Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (2022)

We take a deep dive into the best employee monitoring software packages on the market in 2022, considering the best use cases for each.

  • With remote work increasingly the norm rather than the exception, keeping tabs on employee productivity and efficiency is more difficult – yet more important – than ever.
  • A number of companies now offer packages that monitor everything from keystrokes to external drive access, generating live and prescheduled reports.
  • While these packages might seem broadly similar on paper, there are marked differences in day-to-day use, with some better suited to specific tasks than others.
  • This guide is for business owners, directors and HR managers who want to learn the differences between the best employee monitoring software tools.

Employee monitoring software gives small business owners and managers invaluable insights into how employees spend their time at work. The best employee monitoring software can track web browsing and application use, block content and applications, capture screenshots of user activity, and provide insightful reports.

To help you find the best solution for your business, we’ve reviewed the best software applications on the market in 2022. In doing so, we considered affordability, ease of use and the features that help you monitor employee activity, productivity and cybersecurity.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (1)Did you know?: We think of employee monitoring as a modern phenomenon, but Henry Ford was an early adopter of its principles over a century ago.

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Compare Our Best Picks

Employee monitoring softwareOverall scoreBest forFree planFree trialUser minimumPricingSoftware plansContract lengthHosting optionsCompatible operating systemsKeystroke loggingSilent or visibleCustomer support
Teramind9.3/10Security threat protectionNo7-14 days5$10-$30 per seat per month; custom rates for Enterprise users4Monthly and annualCloud and on-premisesWindows, Windows Server, Mac, Citrix, VDI, VMware Horizon, terminal serversYesBothPhone, email, webchat
InterGuard9.2/10Remote workforcesNo7 days5$25 per user per month or $179 per user per year; custom rates for Enterprise users2Monthly, annual, 2-year, 3-year, and 5-year plansCloudWindows, Mac, terminal servers (VMWare Citrix), Chromebook, iOS, AndroidYesBothPhone, webchat
ActivTrak9.2/10Workforce analyticsYes14 days1 or 5$0-$17 per user per month; custom rates for Enterprise users4 (add-ons available)AnnualCloudWindows, Mac, ChromeNoBothPhone, email, webchat
Veriato9.16/10Larger organizationsNo7 days5$25 per user per month or $179 per user per year; custom rates also available3Monthly and annualCloud and on-premisesWindows, Mac, terminal servers (VMWare Citrix), Chromebook, iOS, AndroidYesBothOnline ticket, phone
SentryPC8.5/10AffordabilityNoDemo onlyNoneStarting at $69.95 per license per year6AnnualCloudWindows, MacYesSilentOnline ticket
BambooHR7.9/10Performance managementNo7 daysNone$4.95-$8.25 per employee per month (custom rates available)2 (add-ons available)MonthlyCloudWindows, Mac, Android, iOSNoNonePhone, email, webchat
Controlio7.9/10Video monitoringNo14 daysNone for cloud; 10 for on-premises data storage$7.99 per user per month, or $79.90 per user per year; custom rates for On-Premises and Private Cloud users3Monthly and annualCloud and on-premisesWindows, MacYesBothPhone, email, webchat
Hubstaff7.88/10Time trackingYes14 days2 for paid plans$0-$20 per user per month; custom rates for Enterprise users4Monthly and annualGlobalWindows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, iOSNoVisibleOnline ticket, webchat
Insightful7.68/10Employee privacyNo14 daysNone for cloud; 100 for on-premises data storage$6.40-$15 per user per month; custom rates for Enterprise users4Monthly and annualCloud and on-premisesWindows, MacNoBothPhone, webchat

Our Reviews

Teramind: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Security Threat Protection

Teramind has a live screen view and history playback, which can record employees' screens only when violations occur.

You can control employee devices remotely and manually override user accounts, which is great for security-focused industries.

Teramind requires at least five seats.

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Teramind is extremely secure software that can be deployed in an office or remotely through the cloud. It can monitor Windows, Windows Server, Mac, Citrix, VDI, VMware Horizon and terminal servers, and it’s our choice for firms or industries where security is paramount.

Editor’s score: 86/100

Each of Teramind’s three plans contain features to satisfy specific tracking needs. The Starter plan is the most basic option, suitable for standard monitoring. The User Activity Monitoring (UAM) plan is for businesses that need more comprehensive monitoring features, while the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) plan combines the features of the UAM plan with additional security.

