Computer monitoring software is a favorite among companies that have adopted hybrid and remote work models in the recent pandemic years.
It tracks and monitors your employees’ productivity levels, how they spend their work hours, projects they’re working on, etc. This gives you accurate insights into an employee’s performance regardless of where they’re working from.
But with thousands of computer monitoring tools available today, which one should you go for?
In this article, we’ll highlight the 10 best computer monitoring software, including their features and prices. We’ll also explore the pros and cons of computer monitoring software.
This article contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- 10 best computer monitoring software
- 3 key pros of computer monitoring software
- 2 major cons of computer monitoring software
10 best computer monitoring software
Here’s are the 10 best computer monitoring software for productivity tracking:
1. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a powerful computer monitoring software and productivity tool preferred by many large companies like Ericsson and small businesses like Thrive Market.
It offers the ultimate package of features, including robust time tracking, efficient computer monitoring, detailed reporting – just to name a few.
Here are some of Time Doctor’s best features:
A. Time tracking
Time Doctor has a highly flexible and easy-to-use time tracker.
This remote monitoring tool offers both manual and automatic time tracking.
In the interactive or manual mode, your employee can start the tracker when they begin their work and stop when they’re done or need a break.
Here’s how it works:
- Open Time Doctor and enter the task’s name.
- Click Start when you’re ready to begin.
- Click Stop when you’re done or need to pause.
With the automatic time tracker, Time Doctor tracks the computer usage from the moment your employee turns on their remote desktops. It’ll silently run in the background and track productivity data without disturbing your virtual teams’ workflows.
B. Detailed reports and analytics
Time Doctor generates automated reports based on time tracking data.
These comprehensive real time reports tell you how your employees spend their working time so you can evaluate their performance.
Here are some of the reports that Time Doctor can generate for you:
- Timeline report: This shows you how much time an employee spends on each task, project, and client.
- Attendance report: Know when an employee is absent, present, late, partially absent, etc.
- Activity summary report: Reports each employee’s idle minutes, active minutes, manual time, and mobile time.
- Web and app usage report: Check your employee’s time spent on different apps and websites.
C. Idle time tracking
Time Doctor’s in-built Idle Time Tracking feature informs employees about their unproductive work hours.
When it detects zero mouse and keyboard movements for 3 minutes, Time Doctor sends a pop-up alert to the employee. If the alert is ignored, it assumes that the employee is on a break and automatically pauses the timer.
This ensures that your virtual teams only log active minutes as working time.
Note: To protect user privacy, Time Doctor doesn’t support keylogging. It only monitors if the keys are in use.
D. Screencasts (optional)
Time Doctor lets you capture screenshots of employees’ screens for real-time insights into how your employees spend their working time.
This screenshot feature is optional, so you can disable or enable it for employees’ computer screens. To protect your employees’ privacy, you can also delete or blur a screenshot if it contains any sensitive data.
- Make your employees feel safe with Time Doctor’s employee-friendly settings.
- Track your employees’ remote desktops even when their network is down.
- Monitor all websites and apps used by employees during their working hours.
- Export reports in either CSV or XLS formats for easy storage.
- Protect your data with Time Doctor’s strict security and privacy policies.
- Integrate with dozens of apps with its powerful Chrome extension.
- Pays bills and salaries accurately with the automated payroll processing system.
- Use Time Doctor on Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
Time Doctor’s paid plans begin at $7/user per month. You can also try its 14-day free trial without any credit card information.
- G2: 4.4/5 (250+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (350+ reviews)
Hubstaff is an activity tracking tool and collaboration software.
It tracks your remote employees’ productivity and automates mundane administrative tasks such as billing, reports, etc., along with features like GPS tracking.
- Generate productivity reports drawn from GPS-based time tracking features.
- Review, reject, or approve activity reports and timesheets.
- Streamline work management with automated scheduling, time off requests, and attendance.
- Track web and application usage with screenshots of employees’ screens.
Hubstaff offers a free plan, and its paid plans start from $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (350+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (1000+ reviews)
Teramind is an employee monitoring software that lets you track your employees’ productivity with detailed timesheets, spreadsheets, email monitoring, keylogger feature, etc.
It also protects you from data breaches and detects insider threats in your organization.
- Evaluate employee activity through detailed reports.
- Automate risk detection and block unwanted employee behavior on a target computer.
- Video record employee’s computer activity.
- Prevent data exfiltration with industry-grade data loss prevention (DLP) features.
Teramind’s paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 3.9/5 (30+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (60+ reviews)
ActivTrak is another efficient employee tracking tool with a simple user interface that offers insightful employee activity reports based on computer monitoring.
It’s compatible with remote computers with macOS and Windows, and also available as a mobile app on Android and iOS devices.
- Provides a dashboard view showing productivity trends of individuals and the whole team.
- Offers productivity coaching to empower employees to achieve bigger goals.
- Lets you create a custom classification of employees’ websites and application usage.
- Removes employees’ sensitive data from activity logs such as passwords, personal usage data, etc.
ActivTrak offers a free plan, and the paid plans start from $9/user per month.
- G2: 4.5/5 (150+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (500+ reviews)
DeskTime is an employee productivity monitoring tool that provides overtime calculations, spreadsheets, detailed work reports, etc., to track work activities with ease.
- Offers an overview of your employees’ productivity using a productivity bar.
- Promotes time management with its Pomodoro timer.
- Allows employees to take a break from automatic computer monitoring with the private time feature.
- Tracks employees’ work hours without additional software via an integrated web time tracker.
DeskTime has a free plan, and the paid plans start at $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.8/5 (25+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (200+ reviews)
Harvest is a computer monitoring software solution suitable for freelancers and small business owners.
