5 best employee monitoring software to use

By: Costea Lestoc
9 minute read

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In the modern competitive business world, all organizations are facing new challenges regarding sustained productivity and creating the most committed workforce. Obtaining the target output in any organization depends mostly on the consistency of the productivity level of the employees.

In today’s business environment, no organization can perform at its highest levels of productivity unless each and every one of its employees is committed to improving the organizational levels for productivity. This means that the employees will contribute to the business’ growth.

But unfortunately, some business owners tend to fail in monitoring the daily productivity of their employees, and the result is the fact that their job performance will be detrimental to the business’ growth and this thing will not be able to be detected and controlled.

Such a thing would ruin the business’ ability to achieve its objectives. But thanks to technology and to the software tools for monitoring the employee productivity, organizations don’t have to wait for a much too long duration employees’ performance appraisal programs to know how they’re doing at work.

Main reasons for using employee monitoring software

Emails are the primary source of data breaches for companies because employees have to exchange information through business correspondence, so it’s crucial to secure and track data when you are required to comply with HIPAA laws, GRAMA requests, and FINRA regulations.

There are some simple email surveillance solutions available on the market that will help you monitor employees’ emails to make sure that critical data is nor being shared purposely or inadvertently. Employee monitoring programs include email-monitoring abilities and more tools for monitoring other activities of the employees while they’re doing their jobs.

Another central aspect of employee monitoring software is the capacity to check their activity while using the company’s equipment such as its laptops and desktops. Such solutions will be able to let you see which websites are being accessed by your employees, who are the employees that usually download files and when they connect or remove USB drives.

These tools will also be able to alert you when particular keywords are being searched that require concern from your company and these include job searching, pornography search or searches related to competitive contacts.

The best tools for monitoring the workplace will offer you administrative control that will allow you to block such kinds of activities and to also restrict access to inappropriate or unsecured websites. You can successfully use tools for monitoring your employee’s work for finding out what an employee is up to these days.

What should you take into consideration legally and technically speaking?

Monitoring employees’ emails may seem an infringement of employees’ privacy, but the US Supreme Court ruled back in 2010 that it is legal for organizations and companies to monitor the actions of employees while they’re at work and while they’re using the business’ equipment. This includes pagers, laptops, USB drives and mobile devices. Programs for monitoring key logs and for capturing passwords can be used even if there is some ethical controversy around the subject of their usage.

It is important to remember that the federal government doesn’t place restrictions on employee internet monitoring. On the other hand, there are some individual states that put protection first.

More and more states are currently requiring employees to notify their workers in case their company monitors employees’ online activity and this includes keystrokes and emails. Such notifications can be disclosed within the employee handbook or as an email reminder.

Stealth mode vs. transparent mode

When employers are using such monitoring tools, they can choose the option of using them stealth or transparent mode.

Stealth mode is also known as silent mode, and this means that the employees cannot see the fact that they’re being monitored. High-quality monitoring tools will run unseen and undetected by employees.

The transparent mode of surveillance will allow your employees to see the surveillance program on their systems. Such software requires installation on each individual computer including the administrative portal. This will not be as easy as stealth mode since the admins will have to check each and every single report from each system to see how the employees are doing.

How do monitoring tools work?

Employee tracking tools must be installed on multiple systems including a central station in case employers want them to go undetected by users. In order for this type of tool to work properly, you must first turn off the firewall, and it will be turned back on once the installation process is complete.

On the other hand, it is virtually impossible for the program to work without additional patches and programming to enable PC-monitoring software to work around the program. This will puncture a hole in the security system, and it will make the network vulnerable to all kinds of malware, viruses, spyware and so on.

Be cautious at viruses in disguise

You should be aware of the fact that there are many employee-surveillance tools that are actually viruses in disguise and while they may give you keylogging and password-capturing capabilities, they’ll also collect the data behind the scenes and sell it to breach the organization’s security. Most of the tools for monitoring employee activity can work around the firewall, but it is still possible that some threats pass through undetected.

Deploying the software: Cloud and on-premises

Another important aspect to consider is the way that you are implementing the software. On-premises is the most commonly used option, and most tools offer it. This will allow you to host the program and the data it collects on your own server. This solution requires a bit more IT knowledge, and it can take longer to set up. Cloud solutions, on the other hand, are easier to manage and they can be set up quicker than the on-premises deployment.

Solutions that suit your needs

Parental software and monitoring software are two solutions that monitor personal computer usage. They are both installed and used on a single computer, and they don’t pose the same threats as the email surveillance tools, for instance, that we already said work around firewalls.

Monitoring software and parental software come with additional options that are designed to prevent cyber attacks along with tools for monitoring children and spouses when they go online.