Teramind can track employee behavior like website and application usage, email activity, online meetings, file transfers, web chats, social media activity, keystrokes, clipboard functions, and print jobs. You can block employees from engaging in certain activities and record their device activity on video and audio. It’s also possible to record only when violations occur, giving employers the option to build in some semblance of user privacy, a unique feature to Teramind that we particularly liked. Unlike many competitors, Teramind also gives you the ability to remotely control employee devices, which can be beneficial if you need to override an employee’s access to secure company information.

You can also access a plethora of reports, real-time alerts and policy management functions. If you want to test out the software before committing, you can take advantage of Teramind’s free live demo, which shows you around the system with sample employee data. Customer support is available by phone, email and live chat.

Read Teramind Review

ActivTrak: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Analytics

ActivTrak offers free and paid plans, and up to three employees can be monitored free of charge, making it ideal for startups.

ActivTrak can distinguish between productive and unproductive behavior as well as active and passive behavior.

Keystroke logging is not available with ActivTrak.

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ActivTrak has a free plan for up to three users, two paid plans with a minimum of five users and a customizable plan for larger enterprises. If you want to improve employee productivity and efficiency, this may be the right tool for you, but it’s also especially good for startups with a small staff and a limited budget. However, it doesn’t work on iOS or Android devices.

Editor’s score: 90/100

ActivTrak has all the features necessary to monitor your employees in a transparent way. For example, you can use the software to track not only how many hours employees work, but how engaged they are. ActivTrak can track how much time your employees engage in productive versus unproductive behavior and active versus passive (idle) behavior through mouse movements, keyboard activity (though not keystroke logging), and website and application usage. If you want to learn which locations your employees are most productive in (e.g., office vs. remote), then you can use ActivTrak’s Location Insights dashboard. This new tool shows you employee productivity broken down by user, location, time of day, and each week.

ActivTrak can help employees stay on track (and safe) by blocking specific websites and applications on a user or group basis. Other security features can include audit trails, USB activity tracking, automated responses and risk scores. We particularly like its advanced insight capabilities, offering a wealth of knowledge that can help employers and managers make informed business decisions and create goals.

The software shows employee analytics like productivity, work efficiency, workload balance and tech usage. You can break these stats down by teams or individual users to identify top performers. Comparisons also help you identify which employees or teams have low levels of productivity or efficiency and may need help. Identifying key features like employee burnout addresses workload inefficiencies while improving employee engagement. With ActivTrak’s new integration with Google Workspace apps (e.g., Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides), employees can view their own metrics on things like their average focus time, top attention-shift apps, days overworked, and more. This data can help employees make informed decisions on how to break up their day best to increase productivity.

Read ActivTrak Review

InterGuard: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Remote Workers

InterGuard can monitor mobile devices, which is perfect for businesses that rely on smartphones.

Data loss prevention technology can lock down devices and peripherals, retrieve corporate data, and block email activity.

It works better for remote employees than in-office staff.

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InterGuard has many tracking and security features that are ideal for keeping a (virtual) eye on employees from afar, ensuring they’re productive and safe. It can be deployed on Windows, Mac, terminal servers, Chromebooks, and iOS and Android devices, giving unique pan-device coverage.

Editor’s score: 91/100

InterGuard offers cloud-hosted software for larger organizations. Annual and monthly plans are available. The software is great at tracking when employees are online and active, when they log on and off, when they are on break, and how much of their day is spent being active versus idle. You can even use geolocation to track field service workers.

InterGuard can monitor website and application usage, social media activity, email, programs, files, chats, print jobs, and keystrokes. You can block employees from unproductive or harmful websites and applications, and program the software to send you alerts when suspicious activity occurs. These security measures make it great for remote workforces. In addition to the standard monitoring features, you can access InterGuard’s data loss prevention software, which has endpoint lockdown and data retrieval features. That means you can instantly retrieve company data and lock down a device if an employee leaves the company. You can also block and report email and USB activity.

The software dashboard is intuitive, with six different view types (chart, user, alert log, data, reports and notifications, and search) to accommodate different types of users.

Read InterGuard Review

BambooHR Employee Monitoring Software: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Management

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BambooHR Employee Monitoring Software

BambooHR has a mobile app with employee self-service features, making it the best overall employee management platform in our review.

In addition to monitoring employees, BambooHR can support payroll, onboarding and hiring.

