There are so many different employee monitoring software solutions, so making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to ensure efficient work, adherence to policies, and security of company data—and need the right tool for your projects and team. In this post, I share from my personal experience as an HR specialist using many different monitoring tools with teams of all sizes and recommend my picks for the best employee monitoring software.
What is Employee Monitoring Software?
Employee monitoring software is a tool used by businesses to track and analyze employee activities and productivity. It helps in ensuring efficient work, compliance with company policies, and security of sensitive information. This software provides insights into how employees spend their work time and assists in managing resources more effectively.
Key features include activity tracking to monitor work tasks, time tracking for assessing hours spent on projects, screen monitoring for real-time visibility of employee screens, email and internet monitoring to ensure appropriate usage, and keystroke logging for detailed activity records.
Insightful is a workforce analytics software that combines time-tracking software with employee monitoring features. Insightful lets you track time using employee computer activity to help eliminate manual time-tracking issues like buddy punching. It has a stealth mode that lets you inside employee workstations undetected so you can investigate suspicious activities.
Why I picked Insightful: Understanding how employees spend their time can help you implement plans to help boost productivity, and Insightful can help you with its apps and website monitoring feature. You can see which apps employees use the most to determine if these apps drive productivity or act as a source of distraction. Insightful also has a productivity labeling feature that tags unproductive websites and applications so you know which websites to monitor.
Insightful Standout Features and Integrations:
Another aspect of their user activity monitoring is the ability to take periodic or rules-based screenshots. By capturing random screenshots of your employees’ workstations you'll gain proof that employees are doing their work as expected. At the same time, knowing this feature exists will help to deter employees from accessing personal websites. The software also records activity logs so you can assess what drives idle time among employees.
If you want to make well-informed decisions to boost productivity, provide excellent training and create detailed and objective employee performance evaluations, Insightful is the best solution for you.
Integrations are available through their API.
Teramind is an employee monitoring and data loss prevention software that aims to increase both employee productivity and data security.
Why I picked Teramind: If you're looking for employee monitoring software to help you protect your company and its clients, then Teramind is a good option because of its insider threat prevention functionality. It can help increase your company’s data security by identifying and protecting sensitive information and ensuring data loss prevention. You can use Teramind’s user behavior analytics to detect malicious activity and behavior deviations, helping you closely monitor suspected employees.
Teramind Standout Features and Integrations:
Teramind's user activity monitoring features allow you to track user activity on apps, programs, websites, emails, and in instant messaging apps. Its keystroke monitoring feature tracks, captures, and records keystrokes and provides business owners with insight into their employees’ productivity and attitude. Teramind also has a remote desktop control feature you can use to take control of an employee’s desktop or laptop to prevent illegal activities immediately.
Integrations include ArcSight ESM, IBM Security, Jira, QRadar, Redmine, Splunk Enterprise, and Zendesk.
Connecteam is an employee management and team productivity software with several employee monitoring tools like real-time time tracking and an absence management feature.
Why I picked Connecteam: I included Connecteam in this list because their software is specifically designed to help manage a remote workforce. You can use their software to monitor team productivity using online forms and checklists that your field-based employees complete while they work offsite.
It's also easy to customize their online forms so you can create forms depending on your company’s particular requirements. Its mobile app empowers field managers to review forms, track completion rates, and share critical files with team members and shareholders.
Connecteam Standout Features and Integrations:
You can also use Connecteam to schedule shifts and dispatch jobs, ensuring that all projects have enough human resources for faster completion. It has communication tools allowing you to send announcements, newsletters, and updates to keep all employees in the loop regarding recent company news and updates.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
Veriato is a workforce behavior analytics company that helps organizations monitor and analyze employee activity on computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Their user-friendly interface is easy to set up and customize, and they offer an extensive range of features, including activity logging, screenshot capturing, keystroke logging, web activity monitoring, and linguistic sentiment analysis.
Why I picked Veriato: One feature that really stood out to me is Veriato's AI-powered intelligent alert system. It can identify unusual behavior patterns in your employees' activities, such as excessive web browsing or heavy amounts of downloading, and send an instant alert to the relevant authority for further investigation. This helps businesses protect their sensitive information and prevent possible data breaches, making them an excellent choice for any organization with concerns about their proprietary information.
