Find out more about Employee Monitoring Software
What is Employee Monitoring Software?
Employee monitoring software is used by businesses to keep track of their staff members’ computer activities such as software usage, internet browsing, networking interactions, active and idle computer time, and more. Managers can use the reports generated by the software to evaluate the output and performance of employees and to plan strategies to improve their productivity. Businesses can use this platform to monitor all devices used by their employees from a central location. The software can be deployed over a business network for centralized log viewing. Companies can also utilize remote desktop software to monitor their employees. Start by checking our leader FlexiServer, and other recommended solutions in this category.
Top 10 Most Popular Employee Monitoring Software
How To Choose The Best Employee Monitoring Software
Employee monitoring software is becoming a preferred solution by companies that demand tight control over their intellectual properties or close monitoring of staff productivity. With the advent of cloud programs today, this software type now caters to a wide range of small business and large enterprise across various industries.
How to choose the best employee monitoring software becomes overwhelming when you’re faced with dozens of platforms, both on-premise and cloud-hosted. In this article, we’ll help you understand the fundamental concepts about this niche and, hopefully, you can make a more informed decision in your quest for the best solution.
Get to know each product with free trial
Leverage the free trial plans or demo offered by employee monitoring software providers when choosing an ideal solution. Through the free trial plans you can experience firsthand how each of your shortlisted choice adapts to your processes. Likewise, you can easily do a comparison of the pros and cons of employee monitoring software tools based on actual experience and match it with our user reviews to get a fuller picture. As a matter of convenience to you and to put efficiency to your product research, it is best to try the software solutions currently enjoying the highest SmartScore rankings and Customer Satisfaction Rating in our employee monitoring software reviews. These include: Teramind, Veriato 360, SentryPC, NetVizor and InterGuard.
Employee monitoring software applies to any business and industry. But it is most ideal to companies with the following situations:
- Companies with highly sensitive data. Tech firms or companies that deal with innovations require secrecy prior to launch. The ability to closely monitor the product development team’s activities doesn’t only ensure deadlines are met, but that any potential data leak is arrested to avert compromising trade secrets. The same thing applies to businesses with confidential data to protect, whether in the course of product development or through their day-to-day operations.
- Companies with remote teams, field teams or freelance contractors. Employee monitoring software makes managing remote and field teams or contractors just as easy as keeping a close eye on office-based teams. Through remote desktop control and cloud-based tools, admin can keep track of employee activities, online behavior, email usage, web and video consumption, etc. wherever in the world they’re connected to the internet.
- Companies that want to boost productivity. Keeping an eye on employee working habits helps you spot activity wastage and idle time, which you can quickly address to make sure employees are working during office hours.
Employee Monitoring Software For Enterprises
What is employee monitoring software for enterprises? Whether it’s for small business or large corporations, many employee monitoring software solutions have similar monitoring activity tools. These include silent tracking, alerts, task management, remote desktop control and GPS tracking. The main difference with an enterprise system will be the scale of capabilities. Enterprise can cover hundreds of employees with add-on extensions to further scale the features. In fact, many vendors appeal to small businesses, then they offer scalable price plans to meet enterprise requirements.
What are Examples of Employee Monitoring Software?
- Teramind: Features multiple filtering and monitoring tools. It’s one of the most comprehensive employee monitoring software solutions with scalable plans for small business to large enterprise requirements. Teramind offers both on-premise and cloud-hosted deployment.
- Veriato 360: Features tools to monitor and block employee website activities across the organization. It has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for non-technical users.
- SentryPC: Features tracking tools for idle employees and controls to prevent data breaches. SentryPC is a useful employee productivity evaluation tool.
- NetVizor: Features standard tracking tools and advanced monitoring capabilities to protect sensitive company information. The software also allows for blocking access to company digital assets to thwart unauthorized activities.
- InterGuard: A cloud-hosted employee monitoring software that focuses on employee productivity. The software tracks employee internet activities.
Types of Employee Monitoring Software
There are no distinct types of employee monitoring software. The features are standard across business size, types and industry. We can categorize the software though by how it’s used or the goal it’s intended for.
- Security surveillance. The primary function of employee monitoring software is to track illegal or unauthorized activities that may compromise company data. This enables you to arrest further damage once a data breach happens by automatically disabling user access based on predefined rules.
- Project management. Some employee monitoring software solutions bundle themselves with task management and time tracking features. In most cases, they are project management software more than an employee tracking solution, even as they are labeled as part of the latter. It is important to have a clear priority on why you’re using the software because there are subtle differences between a project management software with employee monitoring tools versus an employee monitoring software with project management capabilities.
- Productivity tool. Many employee monitoring software solutions track employee productivity to ensure they’re working during office hours that they’re paid for. It’s a function they share with time-tracking or task management software solutions. In this instance, the employee monitoring software becomes a productivity tool to help teams keep to their schedule and deadlines.