It can't log keystrokes or block applications.

BambooHR is cloud-based HR software that can be used for employee performance management. It’s not traditional employee monitoring software, but rather a comprehensive HR solution with various features to help small businesses hire and onboard employees, manage employee performance, track employee hours, and run payroll. BambooHR has two paid plans (Essentials and Advantage), which both offer a seven-day free trial and no cancellation fees, that are charged on a per-employee basis with month-to-month agreements. There are add-on capabilities for payroll, time tracking and performance management.

Editor’s score: 74/100

BambooHR’s software is intuitive and easy to use across desktop and mobile devices. Employees can access self-service capabilities with the mobile app, such as managing their time off, viewing company calendars and accessing employee directories and organization charts. If you have questions or issues with the software, you can easily connect with a support representative by phone, email or web chat.

The Essentials and Advantage plans both include standard HR features to help you manage your team, such as employee records, benefits tracking, workflows and approvals, document storage, reporting, and email alerts. BambooHR also now offers a COVID-19 vaccination tracking feature that lets organizations track and record which employees are vaccinated and when they received their vaccine or booster. These results can be pulled into reports to assess your company’s overall vaccination status.

Businesses looking for software that can also help with hiring and onboarding will want the Advantage plan’s applicant tracking system, onboarding and offboarding features, e-signature capabilities, audit trails, and training tracking. The Employee Net Promoter Score system is great for identifying employee engagement and opportunities for improvement.

Read BambooHR Employee Monitoring Software Review

Hubstaff: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Managing Productivity

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Hubstaff

Hubstaff tracks activity rates based on mouse and keyboard usage, giving granular insights into employee productivity.

It works on all platforms, including Windows and Linux, and on iOS and Android devices.

It doesn't log keystrokes or track files or print jobs.

Hubstaff is our choice as the best monitoring software for employee productivity management. It can be difficult to know how productive every employee is, especially remote workers. To alleviate this problem, Hubstaff has non-invasive features that allow you to accurately track employee time and user activity, improving your team’s overall productivity.

Editor’s score: 84/100

Hubstaff is flexible software capable of supporting various industries, devices and worker types, including remote workers, freelancers and field service personnel. Hubstaff supports Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome, as well as iOS and Android devices. There’s a free plan and three affordable paid plans, making it a viable option for businesses of all sizes. All paid plans have a two-user minimum, and you can test the software during a 14-day free trial; there is also a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel, upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.

Hubstaff focuses on tracking employee time and improving productivity, while maintaining employee privacy. It uses mouse and keyboard activity levels to gauge how active your employees are; instead of tracking the exact information they type (keylogging), Hubstaff assigns a true or false value to the activity to indicate productivity. It can take screenshots at regular intervals, but employees can delete screenshots containing sensitive information (e.g., banking information or medical details).

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SentryPC: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Small Businesses on a Budget

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SentryPC

Top features include location IP logging, keystroke logging and app tracking.

The payment structure is easily scalable for businesses on a budget, with numerous plans and the ability to add individual device licenses.

Customer support can be reached only by completing an online form.

SentryPC offers several affordable plans for its cloud-hosted monitoring software to fit even the tightest budgets. A Basic plan starts at just $69.95 per year for one license with the option to add on additional licenses for $29.95 each. It has an array of plan sizes, with the largest plan permitting 1,000 licenses for $9,995 per year – that’s less than $10 per license per year. Even its inexpensive plans include everything you need to monitor your team successfully. You can view an online demo of the software before purchasing, which lets you browse sample data and reports to get a feel for the software.

Editor’s score: 85/100

SentryPC can be used to track Windows and Mac devices, and they recently released compatibility for Android devices as well. After you install the SentryPC software on the devices you want to monitor, you can view the tracking data from any device with web access. You can track employees’ activity, such as when they log in and out each day, what they download, when they change or reset passwords, and when they install and uninstall applications. For each of these events, the software logs the activity details and the associated IP address, and it includes a time stamp.

You can set maximum employee hours and track employee behavior such as the websites and applications they use, the programs they access, the games they play, and their keystrokes. If you’re interested in tracking employee location, you can set geofences for any user; this allows you to track when an employee’s computer enters or exits a virtually fenced-in area. You can also take screenshots of user activity, while Windows devices can record even more actions, like file activity, chats, portable drive usage and print jobs.