Veriato Standout Features and Integrations:
Another feature that sets Veriato apart from other tools in the employee monitoring space is its comprehensive reporting system. Admin users can generate detailed reports covering employee productivity, internet usage, application usage, active vs. idle time, and other relevant metrics.
You can also configure the reports to generate automatically, at a frequency of your choosing (either daily, weekly, or monthly) covering specific individuals, teams, departments, or across your entire organization. All combined, these features can help you gain insights into how your team is working and identify any areas for improvement or process optimization.
Integrations are available with third-party applications by connecting Veriato to a paid Zapier account.
ActiveTrak is an employee monitoring software with informative dashboards providing you with a detailed summary of workforce performance and productivity trends.
Why I picked ActivTrak: I included ActivTrak in this list because of its advanced manager coaching support in the form of weekly coaching summaries. You can use the weekly coaching summary as a reference for one-on-one coaching sessions to focus on the areas where individual team members are struggling. The weekly coaching summaries can also allow you to monitor the progress of employees to gauge the effectiveness of action plans and revise them as needed.
ActivTrak Standout Features and Integrations:
Another feature that sets ActivTrak apart is its workforce productivity benchmarks. You can use this feature to track your team’s progress toward achieving their individual goals. ActivTrak also allows you to monitor real-time user activity, enabling you to check on employees without interrupting them. The software analyzes daily work activity data, giving you insights into time and technology usage, resource gaps, productivity trends, and active or passive status on employee workstations.
Integrations include Asana, Google Calendar, Jira, Lattice, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Slack, Workday, Xero, Zapier, Zoom, and others.
Clockify is an employee monitoring software with a wide array of tools to help you ensure employee productivity, like time tracking and timesheet monitoring functionalities.
Why I picked Clockify: If you want employee monitoring software to help employees become productive by managing their activities through a calendar feature, then Clockify is the best software for you. You can check employee calendars to ensure they spend their schedules on business-related matters. Clockify lets you compare an employee’s actual activities to their scheduled activities ensuring they are doing exactly what they should be doing and not spending time on unscheduled and unproductive activities.
Clockify Standout Features and Integrations:
It has an intuitive dashboard enabling leaders to break down what team members are working on and monitor project completion. You can also use Clockify to generate productivity reports and share them with team members and shareholders for use in informed decision-making.
Integrations are available with other productivity tools like Google Calendar, Zendesk, Google Docs, Wrike, Basecamp, and Gitlab.
Hubstaff offers a unique blend of employee monitoring and time-tracking software so you can keep tabs on your employees' work in real-time.
Why I picked Hubstaff: Their employee monitoring software includes detailed reports on how your employees work and how they spend their time, letting you gauge their productivity. With the help of detailed productivity reports, you can identify project and workplace bottlenecks so you can improve workflow and increase profits. You can also use Hubstafff reports to monitor if employees are meeting work metrics and goals so you can initiate coaching and training sessions to help employees improve.
Hubstaff Standout Features and Integrations:
You can use Hubstaff to monitor employee screens and track app and website usage, ensuring employees concentrate on their designated tasks. Hubstaff also enables you to monitor employees' productive and idle times to help you increase productivity.
Other features within Hubstaff's employee management system include time tracking, payroll management, invoicing, and task management tools to help you run your company.
Integrations include ActiveCollab, Asana, Breeze, ClickUp, GitHub, GitLab, Insightly, Jira, Liquid Planner, Mavenlink, Slack, QuickBooks, Salesforce, TransferWise, and others.
Kickidler is an employee monitoring software equipped with productivity tools to help companies control personnel and improve workplace efficiency.
Why I picked Kickidler: Supervisors can use Kickidler to visually assess what employees are doing without interrupting their work. Their software also includes a unique quad splitter feature, similar to that used in CCTV systems, where you can display an unlimited number of employee desktop screens in one grid format, giving you eyes on your entire team at once.
Their software also works on both Windows and Mac systems, as well as on GNU/Linux systems. Their software is currently only available as an on-premise option, though a cloud-based version is currently in the works.
