ActivTrak vs HiveDesk: A head-to-head comparison

by Time Doctor
Activtrak vs Hivedesk

ActivTrak and HiveDesk are good employee monitoring software tools that can help you gauge the productivity of in-house and remote teams.

In this article, we’ll provide a feature-by-feature comparison of ActivTrak vs Hivedesk to help you decide on the right tool that suits your needs. We’ll also give you a powerful alternative software that can help you boost employee productivity.

ActivTrak vs HiveDesk: Quick comparison 

Before we begin, here’s a short summary of the features ActivTrak and HiveDesk have to offer.

Time trackingAutomatic time tracking onlyInteractive time capture only
Productivity management Features like the daily team pulse help manage employee productivityFeatures such as activity monitoring assist in managing employee productivity
Project managementNoHas project tracking and task tracking features that help with project management
SchedulingIncludes scheduling features that help organizing employee shiftsUses workforce management processes to help with task scheduling
Geo locationNoYes
Attendance trackingDoesn’t include attendance tracking functionality.Timesheets help track attendance.
IntegrationsLess than 25 integrationsOnly one integration 
Mobile app functionalityNoYes
Platform compatibilityMac OS, Windows, and Linux, SaaS cloud based service Mac OS, Windows, and Linux, iOS, and Android
PricingIncludes a freemium version, paid plans start at $10/user per month.Includes a free trial. Paid plans start at $25 per month for 5 users.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into what each productivity tracking software is capable of.

ActivTrak vs HiveDesk: An in-depth comparison

ActivTrak and HiveDesk are two robust monitoring tools that allow you to gauge individual and team performance during business hours. 

Now, let’s compare the features of ActivTrak and HiveDesk in detail.

1. Tool overview

First, here’s a short overview of what ActivTrak and HiveDesk are all about.

A. What is ActivTrak?

Activtrak homepage

ActivTrak is an employee monitoring software that helps understand the performance of on premise and remote workers. 

The monitoring tool uses time tracking data to optimize a company’s workflow and ensure operational efficiency and compliance.

This software tool is compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and any SaaS cloud based service.

B. What is HiveDesk?

Hivedesk homepage

HiveDesk is a workforce management tool that helps company managers assess team performance and project progression. 

HiveDesk is compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at the prominent features of each software.

2. Time tracking

Whether you’re tracking staff productivity or the billable hours of freelancers, time tracking is essential for any business.

Here’s how each tool approaches time tracking:

A. ActivTrak

ActivTrak is an automatic time tracking software that silently runs in the background as a user executes their task. 

Once you install the ActivTrak agent, the software senses mouse and keyboard activity and records data accordingly.

Users can view the collected data via the Dashboard or Activity log.

1) Dashboard

The ActivTrak dashboard’s interactive interface provides users with the ability to view team activities.

With this dashboard, you can:

  • View how an in-house and remote employee operates during work hours by filtering their time into productive and unproductive categories.
  • Understand how much time an employee spends using relevant work tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.
ActivTrak dashboard
2) Activity Log

ActivTrak’s activity log gives you access to all the time tracking information available.

The feature lets a person break down employee activity according to the time recorded. It also lets employers see what workers do at any particular time during working hours.

ActivTrak activity log

B. HiveDesk

HiveDesk is an employee monitoring tool with interactive time tracking functionality. The tool tracks employee time and attendance to assess individual and team performance. 

Here are the time tracking features the tool has to offer:

1) Time card
HiveDesk Time card

Hivedesk’s time cards feature allows team members to track their time on specific tasks or projects. Once they finish the work or their work hours, an employee can stop time recording for that project or task and clock out.

2) Timesheet

Timesheets provide a comprehensive overview of each team member’s logged hours, making it easy for businesses to review and approve timesheets for accurate payroll processing.

HiveDesk Timesheet

Quick Recap

ActivTrak has a more comprehensive time tracking functionality than HiveDesk. But HiveDesk has more flexibility with how employees clock in and out.

