Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Activity levels
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
Productivity reports
Team reports
Email reports
Access management
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
Timecard management
Shift Trading
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Manual time
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Group punch-in
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
On-premise hosting

Before you assign a portion of your software budget to an employee monitoring software tool, there are various factors you should consider, such as where you stand on remote work vs office-based work.

Unless you want to risk missing out on the best features for your business, it pays to weigh up the options and take a measured approach to the decision-making process.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what we believe are the 6 most important steps you should take before investing in an employee monitoring tool.

Step 1: Communicate with Your Employees

Naturally, the introduction and implementation of a new software tool can cause friction among your workforce. 

Some individuals will have a certain way of doing things, and believe that a new tool could disrupt their productivity. Others may have concerns surrounding privacy, since some employee monitoring tools do little to safeguard employee data.

To navigate this potential minefield, and keep your employees on board, it’s imperative that you keep them in the loop at all stages of the decision-making process. To make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved - talk openly about the software and invite input from your team regarding the implementation if appropriate. By communicating with your employees, you can:

  • Soothe concerns about individual privacy and data protection 
  • Convince them of the benefits of employee monitoring software to them
  • Discuss ways to implement the software into existing workflows

What are the best ways to get your message across?

Send out a memo - First things first, notify your team that you’re planning on looking into employee monitoring software so it’s on their radar. This memo could be as simple as an email, and can set up a follow-up meeting with your team to discuss the topic.

Schedule a group meeting - If you’ve returned to the office get your team together, or if you’re working remotely, host a video conference call. During this meeting, you can explore the benefits of using employee monitoring software, such as how employees can use it to objectively track their performance levels.

Host an open forum - Finally, open the floor to questions in a casual setting. It could be a group Slack channel or an informal in-person meeting. It’s natural that team members will have concerns, and will have questions they want answers to. The most common objection is often that employee monitoring equates to spying, which is why you need to assure your team that with the right tool, their privacy will be protected.

Ask your team for their input, allow them to do research and share their findings, and then you can bring everything together to make your final decision.

Step 2: Explore Your Options 

There are countless employee monitoring software tools on the market in 2023 with all kinds of features. 

Most of them offer basic features such as time and app usage tracking, but some, like Insightful, also offer advanced features such as screenshot monitoring and remote work vs office performance comparisons.

Before you start choosing between different monitoring tools, set your expectations accordingly.

  • Which features are necessary for your team? 
  • Do you need automated time tracking which will allocate time to projects by using AI? 
  • Are you concerned about security measures and data protection?

While some tools only offer cloud-based tracking, others let you choose an on-premise solution. On-premise solutions are usually best for large teams and companies who need access to raw data.

It’s important to note that on-premise installation will likely be more expensive. Yet, depending on the number of employees you have, you could qualify for a discount with some solutions. 

Take time to do the research, don’t rush the process. 

After you’ve done the research, shortlist the solutions down to a maximum of 5 options and experiment with each. Almost every software maker offers a free trial, so use this to your advantage. While you’re in trial mode, monitor your whole team - this way, everyone will be using the software and providing some input.

Step 3: Develop an Employee Monitoring Policy

It’s important that you develop your employee monitoring policy before implementing your software. This policy should clearly define who will be monitored, why, and how you will use the collected data.

During this process, consider:

  • Who should have access to the data
  • The driving factors behind using employee monitoring in your business
  • How you can protect employees privacy

Draw up a document that outlines the key issues you intend to resolve with employee monitoring. Be as transparent as possible to avoid questions down the line. This document can also be used as a type of contract with employees that stipulates your usage of the tool, so that all parties are in agreement and it aligns with the laws in your country.

We strongly recommend that you have your legal team review the policy and consent forms before you make them public. You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to data protection and privacy laws.

Step 4: Invite Input from Key Stakeholders

While you should make every effort to stay in touch with your employees regarding the decision-making process, make sure you don’t forget to invite input from key stakeholders.

Key stakeholders may include:

  • HR professionals
  • IT teams
  • Legal experts

Each of these stakeholders may have a different angle on the issue of introducing employee monitoring software, and as such, it’s important to consult them before implementing it. 

That way, you can garner feedback from all perspectives and make sure that the integration of the software in your business is frictionless. By inviting input from key stakeholders, you can manage important issues such as privacy concerns and the technical factors that go into adding a new software solution to your company tech stack.

Step 5: Test the Software

A key step that many companies may skip over is the testing phase.

If you want to know whether an employee monitoring software solution will work for you and your team, why not make use of the free trial first?

Before you commit to an investment, take the time to run smaller scale operations with the employee monitoring software to test its functionality and features. Run it for a small team of 3 for example to get to grips with how the time tracking works, and how it is to engage with from the perspective of both managers and employees.

With this trial run period, you can also ask any questions you may have to the company’s sales team, so you can navigate any potential roadblocks before you roll out the software to your whole team or company.

Be sure to solicit feedback from your testers if you decide to go this route, as their input could help you make your final decision.

Step 6: Evaluate Options and Make an Informed Decision

Now that you’ve talked to your employees, carried out research, and prepared how you’ll implement the computer monitoring software, it’s time to evaluate the options on your shortlist and make the final decision.

By this point, if you’ve followed our guide, you will have already signed up for several free trials with different tools and had time to run small-scale experiments within your team. Your findings from these tests should inform your decision-making process and give you a clear idea of which one will best adapt to your team and suit your specific needs.

End the process as you started - with open communication lines with your employees. Since they were involved from the outset, get your team together once more and compare notes. 

You can either create a brief survey through Microsoft or Google Forms to gather everyone's feedback in one place, or you can have a round-the-table discussion to go back and forth on each option.

The larger your team, the less chance there is that you’ll reach a unanimous agreement on one tool. However, by using a grading system on a scale from 1 to 10, you can bypass this issue by selecting the tool with the highest overall score.

Updated June 12th 2023

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