Employee Monitoring Tool Software

What Is Employee Monitoring Software?

Employee monitoring goes beyond the core time tracking functionality of tracking clock-ins and clock–outs or managing schedules and workloads. The software reviewed in this roundup ranges from time tracking players that add nifty monitoring features such as keystroke logging, location tracking, and screenshots to full-blown draconian monitoring platforms.

On the lighter, less dystopian end of the spectrum, many employee monitoring tools are focused on tracking productivity. Administrators can sort applications into productive and unproductive app groups to break down productiveness across different teams, departments, or individual employees. It’s important to have customization and user grouping here because an app that’s deemed productive for one job function may be considered unproductive for another. For instance, social media managers spending all of their time on Facebook and Twitter is core to their role whereas a sales manager spending many hours a day on Reddit should throw up a red flag.

This activity data can also be aggregated on a macro level in real-time admin and manager dashboards as well as in detailed reports, slicing and dicing productivity metrics. You can drill down into the data using factors such as the most productive or unproductive employees, or compare team or departmental efficiency or productivity on specific projects. Often, employee monitoring tools will give you at-a-glance data visualizations such as a productivity bar that breaks down productive and unproductive app percentages, or lists and leaderboards that show active or inactive users or the most often used apps.

The other side of activity tracking is monitoring keystrokes. Logging keystrokes is essentially a baseline for employee activity. Once you have granular data on how often employees are typing or interacting with their machine, it can be mapped against corresponding screenshots, activity logs, audit trails, and all of the deeper monitoring vectors we get into later to fill out a complete profile of employees’ online activity. Some of the most powerful monitoring software we’ve tested can intake raw keystroke data—meaning, a timestamped mapping of what system keys users pressed at any given time—and cross-reference that against any of the other metrics or captured activity data collected. As a result, you can see the full context of what employees were doing, when they were doing it, and a good indication as to why they were doing it.