Kickidler Standout Features and Integrations:
Kickidler's employee monitoring software can also help you protect your company and clients' data thanks to its violation monitoring feature. It can detect work schedule violations ensuring that your company delivers service level agreements to clients. Kickidler also records the entire history of computer activities of employees to help prevent employees from committing illegal acts.
In addition, Kickidler allows supervisors and HR officers to automatically generate reports and timesheets to make tracking work hours more efficient.
Integrations are available through their API.
Monitask is a productivity monitoring software that can help you track employee performance to help drive productivity levels.
Why I picked Monitask: Their employee monitoring software allows you to check how employees use their computers during work hours by giving you a breakdown of the websites and applications they use. If an employee’s productivity drops, you can check that employee’s computer usage to determine where unproductive hours get spent, like social media sites.
In addition, it has a screen capture feature that takes random screenshots to keep employees on their toes and discourage them from accessing non-business-related sites and apps.
Monitask Standout Features and Integrations:
Monitask also includes task and project management capabilities to ensure projects get delivered on time and within budget. Their integrated time-tracking feature also helps you analyze which tasks are taking longer to complete so you can implement plans to make them simpler and easier to accomplish.
Integrations include ActiveCollab, Active Directory, Acuity Scheduling, Asana, Basecamp, Box Time, ClickFunnels, ClickUp, Convertri, Desktime, Easy Projects, Jira, Trello, and Slack.
CleverControl is a cloud-based employee monitoring solution that's suitable for small businesses or medium-sized operations.
Why I picked CleverControl: Their software includes features like continuous screen recording, webcam recording, and call recording which make them a good choice for organizations with frequent phone or video meetings where sensitive information may be exchanged. You can also monitor running applications, internet searches, and site visits, as well as social networking activities.
CleverControl Standout Features and Integrations:
CleverControl provides information about each employee's activity and facilitates an easy and visual reporting experience so you can analyze details like active time, most used applications and websites, as well as remote monitoring.
Other standout features include their iOS app, messenger tracking, website blocking, activity reporting, printer task tracking, and live monitor viewing. You can also monitor multiple computer screens in real time simultaneously too. They also offer an on-premise software package if you don't want your data to be saved in the cloud too.
Integration details are currently not available.
Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Employee Monitoring Software?
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Best for monitoring the time employees spend productively on their workstations
7-day free trial
Best for an insider threat detection feature to protect your company and its clients
3-day free trial
Best for monitoring remote workforces using online forms and checklists
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Website|
Best for protecting sensitive information and preventing data breaches
Free demo available
Best employee monitoring software for helping leaders coach their team members
14-day free trial + free plan available
Best for visually tracking time and logging employee activities
7-day free trial + free plan available
Best for generating reports to identify trends and aid in decision making
14-day free trial
Best for monitoring multiple employees' computer screens simultaneously
14-day free trial
Best for analyzing employees’ computer usage to improve productivity
10-day free trial
Best cloud-based solution for screen-recording, webcam-recording, and call-recording
5-day free trial
Other Employee Tracking Tools
Here are a few more worthwhile employee monitoring systems that didn’t make it into my top 10 list. If you want a few more options to choose from, definitely check these out too:
Employee tracking software to help you manage employee locations
Employee monitoring application for observing, analyzing, and optimizing the employee experience
Employee monitoring software that can help automate time and attendance management
Employee monitoring software that can help automate time and attendance management
Software that automatically captures work hours and allocates them to projects to enhance productivity
Cloud-based work management platform for managing projects, tasks, and employee productivity
Time tracking service that analyzes how employees use applications and programs to optimize productivity
- Ekran System
Identity and access management platform for incident response and employee activity audits
Employee monitoring platform that uses algorithms to detect and manage employee productivity
- ActiveOps WorkiQ
Process automation software with employee monitoring capabilities
Selection Criteria for Employee Monitoring Software
Wondering how I selected the best employee monitoring software for this list? I'm happy to explain my methodology. I drew on my years of experience monitoring employee time tracking data, as well as my experience as a remote worker being tracked, to really grasp the features that made these systems stand out.