3. Productivity management

One of the key benefits of adopting employee monitoring software is that it can improve productivity by managing distractions and identifying inefficient processes.

Let’s explore how these two activity monitoring tools assist in improving team productivity:

A. ActivTrak

Through its various productivity management features, the software can help you gauge which actions of an employee are productive or unproductive.

1) Daily team pulse

This feature ensures productivity monitoring by letting you:

  • Monitor team productivity in real time.
  • View the availability of each user. 
  • See each task or project your employee is tackling.
ActivTrak daily team pulse
2) Screen capture

The screen capture feature gives managers an idea of what employees do during working hours. 

With visual records, you can view the actions of your on premise and remote workforce in real time. This insight can help you make necessary decisions to improve productivity.

ActivTrak screen capture
3) Website blocking 

ActivTrak’s website blocking feature allows employers to restrict access to specific websites. With this feature, you can block access to time consuming sites such as social media and Youtube during work hours.

ActivTrak website blocking
4) Custom alarms

The time tracking app uses custom alarms to manage distractions. You can customize the alarm to fit the needs of your company.

When the alarm is triggered, the tracking tool takes various measures to sustain productivity. 

It can capture the employee’s screen or send a user productivity reminder pop-up, depending on the settings.

ActivTrak custom alarm

B. HiveDesk

Here’s how HiveDesk approaches productivity management:

1) Activity monitoring

HiveDesk’s activity report gives a detailed account of employee activity. You can increase accountability by tracking productive and non-productive time spent on your projects.

2) Screenshots

The screenshots feature lets you examine employee activity with context. You can even control how often the time tracking app takes screenshots of an employee’s computer.

HiveDesk screencasts
2) Automatic inactivity checkout

HiveDesk can automatically check users out to manage unproductive work hours when it senses inactivity. The time tracking tool allows 5 minutes of inactivity before it logs out users.

HiveDesk Automatic inactivity checkout

Quick recap

ActivTrak has a broader range of features than HiveDesk that help minimize distractions and improve productivity.

4. Project management

Every leading company uses a project management tool to improve workflow and maximize productivity. 

Let’s see how each workforce management tool tackles project management:

A. ActivTrak

ActivTrak doesn’t have dedicated project management features. 

But it uses workforce optimization strategies such as time tracking and activity monitoring to correlate work habits with productivity trends and estimate project progress.

B. HiveDesk

HiveDesk has comprehensive project management features to help you reach your objectives. A project manager can assign work to each team member according to strengths and availability.

1) Project tracking

With HiveDesk’s project tracking feature, you can:

  • Assign employees to work on different projects.
  • Track how much time they spend on each project.
  • Add the hourly rate for each employee to track project labor costs.
HiveDesk project tracking
2) Task tracking

The task tracking feature lets you create individual tasks for a specific project. A project manager can then assign each task to a team member.

HiveDesk task tracking
Quick recap

HiveDesk has dedicated features for project and task tracking, whereas Activtrak doesn’t have dedicated project management features.

5. Scheduling

Scheduling employee shifts and tasks is imperative to improve workflow and increase productivity.

Here’s how each tool does this:

A. ActivTrak

ActivTrak’s scheduling software lets you add individual team members to specific schedules that reflect their working hours. 

ActivTrak scheduling

B. HiveDesk

Although HiveDesk doesn’t have a dedicated scheduling feature, you can still create tasks or assign project roles with a due date to any team member.   

Quick recap

ActivTrak gives flexibility to managers as they can set monitored work schedules, while HiveDesk lacks a dedicated scheduling feature.

6. Attendance tracking

Here’s how these two tools automate attendance tracking and save time and work.

A. ActivTrak

ActivTrak  doesn’t have dedicated attendance tracking capabilities.  

B. HiveDesk

HiveDesk tracks attendance through its comprehensive features, which provide businesses with detailed insights into their team’s productivity.