This monitoring software allows extensive content filters. You can set restrictions on certain apps, websites, games, chats and keywords for each employee. You can block or allow these activities as needed, and you’ll receive an alert when an employee tries to access a blocked activity. If you need assistance with SentryPC, you can contact customer support, but only through an online inquiry.

Read SentryPC Review

Controlio: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Video Recording

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Controlio

Even Controlio's basic package offers six months of data storage, while on-premises and AWS packages are unlimited.

Controlio supports individual monitoring profiles for specific employees, providing granular real-time insights.

Controlio only covers PCs.

Controlio offers cloud-based and on-premises employee monitoring software that tracks and records employees’ PC activity in real time. Smaller businesses are typically better suited for the cloud option, whereas larger organizations can choose between on-premises and AWS cloud options.

Editor’s score: 77/100

Controlio is easy to implement and access. All it requires is a one-time software installation on the PC you want to track, and then you can view that PC’s activity from any device. Since the data is stored in the cloud, you can view activity from the web-based dashboard no matter where you are. This is ideal for managers who need to check in on employee behavior when they are away from the office. Controlio lets you create individual monitoring profiles so that you can see an employee’s entire activity in one organized location. You can use Controlio in stealth or tray icon mode, giving you full control over how you monitor employees.

One of Controlio’s best features is its ability to track screen activity in real time. If you want to review past activity, you can watch previously recorded video footage of an employee’s computer behavior as well. The software also offers keylogging in case you need further visibility into employee activity.

Controlio can track employee attendance, monitor web and application usage, store up to six months of data (unlimited storage for the on-premises and AWS cloud plans), record file usage, and generate productivity scores. You can set web filters so that employees don’t access unproductive or risky websites, and establish behavior rules and alerts for when an employee attempts an unacceptable action.

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Veriato: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Retention

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Veriato

The software has insider threat detection capabilities.

Volume discounts are available, which can cut down on the cost for large businesses.

Veriato's employee monitoring software can be complex to learn.

Veriato is comprehensive employee monitoring and insider threat detection software for Macs, PCs and Android devices. Its advanced capabilities are especially useful for large enterprises that want complete insight into employee behavior. For example, Veriato helps you track workplace productivity, detect insider threats, conduct employee and forensic investigations, maintain legal compliance, and prevent data loss.

Editor’s score: 86/100

Veriato has three employee monitoring plans: Cerebral, Vision and custom plans for large organizations. The plans vary in hosting method (cloud or on-premises), the target size of business (small, midsize or large), and features (employee monitoring and insider threat detection). Pricing varies as well, so contact a Veriato representative for a custom quote.

Veriato has a learning curve, as there are a lot of monitoring features and capabilities. You can track user activity and status for both in-office and remote workers, including document and network activities. You can monitor employee behavior through the applications they use, the websites they visit, the searches they run and the emails they send.

Crucially, Veriato offers employee disengagement analysis to determine how engaged your employees are. This can support focused mentoring, retraining or engagement by managers, preemptively reducing the risk of resignation and the costs of recruitment.

You can block specific URLs and filter websites, take screenshots, and log employee keystrokes. Additional insider threat detection features include risk scoring, user and entity behavior analytics, and printing and USB device usage. Veriato offers a variety of helpful security alerts for anomalies, policy violations and specific keywords.

Read Veriato Review

Work Examiner: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Perpetual Licensing

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Work Examiner

Work Examiner charges a one-time licensing fee rather than monthly, freeing you from recurring billing.

The Professional plan encompasses IM and web chats, printing, email, downloads and uploads, and USB activity across Windows devices.

Work Examiner works only on Windows devices.

Work Examiner is on-premises employee monitoring software for Windows devices. Instead of selling the software as a monthly subscription, Work Examiner charges a one-time licensing fee (plus support and update fees). It has two software plans: Standard and Professional. It offers a 30-day free trial for up to five clients, which is a much longer trial period than most competitors offer. This gives you plenty of time to evaluate whether the software will meet your monitoring needs. Key attributes include recording multiple screen displays, receiving notifications of certain employee activities and creating a custom schedule to export reports.

Editor’s score: 78/100

The Standard plan is best suited for small businesses. It includes essential features like website and application reporting, screenshot recording, and keystroke logging. It can monitor your employees’ searches, file usage, emails, chats and IMs, downloads and uploads, and print jobs. You can also use it to block the use of USB devices, filter websites and applications, and schedule reports.

