hubstaff as it offers many basic and advanced tools that work well for businesses of all sizes. 
  • For the more cost-conscious organization or those that just want to test out employee monitoring without committing too much capital to it, we recommend ActivTrak because it has the best free plan on the market. 
  • If you’re looking for something with all the bells and whistles, Time Doctor offers the broadest set of tools and the possibly most comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes. 
  • For the best billing management, look no further than Workpuls.
  • If you’re looking for something more suited towards large businesses and enterprises, try out Teramind
Was this article helpful?
0 / 5 Average vote: 5

Your page rank:

Written by
Anastasia Belyh
Join our Free 7-Day Email Course for Beginners to
MAKE MONEY BLOGGING FAST
FREE 8,000 word email course. FREE WordPress blog launch checklist. FREE plan to $10k in 90 days.
JOIN NOW!
We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.