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

How to (and whether) to tell employees that they’ll be monitored in the workplace has been a hotly debated topic ever since the emergence of the category of software that can track their computer activities to the tiniest of details. While this sort of tool is proving extremely valuable to companies by making processes more efficient and providing an objective and clear picture of employees’ performance, how it all seems from another perspective and whether employees should have a say in how this system is used remains open for discussion.

Recently, this topic reclaimed the limelight when the Federal Trade Commission ordered a Florida phone monitoring company to request its users to get a written consent from their employees before they start monitoring them. Considered as an unusual requirement by some and as a prelude to a wider trend by others, this order serves to testify that the business world is far from reaching a consensus on how much privacy employees are really entitled to in the workplace.

What Does the Law Say? 

The law in different countries is notoriously divided when it comes to employee monitoring. While it’s legal in most cases, the extent of monitoring allowed is rarely agreed upon and the situation is equally confusing when it comes to whether you should inform your employees about it and how.

Let’s take the US, for example. The legal regulations differ by state, so while it’s legal to monitor employees without them knowing about it in some states, you will need to inform them in others. On the other hand, in the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expressly states that employers should either obtain a written consent from employees or conduct the monitoring based on the ‘legitimate interest’ grounds in order for the employee tracking software use to be considered legal. We’ll come back to the concept of employee consent in the context of GDPR later on, when you’ll see why the latter option is generally preferred among employers.

In general, therefore, if you were to ask whether you’re legally required to tell your employees about using monitoring software to track their computer activity at work, the answer would have to be - it depends.

Should Employees’ Consent Be Mandatory?

Now you are faced with a choice of whether you should ask for employees’ consent even if you’re not obligated to by law. That’s not an easy call and a lot of factors need to be taken into account, but what’s interesting about the FTC decision mentioned at the beginning is that it doesn’t place this burden only on you, but also on monitoring app companies.

If this requirement for employee tracking platforms to ensure that you obtain consent really does become standard practice in the industry, it will remain to be seen how this will affect the way they do business and acquire new customers, as well as whose responsibility it will be to ensure that the consent was indeed given.

For now, the decision is yours to make in most cases. Getting true voluntary informed consent from all of your employees is the best possible outcome, but this scenario might be reserved for a perfect world that we don’t live in.

The Potential Issues

Within the scope of GDPR (although this can be applied to other scenarios too), the main issue with requiring consent under these circumstances is that in order for a consent to be valid, it needs to be freely-given, revocable and there can’t be any imbalance of power between the two parties.

So, one potential problem is the imbalance of power, which clearly exists between employers and employees. In other words, employees might feel pressured to give consent for fear of getting fired. Also, since consent can be revoked, employers should be prepared to accommodate this decision at any point.

Another problem is that giving consent is a personal choice, meaning that you might end up with some employees giving consent and others not. What do you do in this situation? Monitoring just a portion of the workforce might not seem fair to everyone, which will discourage many employees from agreeing to being monitored in the future.

So, is employee consent to monitoring the best way to ensure they’re informed and OK with your practices? Yes. Will it always work the way you want it to? Maybe not.

Are There Alternatives?

If the law requires you to obtain explicit consent (or even if your monitoring software provider does under your purchasing agreement), you have no other legal option. But if not, there might be other ways to handle employees and make sure they know that they’ll be tracked.

It’s an advisable course of action to at least inform your employees that their computer usage will be monitored. Explain what you’ll be tracking as well as why, and maybe even consider doing this before you officially hire them so that they know what they can expect.


There are still a lot of questions left unanswered when it comes to employees’ consent to computer monitoring: Should employees ask for it even if not required? Is just notifying employees enough? And whose responsibility is it to make sure that employees agree to being monitored - the employer’s or the monitoring software company’s?

One piece of advice, though, that still holds true is to simply obey the law and think about what’s best for your workers. This way, you’ll be sure that your monitoring is ethical too, with or without the explicit consent.

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