Key Features of Employee Monitoring Software
Our detailed comparisons indicate that the best employee monitoring software tracks the staff’s computer usage beyond web visits. It can monitor opened, deleted or modified files and files that are copied or printed to a disk. There are many features that make activity monitoring possible and here are the major ones that you should look for in a software.
Silent mode. Silent or stealth tracking is essential to employee tracking. When employees don’t know that they’re being monitored, they can’t circumvent the tracking system. Conversely, when employees know they’re be tracked it may create resentment and demoralization. The best employee monitoring software solutions should have a silent mode setting to enable you to observe employee behavior with confidentiality. Silent tracking is also important when dealing with freelancer, contractors or telecommuting staff, where you have less control over work ethics.
Deployment. Deployment can be on-premise or cloud-hosted. On-premise, where the software is installed in your server, is the standard deployment, but cloud employee monitoring software, wherein the system is hosted in a vendor’s server, is getting popular. The main advantage of cloud-hosted is that employees can be tracked remotely.
Alerts. The employee monitoring software is in place to promote good user behavior. But when security is breached or protocols are violated, the system notifies you at once. This is critical especially for teams dealing with sensitive or confidential data.
Moreover, alerts can be customized with rules. Because not all breaches have the same impact on your operation, alerts can be set according to levels or criteria to merit the appropriate response. Typical rules are based on user behavior, such as, email destination or web access, file transfers and instant messaging. For example, rules can block unauthorized emails or disable intranet access to unknown IP address. Most importantly, alerts let you capture at once serious policy violation like writing to an external drive or file transfer and stop the activity on its tracks to minimize the impact of the security breach.
Remote desktop control. Many employee monitoring software allows for remote control of sessions from an employee’s device or browser. The keyboard or mouse of a company-issued laptop can be disabled when a violation occurs to prevent escalation. Likewise, screen capture or live tracking can be activated for real-time monitoring of remote devices.
Cloud-hosted employee monitoring software make it possible to extend security alerts to devices anywhere in the globe where they’re connected to the internet. In such setup, security rules can be preset to warn of devices that disconnect from the internet, a potential attempt to disable the tracking software.
GPS tracking. Some systems are equipped with GPS tracking, especially to monitor vehicle use. The employee monitoring software tracks the GPS device installed in the vehicle and logs its location in real time in a centralized database.
Evaluation of employee productivity. Employee monitoring software also tracks employee productivity beyond logging in and out of working hours. Not only does it show the sites or apps being used, but how they’re being used. Employee activity can be given context if it’s productive or wasteful to your operation. Is your collaboration app being used to push a project or to chat about the latest work gossip? Similarly, you can easily spot idle employees. The software acts as a management assessment tool in this aspect, where it generates reports that highlight work inefficiencies in your departments, so you can institute corrective measures.
Task management. Employee monitoring software solutions may have this feature or it’s integrated from another system like a project management solution. Task management includes the assigning, scheduling and monitoring of tasks.
Time tracking. This feature can also be integrated or as an add-on. Similar to the various time tracking apps that integrate with employee monitoring software, an integrated tool does a good job at tracking worked hours down to the minute. This enables you to bill with accuracy and transparency, if you’re servicing clients, or ensures that your paying only for productive hours, if you’re tapping contractors or freelancers.
Timesheet. Employee attendance is also monitored; the standard tool is tracking log in/out and capturing this data on a timesheet. A timesheet may also indicate leaves or holidays, but an employee monitoring software usually leaves the more robust HR functions to an HRM, ERP or a standalone timesheet app.
Benefits from Employee Monitoring Software
An employee monitoring software may be additional operational cost, but the returns surpass the expense. Consider these advantages:
- Ensure employee productivity and efficiency. By closely monitoring employee activities, you can spot wasteful tasks or idle time and initiate the necessary response. Remote teams and freelance contractors are especially susceptible to underperformance and delays when left on their own; thus, an employee monitoring software keeps you in constant touch with them.
- Protect sensitive data. Employee monitoring software can track unauthorized activities and prevent further data breach damage by isolating at once the violation. These can be disabling database access, blocking emails or wrestling control over remote PC or laptops. Such software solutions provide you with critical information on employee activities to check for potential dangers. These include FTP details like date and time of file transfers, password changes or attempts, database logins/outs, internet activities and user keystrokes.
- Accurate billing. Whether you’re servicing clients or tapping contractors, you’re assured of transparent billing down to the minute of billable working hours. An employee monitoring software’s time tracker captures productive hours for fair billing and avoids dispute that mars, if not ruins, business relationships.
- Evaluate employee output fairly. The software helps you identify hard-working employees from lackadaisical performers. With a clear report in hand on employee activities down to the minute, assessing employees is transparent and fair. Promoting or assigning employees to major projects becomes merit-based backed by data.
- Manage deadlines and meet targets. Keeping a close tab on daily employee productivity helps you see if outputs are aligned with weekly and monthly targets. It’s easy to anticipate delays and make the necessary course of actions to put employee productivity up to speed with your goals, or, adjust deadlines in tune with the actual outputs that your employees can muster in reality. All projects start with estimates and as tasks are delivered, deadlines are easier to adjust with accurate and real-time data provided by the employee monitoring software.