The Professional plan is best suited for midsize and large businesses. It offers unlimited remote console access and real-time monitoring. You can record employee keystrokes and screenshots to get a firsthand look at your employees’ activity. You can track websites they visit, applications they use, their searches, files they use, instant messages and web chats, printing activity, emails, and downloads and uploads. You can also secure your network by blocking USB activity and filtering potentially harmful apps or websites. This plan includes scheduled reports, active directory integration and multiple login capabilities.

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Insightful: Best Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Privacy

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Insightful

Insightful can run in visible or stealth mode on company devices but is always visible on employees' own devices, making this the optimal choice for employee privacy.

Prices and packages are tailored to your business's circumstances.

Only the Enterprise accounts offer 24/7 phone support.

The recently rebranded Insightful is an ideal monitoring solution for employers that want to track their employees’ activity while retaining employee privacy and giving staff control over what’s recorded. It can support office employees, remote workers and enterprises. Every Insightful account includes two-factor authentication, an API and live support. Enterprise accounts can also include features like on-premises deployment, role-based access, audit logs and dedicated account managers.

Editor’s score: 76/100

Because Insightful has both visible and stealth modes, you can use it to monitor company- and employee-owned Mac and Windows devices. The software runs in visible mode on employee-owned devices, meaning the employee clocks in and out to run it. On company-owned devices, you have the choice between stealth mode (the software runs invisibly in the background) and visible mode, the latter of which gives employees more control over exposure of their data.

You can contact an Insightful representative for a custom quote on enterprise accounts. It offers monthly and yearly time-tracking plans and automatic time-mapping plans, with the ability to add on features like second-by-second raw data, manual screenshots, higher screenshot limits and alerts.

Insightful has standard features like real-time activity monitoring, productivity tracking, and app and website monitoring. It streamlines this type of monitoring by offering organization-level productivity labeling – a tool that allows administrators to assign activities as productive or unproductive in bulk. Team managers can also handle productivity labeling on a smaller scale if needed. These features are great for ensuring your employees are on task and productive.

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Employee Monitoring Software Costs

Pricing for employee monitoring solutions varies according to the features you need and how many employees you have. For example, a startup that needs basic features and has one or two employees may be able to use a free option, whereas businesses that need top-shelf features may pay up to $150 per user per year. On average, however, you can expect to pay between $60 to $80 per user per year.

Pricing is usually calculated on a per-user basis and billed either monthly or annually. This includes the software, updates and tech support. Some vendors charge a one-time licensing fee and then bill separately for annual software updates and support plans.

When you’re comparing pricing, here are four factors you need to look for to ensure the bill isn’t an unwelcome surprise:

  • User minimums: Some companies allow you to buy just one or two licenses, but some require a minimum of five or 10.
  • Add-on features: If you want specific advanced features, such as geolocation, you may have to pay extra for them.
  • Extra fees: Additional fees aren’t common, but it’s important to look for them before you sign up so you know exactly which fees you’re agreeing to. Check for setup fees – which may be hundreds of dollars – and IP renewal fees.
  • Contract requirement: Many employee monitoring software providers offer month-to-month plans, and some offer a discount if you pay annually. As with any service, check if you have to sign a contract. If that’s the case, ask for a copy of the contract and review it, paying particular attention to the term length and the cancellation procedure.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (12)Key takeaway: Employee monitoring software can be billed monthly or annually, ranging from free to $150 per user per year.

Employee Monitoring Software Features

Employee monitoring software may incorporate many features, and the ones you need depend on how you want to monitor your employees.

Consider your reasons for wanting to install this software. Do you want to make sure employees aren’t surfing the internet and scrolling through Facebook when they’re on the clock? Do you worry about confidential information or trade secrets being leaked? Are you looking for a way to monitor cybersecurity risks? You also need to decide if you’ll be actively using this software or if you need notifications when it detects prohibited activity and other policy violations.

  • Content blocking: There are obviously some types of websites your employees shouldn’t visit during working hours, or even at all when they’re using work-issued computers. The content blocking feature allows you to block those types of websites and individual URLs. Some software allows you to set time limits for certain sites and designate times when blocks are lifted, such as if you allow your employees to visit social media or shopping sites during their lunch breaks. Others allow you to set access permissions by individual or user group.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (13)Did you know?: It’s easy to give employees too much access to sensitive or confidential data, which can have damaging consequences.