There are lots of businesses that are also on the lookout for email software and for apps that monitor outbound and inbound messages for spyware, viruses, and Trojans.

There’s also email encryption software that can safeguard personal data and critical information when it is transmitted to third-party recipients. Such tools will make sure that the sensitive data is only accessed and used by individuals who really need the info while also keeping it as secure as possible.

Here are out best five picks for monitoring employees’ activity:

Teramind

Teramind provides software that streamlines the process of collecting employees’ user behavior on PCs in order to identify suspicious activity, to monitor efficiency and effectiveness, to detect possible threats and to ensure industry compliance. Teramind’s mission is to reduce security incidents by providing real-time access to user activities by offering warnings, alerts, redirects and user lock-outs for keeping business and organizations as secure and as efficient as possible.

The software comes in both on-premise and Cloud-based deployment options to meet any organization’s requirements.

Teramind can successfully identify which users are most risky to your business by analyzing the trends in their behavior. You can check out what particular policies they have violated and then educate them in order to prevent future incidents.


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With this tool, you can also write rules that react to any observable user activity such as blocking an email from being sent or alerting when a particular document is being printed. You also have the ability to record and to log all activity, and they play it back like a video and analyze session metadata.

To get started with the software you have to follow these steps:

  • Sign up to Teramind Basic Cloud employee monitoring software for free.
  • Install the monitoring agents on the machines that you wish to monitor and decide on either full or part time options for control.
  • You have to customize each alert and monitoring setting to tailor the platform to your needs.
  • You can access all features from the software’s platform for unique monitoring capabilities that enhance both security and productivity.

HipChat

HipChat works pretty well as a complementary tool for WorkZone-style platforms. This is a time management tool which is essentially an instant messenger that is built for workplaces. You will be able to use it to set up persistent chat rooms, or 1-on-1 communication.

One of its most useful features is a complete chat history, and now the employees who missed a meeting on HipChat will no longer have to interrupt somebody else to catch up, they will just have to revisit the session and browse through it quickly.

This time-tracking software is an important tool to check employees’ daily job performance, and it can turn out to be an opportunity to identify which strategies lead to the most productivity.

WorkiQ

WorkiQ is a tool that tracks employees’ computer behavior and provides reports on their time spent on non-productive and productive applications. The tool’s dashboard provides clear visuals which will tell you which employees and actively engaged in their work and which ones are being continuously distracted.

This tool offers you the power to categorize all kinds of activities, to track processes across all applications and to compare how different users process similar units of work. The management dashboards will provide the following advantages:

  • Identifying unproductive behaviors at the moment of occurrence
  • Spotting and also rewarding productive behavior
  • Comparing actual employee productivity, including the mix and the complexity of the work employees handle
  • Managing remote workers
  • Identifying top performers in order to be able to replicate their processes across time
  • Improving distribution of work through the identification of underutilized skills or overworked employees

DeskTime

DeskTime is a simple and secure time tracking app that allows you to increase your company’s efficiency and productivity. Using this tool, you can monitor daily activity, sick leaves, overtime work, and vacations of your employees easier. You will be able to get a clear overview of your team’s workflow. With DeskTime you can track apps, URLs, and also offline time and you can also access detailed data regarding the ways that your employees are using apps and websites and what they’re doing when they are not online.

The tool offers your auto screenshots and activity rate trackers which will allow you to follow the time spent on individual projects. DeskTime provides in-depth insights and reports for billing, and you can use it to customize easily, download and also send CSV reports to give your clients the most precise information regarding the amount of work and time spent on all the projects developed by the business.

You can oversee local and remote teams from both your mobile and your desktop and this way you’re able to save time by looking over the reports on the performance of your business while you are on the go. The tool’s support team is available via chat, voicemail and also email. The team from DeskTime follows the industry security standards to secure the personal information that they are provided with.

Asana

Asana is a tool that offers tasks, projects, dashboards and conversations in order to allow teams to move work more efficiently from start to finish. You can use it to see the progress for any project without scheduling a status meeting or without having to send emails. With this tool, you will be able to use custom fields to track anything that is of great importance to you whether it’s bugs, job applicants or leads.

You can organize your tasks into shared lists or boards for all of your meetings, programs, and initiatives. The sections and columns will let your customize Asana in order to match your workflows and to add structure to all of your projects.

You will be able to break up the work of a task into smaller parts or to divide the work among multiple projects and when a single task becomes a big and an important initiative you will be able to quickly turn it into a project.

Employees’ behaviors are unpredictable and with the help of these great tools you will be able to increase their efficiency at work and your business’ overall productivity. Browse through all of them and choose your favorite one, according to your needs. We guarantee the high quality for all the tools we have discussed above for monitoring your employees’ activity at work.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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