Here's a summary of the main details I assessed to create this list:
Each time I dive into creating a new top 10 list, I always determine the core features I need to check first, to ensure nothing crucial is missed. As I set about evaluating and comparing a wide range of popular employee monitoring systems, these are the basic functionalities each system had to include in order to make it into my final selections:
- The ability to track employee activity in a granular and customizable way
- Integrated productivity reports and analytics that aggregate the data details into easy-to-understand formats (i.e., graphs and other visuals) to help with decision-making
In addition to the basic functions above, I also assessed the following key features to see how each employee monitoring solution compared to the next one:
- Employee time tracking: An automatic time tracking feature records what time employees clock-in and clock-out to produce an accurate record of their work hours. This helps prevent time theft, where an employee claims to work a certain number of hours, yet their computer activity says otherwise.
- Detailed activity breakdowns: I sought out systems that go beyond just active vs. passive computer time. Instead, the best systems allow you to monitor more details, such ash the apps, software programs, and specific websites employees access while using their workstations.
- User behavior analytics: This feature automatically analyzes employee behavior to detect anything suspicious and prevent possible security threats. If any suspicious activities are identified, the system should support automated notifications to your designated internal contact (e.g., IT, leadership team, etc.).
- Screen capture: Not all systems include this, and I do think you have to be careful not to infringe on your employee's privacy. However, the ability to take occasional screenshots of an employee's desktop to confirm what they're working on is a common feature in employee monitoring tools.
- Data loss prevention tools: This covers any features to help you keep your sensitive information secure to prevent data leaks and insider trading threats. They include flags for potentially suspicious activities such as accessing or downloading classified files, deleting items, or excessive printing of documents.
- Remote desktop control: This feature allows managers or IT personnel to remotely take control of an employee's workstation to prevent illegal activities (e.g., accessing or downloading restricted files, deleting items, and printing or emailing sensitive documents).
I prioritized systems that offered a clean and uncluttered user interface (UI) and appeared easy to implement and use. When assessing software for this list, I paid close attention to the details of their UI, including how their menus were organized, as well as how their data was displayed in their reports and analytics (both their dashboards and reports).
To help you get the best return on your investment, I selected employee monitoring software that integrates with other key systems you're likely already using. That includes other tools for productivity tracking and task-tracking, as well as project management software if you're organization is project-driven.
I always try my best to select software systems that offer clear and transparent pricing models upfront. That way, you'll know right away whether any given system works for your budget or not. Employee monitoring software is available under a SaaS (software-as-a-service) agreement model, meaning you'll pay a monthly fee based on the number of users (employees) you have. The general price range you can expect is between $4 to $25 per user, per month.
Data security considerations are also crucial when it comes to employee monitoring software. Thankfully, the software systems I've chosen to feature in this list all offer numerous features to ensure your employee data remains secure. These features include:
- Data encryption that prevents unauthorized access to the data being transmitted between the employee's computer or device and the monitoring server
- Data storage security features to protect it from breaches, including secure cloud storage services or an on-premise data storage option
- Access control settings that make it easy for your organization to restrict data access to only authorized personnel
- Multi-factor authentication to further safeguard your data in the case of a password breach
- Regular security audits to identify any system vulnerabilities and mitigate potential future risks
- Regular security updates and patches administered by the software provider
What are the benefits and drawbacks employee monitoring software?
Can you detect employee monitoring software?
Other Employee Productivity Tools
Looking for other tools to help you improve your team's productivity? These other software systems may be just what you need:
- Best Productivity Tracking Software for Hybrid Teams
- Best Time Tracking Apps For Remote & Hybrid Teams
- Best Hot Desk Booking Software For Managing Hybrid Work Arrangements
- Best Remote Employee Monitoring Software Systems
Final Thoughts on Employee Monitoring
Employee productivity is a huge factor in a company's success. According to a report by Atlassian, an average employee spends just around 60% or less of their work time being productive. That translates to more than half of their time wasted or spent on trivial matters.
With the help of the best employee monitoring software, you can cut down on unproductive hours and ensure that projects get completed on time. By doing so, you'll help your employees realize their full potential, while also ensuring greater organizational success.
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