  • App and website tracking: This feature shows you which applications your employees use – such as Microsoft Word or Excel – and the URLs of the websites they visit. It also records how much time they spend on each app, site or program.
  • Keylogging: With this feature, you can see every keystroke your employees make in emails, instant messages, Word documents or online.
  • Screenshots, video or live feed of monitors: Want to see what your employees are working on? Most employee monitoring solutions take random screenshots of employee monitors (and many support multiple screens). Some record video of monitored activity, and a few even offer a live view.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (14)Tip: Monitoring features like keylogging and screenshots can land you in hot water if you accidentally capture an employee’s private information (medical records or bank account numbers, for instance). To protect your business, establish a policy with your employees that there should be no expectation of privacy on company devices.

  • USB and print monitoring: If you’re worried about data leaks, these are must-have features. You’ll receive an alert if the software detects a thumb drive or portable hard drive being inserted into a company computer. Print monitoring means the software tracks the files that have been printed from each computer.
  • Productivity tracking: There are various ways to track employee productivity. For instance, some software tracks productivity by detecting keyboard and mouse activity. Others require employees to track their work time against tasks or client projects.
  • Mobile apps: If you travel or have employees working across multiple time zones, it’s convenient for the software to have a mobile app for alerts and anytime access. Some apps are platform-specific, however, so make sure the software is compatible with your phone if this feature is important to you.

Advantages of Employee Monitoring Software

Employee monitoring software offers several potential benefits to your business.

Employee Engagement and Attendance

Software monitoring features like website tracking, content filtering and screen capturing can provide insights about the content your employees are engaging with, including which websites and applications they spend most of their time on. Are they staying engaged with work-related websites, or are they getting distracted watching YouTube videos? You might even notice an employee is spending their day filling out job applications. With employee monitoring software, you can see (and block) the websites your employees use and discover any performance or engagement issues.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (15)Did you know?: Communication and feedback are key to successfully rolling out and maintaining employee monitoring software. A 2005 study by Alder and Ambrose concluded that being monitored improves job satisfaction, provided employees receive positive feedback when they perform well.

Employee Productivity

Software monitoring features like keystroke logging, mouse activity tracking and webcam recording can show you how active your employees are on their work computers. Is their device idle for long periods, or are they actively engaging in work activity throughout the day? Although employee activity monitoring features vary by platform, it can be useful to have some idea of which employees are working at any given moment.

Company Security

Software monitoring can help with security and legal disputes as well. If you’ve recorded and archived employee behavior, it could help you back up a claim if an employee files a complaint against the company or a co-worker. Managing website permissions and monitoring USB usage and print jobs can help you prevent leaks of confidential data. Employees will be restricted from viewing malicious websites or behaving maliciously themselves.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (16)FYI: Network monitoring software can secure your entire network, instead of tracking individual devices only. This software allows you to track the functionality of all network components, such as firewalls and routers, to reduce or eliminate network downtime.

Choosing Employee Monitoring Software

Your choice of employee monitoring software will depend on various factors. We outline some of the key areas to consider below.

Devices

If your company uses PCs exclusively, you can choose any of the 10 packages we’ve reviewed. However, if your employees routinely work on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure your chosen platform offers both iOS and Android compatibility. Similarly, if employees often use USB sticks, check whether portable devices can be monitored and scanned. Some platforms are unable to monitor peripherals like printers and data keys.

Additional Services

In an attempt to differentiate their packages, some software providers have incorporated extra services, such as onboarding and offboarding tools, payroll and performance management, and COVID-19 vaccination tracking. This might be superfluous, but if you don’t already have software providing these services, it may be worth considering a package like BambooHR, which brings different HR tools under one roof. [We recently reviewed the best time and attendance software of 2022.]

Support and Assistance

While some of the best employee monitoring software providers offer a variety of ways to get in touch, others provide web support only. Some offer customer support 24/7, but others don’t. In fairness, this is rarely a sector where after-hours or overnight support is pivotal for maintaining productivity, but ensure you’re happy with the variety of support on offer – and when it’s accessible – before signing up.

Usability

Given the wealth of metrics tracked by the best employee monitoring software packages, it’s important to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed by the scope and scale of a particular platform. If Insightful’s second-by-second raw data generation or Veriato’s disengagement analytics are too granular, you might feel more comfortable with Hubstaff’s basic monitoring or InterGuard’s choice of six types of report views on its dashboard.