HiveDesk dashboard

Quick Recap

ActivTrak doesn’t offer attendance tracking. HiveDesk has a comprehensive tracker to assess employee attendance and punctuality.

7. Reporting

A detailed report can help you measure employee productivity and improve performance. 

Let’s look at what kind of detailed report these two software tools offer:

A. ActivTrak

Here are a few reports ActivTrak provides:

  • Time report: Shows how employees spend their time during work hours. It captures active and idle time data.
  • Web and app usage report: Displays the websites and applications employees access during work hours.
  • Security report: Ensures data security and compliance by providing information on file and document usage.
ActivTrak security tracking

B. HiveDesk

HiveDesk provides comprehensive reports to help businesses and teams monitor and analyze their activities.

These include:

  • Team activity report: Provides an overview of the team’s productivity and work patterns. 
  • Chart report: A visual representation of productivity data, making it easier to understand and interpret trends and patterns. 
  • Screenshot report: A detailed report on employee screenshots for insights about productivity patterns.
HiveDesk report

Quick recap

Both ActivTrak and HiveDesk provide detailed reports that can help you better understand employees’ work habits.

8. Integrations

Software integrations can provide additional support for maximizing employee productivity and streamlining workflow. 

Here are some software tools that integrate with ActivTrak and HiveDesk:

A. ActivTrak 

ActivTrak integrates with around 20+ tools, such as: 

  • Payroll software: Xero
  • Project management software:, Jira, Zapier, and MS Teams.
  • Business Intelligence software:  Google Data Studio, Tableau, and Splunk.

B. HiveDesk

Hivedesk only integrates with Asana.

Quick Recap

ActivTrak has significantly more integrations than HiveDesk.

Looking for ActivTrak alternatives? Check out this comprehensive guide to the best ActivTrak alternatives, including Time Doctor, Hubstaff, and Teramind.

9. Pricing

Here’s how much each tool would cost you: 

A. ActivTrak

ActivTrak has a freemium plan for up to three users. The paid plan begins at $10/user per month (billed annually).


HiveDesk has a 14-day free trial. The paid plan begins at $25 per month for 5 users 

Quick Recap 

ActivTrak and HiveDesk both offer affordable payment plans.

Both tools have commendable capabilities that can assist you in employee monitoring but may be limited in some crucial departments.

Picking the correct productivity monitoring software can be a hassle, so you should look for alternatives that fit your company’s needs.

A powerful alternative to ActivTrak and HiveDesk

We’ve covered the features that Activtrak and HiveDesk offer, which can assist you in employee time tracking, productivity management, and scheduling.

But each has its own drawbacks— ActivTrak doesn’t have project management capabilities and HiveDesk is incapable of precise employee scheduling.

Alternatively, another special software that should be on your radar is Time Doctor

But what is it?

What is Time Doctor?

Time Doctor-better for organization

Time Doctor is an employee time tracking and management tool that a small business like Thrive Market and a large company like Ericsson use to boost employee productivity.

Here’s what you can do with Time Doctor:

  • Manually or automatically track employee time.
  • View screenshots of users’ screens with the screencast feature.
  • Create a main project and break it into simple tasks which can be assigned to various team members.
  • Create accurate work schedules to improve daily company planning.
  • Use the payroll integrations to make paying employees a breeze. 

ActivTrak vs HiveDesk: Final verdict

Overall, HiveDesk and ActivTrak provide valuable insights into employee productivity, time management, and work patterns. 

But ActivTrak lacks project management functionality and HiveDesk can’t execute employee scheduling. Both features are essential for comprehensive employee monitoring. 

In contrast, Time Doctor is an excellent ActivTrak and HiveDesk alternative if you want a comprehensive solution. 

 Why not sign up for Time Doctor’s 14-day free trial and experience it yourself?

Book a free demo of Time Doctor

help managers focus on what matters most
time doctor ratings

Related Posts