What are the latest trends in employee monitoring software? Some of these are now being explored, while others are still a concept that’s best taken with reservation.
- Fitness wearables. Wearable fitness devices help individuals monitor their blood pressure, heart rate and general health. To promote wellness, some companies are now distributing these wearables to employees to help keep the workforce healthy and productive. This trend is especially ideal for blue-collar jobs that require the staff to stay fit to perform their tasks at optimum level. Critics raise the issue though of ownership and implication to career of the data generated by these devices. Those who are deemed unhealthy may be discriminated against promotion compared to their healthier colleagues.
- Implants. It’s no longer a fictional future but can be theoretically applied to humans. Livestock is now embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip to enable quick identification and reduce inventory theft. Will humans one day be required to undergo the same under-the-skin monitoring implant especially in critical operations like diamond mining and in countries with less-than-ideal labor protection?
- People analytics. Employee monitoring software generates huge data volumes that, once aggregated, can reveal patterns and trends that are useful for business decisions. What’s more different employee monitoring solutions may share their consolidated data and help employers do background checks in an instant, incorporating employee’s social media profiles, online engagement and other web activities to create a 360-degree profile. This trend is replete with ethical and legal obstacles before it comes to fruition.
- Sentiment analytics. Some large companies like IBM, Accenture and Intel are now using sentiment analytics to gauge employees’ moods on their job. This advanced feature is being tested to identify workplace problems or issues and help companies to formulate solutions to nurture employee morale.
What are the potential issues with employee monitoring software? There are major and minor implications, but none that cannot be addressed by major systems in the market today.
- Legal issues. There’s no federal law in the U.S. that prohibits employee monitoring in the private sector. But legal complications may arise if you deal with government contracts, as it is illegal for government to spy on its citizens, dating back to the clause in the National Security Act of 1947. Since then, numerous laws have been passed or modified to restrict government from illegal surveillance and your company may get caught in this web of legal entanglement if you deal with federal projects. Likewise, there may be state laws that prohibit or limit employee monitoring even in private companies, so check your state and lawyer first before instituting an employee monitoring program.
- Impact on employee morale. The underlying and unspoken premise of employee monitoring is that employees are not to be trusted; hence, they must be closely watched. That’s a sure way to put a wall between management and staff. It’s difficult to collaborate or share ideas under an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. Innovation happens when employees have ownership of their work out of passion, not out of fear for being seen not working. It’s a good thing that most employee monitoring software nowadays feature silent monitoring, where the staff don’t know they’re being watched.
- Undue stress on employees. When eyes are on you, it’s hard to focus. This can cause stress. The idea that someone is monitoring your every move can make you agitated or lose concentration on matters that require focus. Again, it’s important that the employee monitoring system has a silent mode to let you track staff without causing them undue stress.
- Lack of privacy. There’s a perceived privacy intrusion when employees are monitored. Generally, people guard their privacy and take exception when management takes it away from them.
- Employee turnover. The combination of diminished morale, stress and loss of privacy can result in lower retention. HR may step in and help the company restrict employee monitoring to really important business aspects alone and strike a balance between employee welfare vs. company welfare.
List of Employee Monitoring Software Companies
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Our Score Read More
Our website employs our proprietary SmartScore™ approach to gather information about all the software in the Employee Monitoring Software category so that we can help you decide on the best possible solution. It compares and contrasts the following factors: individual functionalities, collaboration capabilities, customization, integrations with other services, how easy a software is to use and learn, help & support, security, mobility, general media ratings. At the moment, FlexiServer is the leader in this category and our experts are really satisfied with it. After extensive examination it had the best results among its competitors and we strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the alternatives for your business.
User Satisfaction Read More
A summary of total user satisfaction with the services in our Employee Monitoring Software category evaluated with our unique algorythm that finds client reviews, comments and opinions across a wide range of social media platforms to help you make an informed purchase choice.
Pricing Read More
Every vendor in the Employee Monitoring Software category will offer a different group of pricing plans for its app and each package will include a varied set of tools. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable plan provided for each product. Keep in mind that advanced features may cost extra.
Devices Supported Read More
An overview of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B services in the Employee Monitoring Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Laguages Supported Read More
Check what languages and geographies are supported by the popular B2B services in the Employee Monitoring Software category, including services designed for international markets and created for multi-cultural teams of employees.
Pricing Model Read More
Examine which pricing models are provided by the vendors in the Employee Monitoring Software category to see which one fits your business needs and expenses best. Note that certain apps can offer free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.
Customer Types Read More
An analysis of which types of companies a specific B2B service in the Employee Monitoring Software category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to big enterprises.
Deployment Read More
An overview of what styles of service deployement are offered by each B2B vendor in the Employee Monitoring Software category. Even though most of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based certain solutions might offer an on-site deployment model as well.