Cost

It would take a very detailed spreadsheet to outline all the plan options and costs associated with signing up for employee monitoring software. However, key areas to consider include how many employees are covered, whether you’re signing up for a month-to-month arrangement or an annual contract, if there is a free trial available, and whether you have to upgrade to a more expensive package to unlock certain features. The freemium model is commonly used, with the likes of ActivTrak offering free plans for a couple of users. Work Examiner offers decreasing fees per user, which will particularly appeal to businesses with 25 to 100 employees.

Employee Monitoring FAQs

What is employee monitoring software?

Employee monitoring software is a cloud-based or on-premises solution that tracks and records employees’ computer behavior. This software shows business owners and managers how employees use their company computers or other work devices. For example, it can monitor the websites they visit and the applications they use, track their work hours, block harmful or unproductive websites and apps, and even record events as they occur on the screen. Employee monitoring software is commonly used to improve productivity, engagement and company security.

How does employee monitoring software improve a remote workforce?

Remote work presents certain challenges for employees and managers, and employee monitoring software can alleviate certain issues surrounding attendance, productivity and security. When employees are in the office, a manager can easily take a stroll to get an idea of who is at work and what they are working on. Employee monitoring software gives managers a way to accomplish something similar remotely, by holding employees accountable for working when they say they are.

Working from home comes with a variety of distractions that aren’t as relevant at the office (child care, housework, errands, etc.), but not all employees will admit they’re having trouble focusing. Employee monitoring software can show you who is being productive and who needs extra guidance or assistance. It can also inform you what hours of the day work best for your team, and what technology they need to be productive.

A remote workforce brings additional security threats to your business. If an employee is accessing company information from an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection or using their company-owned device to access harmful content, your company is vulnerable to security breaches. Monitoring software helps to block harmful content and identify potentially high-risk remote employees.

Should you tell employees that they are being monitored?

This is often discretionary. Some states have limitations and requirements regarding this, but there are no current federal laws that require you to tell your employees if they’re being monitored. Either way, it’s usually a good idea to tell them, especially as getting employees on board with the software often achieves better results. For example, if the purpose of your monitoring software is to improve employee productivity, explain it that way. Your team is likely to work harder if they know their actions are being tracked and reviewed. This is also a good opportunity to discuss acceptable and unacceptable use of company devices, which can reduce the likelihood of harmful or unproductive activities taking place.

Help your staff to remain focused with our guide to distractions that damage workplace productivity.

What to Expect in 2022

When businesses shifted to working from home, those with newly remote teams faced unprecedented challenges in terms of ensuring employees remained productive. Consequently, there was an increased demand for employee monitoring software.

Since remote work has become more prevalent, it has been widely acknowledged that working from home increases productivity, rather than diminishing it, leading many employers to make these arrangements permanent. As more businesses move to a permanently remote or flexible work arrangement in 2022 and beyond, we anticipate a continued need for these solutions.

Although employee monitoring can be a sensitive subject, its rise in popularity has caused more employees to accept and embrace it. That is due in part to employers communicating the benefits of monitoring software, such as cybersecurity protection, and the advanced features that these solutions offer.

Although employers can use server-based monitoring software, cloud-based software has become a more popular employee monitoring trend due to its affordability and ease of use. Many employee monitoring software providers are expanding their cloud-based options as a result, and some are cloud-only. With employees working from various locations, there’s also growing demand for tools like GPS tracking and app activity tracking to maintain employee safety and company security.

As employers prioritize employees’ well-being, they are relying on monitoring software features for assistance. For example, instead of requiring employees to work a specific set of hours, employers can offer flexible schedules to let employees work whenever suits them best. Employee monitoring software can then track employee productivity to ensure they are working the required amount of time and completing their assigned work. Through features that monitor if an employee is working too many hours, employee monitoring software can also help identify which employees are at risk of experiencing burnout.

Learn how to choose the right employee monitoring software for your business’s circumstances.

Neil Cumins contributed to the writing and research in this guide.

Best Employee Monitoring Software Platforms - businessnewsdaily.com (17)

Skye Schooley

Business News Daily

Staff

Skye Schooley is a human resources writer at business.com and Business News Daily, where she has researched and written more than 300 articles on HR-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and HR technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products and services that help business owners run a smoother human resources department, such as HR software, PEOs, HROs, employee monitoring software and time and attendance systems, Skye investigates and writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.

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