With easy configurations, this employee monitoring tool offers time tracking, automated invoices, and solid integrations to boost your employees’ productivity and efficiency.
- Allow employees the choice of automatic time tracking and manual timesheet filling.
- Manage resources through detailed employee productivity reports.
- Streamline communication with automated reminders and responses.
- Track employees’ computer usage throughout the day with Harvest’s browser extensions.
Harvest has a free plan, and its Pro plan starts at $12/user per month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (700+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (450+ reviews)
KickIdler is a user activity tracker designed for large and small businesses as well as public institutions. It offers real time user activity monitoring, time tracking, usage reports, etc.
It also doubles up as parental control software.
- View all your employees’ desktops simultaneously with the quad splitter feature.
- Generate various activity logs such as details of the day, working timesheets, etc.
- Access your employees’ remote desktops from anywhere with the remote access feature.
- Monitor employee computer activity via video recordings and screenshots.
The paid versions start at $3.67/user per month.
- G2: 4.7/5 (5+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (35+ reviews)
8. Veriato Vision
Veriato Vision is an employee computer monitoring software that uses AI to derive desktop monitoring data and analytics. Apart from a computer, you can also use this remote monitoring tool on an iOS or Android device.
- Monitors employees’ computer activity to track productivity.
- Provides video recordings and screenshots of any target computer.
- Tracks user behavior to detect potential threats and productivity levels.
- Detects suspicious employee behavior with custom lists of keywords and terms containing sensitive data, hate speech, etc.
Veriato Vision is priced at $150/feature per month.
- G2: N/A
- Capterra: N/A
9. iMonitorSoft EAM
iMonitorSoft EAM is an employee tracking software that lets you track 1000 computers from a central server. You can use it to efficiently manage your remote employees, track their productivity, and protect data.
- Tracks domain-based laptops and PCs, remote desktops with a VPN, and those outside your company’s network.
- Supports keylogging and records social media user activity, activity on external storage devices like USB, etc.
- Automatically limits time for non-work-related apps and websites.
- Monitors remote desktops, even on Windows Terminal Server or Citrix.
iMonitorSoft EAM’s paid plans start from $45.96/feature with lifetime access.
- G2: N/A
- Capterra: N/A
10. Work Examiner
Work Examiner is an efficient employee monitoring tool to track your remote employees’ web usage, working time, and productivity metrics. It offers both on-premise and cloud-based pc monitoring software.
- Monitors active and idle time spent on websites and apps.
- Captures screenshots of employees’ computer screens during their active minutes.
- Records keystrokes to capture what’s being typed.
- Supports live streaming and continuous video recording of a target pc.
Work Examiner’s paid plans start from $7.99/user per month.
- G2: N/A
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (5+reviews)
Next, let’s check out a few pros and cons of pc monitoring software.
3 key pros of computer monitor software
Here are a few reasons why you should start using an employee computer monitoring software today:
1. Measure productivity
As you shift your workforce to remote and hybrid models, it may be challenging to measure your employees’ productivity accurately.
This is why you need employee monitoring software to track the work hours of your remote employees. Its activity logs and timesheets will give useful insight to help you evaluate their productivity and conduct performance reviews.
Some monitoring solutions also let the employee view their productivity reports. This can help them spot areas of improvement and focus better on delivering quality work.
2. Enables a productive workflow
With employee tracking software, you’ll better understand who’s good at what.
For example, you may discover that some employees take lesser time covering certain tasks than others. This indicates they’re clearly more skilled at those tasks.
It’ll help you assign tasks to employees best equipped to complete these tasks more productively than others.
Moreover, you can check on employees who need to improve their work and help boost their productivity.
3. Better security
Often, you may have no choice but to share information about your projects with your remote employees.
But how do you ensure data security?
Tracking your employees’ user activity will tell you how they use company information and sensitive data. Many employee tracking tools also offer data loss protection to protect you from insider threats and suspicious user behavior.
With employee computer monitoring software, you can give your remote worker all the necessary information without fearing security breaches.
However, you should also know certain downsides of employee computer monitoring software.
2 cons of computer monitoring software
Here are some disadvantages you should keep in mind when using employee monitoring software:
1. May stress employees
Knowing that their computer activity is being tracked may stress out some employees. They may feel disrespected or mistrusted in their workplaces.
These concerns may:
- Reduce employees’ trust in you.
- Decrease their morale.
- Tamper with your company’s remote work culture.
To avoid this, it’s essential to give them a clear idea of the data used, where it’s stored, privacy details that protect their data, etc. Discuss these details in whole team meetings before you deploy such technology.
2. Invading personal time
Some user activity monitoring tools continuously track employees’ computer activity even when they’re on breaks or off-duty. This can be seen as a violation of individual privacy.
You must ensure that you’re using the computer monitoring software as ethically as possible.
Look for computer monitoring software with strong privacy features and gives your remote workforce a choice to start and stop the tool according to their work hours.
You can also restrict some privacy-invading features of computer monitoring software.
For example, some monitoring systems capture keystrokes that tell you precisely what the employee is typing. Instead, you can opt for a monitoring tool that only checks for keystroke movements to determine active minutes.
Computer monitoring software is essential to track employees’ working hours, spot pitfalls, and improve your company’s efficiency — especially if you manage a virtual team.
Go through the tools we covered here to determine the right employee monitoring solution for your needs.
While all the monitoring tools mentioned in this article are great, Time Doctor is clearly the best employee monitoring software with the right blend of features.
It’ll help enhance your company’s efficiency as it’ll give you insights into the employee while also respecting their privacy.
Sign up for Time Doctor’s free trial and skyrocket your team’s productivity today!