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

Employee tracking systems have become extremely advanced and automated as of lately and now using software to monitor employee computer activities has become so much more than that.

One among the many powerful capabilities of activity software monitoring is tracking productivity of employees. This includes information on what portion of employees’ office time is productive and whether their productivity is going up or down over time. The usefulness of this data is beyond any doubt, but how do you actually get this?

The backbone of any employee productivity tracking software is the custom categorization of recorded computer activities into ‘productive’, ‘unproductive’ and ‘neutral’. The key factor being that they’re customized.

What this means is that it’s you, as a manager or executive, who decides whether each employee’s time in a specific app or website is going to count towards their productivity or as a distraction from their job. And, despite the imminent danger of sounding cheesy, with great power comes great responsibility.

There are two things you should keep in mind when doing the categorization - the specific employee’s job role and the potential uses of the app or website in question. Sometimes, the decision is pretty clear, but at other times the line between productive and unproductive is blurry.

So, when you monitor employee computer activities, how do you decide which apps you’re safe to consider productive and which ones you should brand as a waste of time? And what do you do with the borderline cases?

Time to dig in and look at some examples.

Clear Cases of Productive Activities

By ‘productive’ activities, you should consider anything and everything that helps employees get their work done, even if it’s just a sharing platform or instant messaging with other team members.

You’ll see when you monitor employee computer activities that a portion of their time is spent working in a professional software. For instance, your development team is working in code editors, your designers are using Photoshop, then you have Revit for architects or Excel for data analysts. You get the idea.

Clearly, this is productive time.

Same goes for any online platforms that your employees are using for work - digital marketers might spend a lot of time on Facebook and customer support is likely to frequent email platforms. Speaking of which, don’t forget to include any digital communication apps that your company uses, like Slack, because collaboration is also a part of workplace productivity.

Activities That Are Clearly Unproductive

By the same token, ‘unproductive’ apps and websites in your productivity tracking tools should be those whose use is most definitely not in the employee’s job description. Instead, they’re usually used for private matters (messaging, social media, shopping) or entertainment (blogs, news, videos, music, games).

For instance, your tech support reading online magazines can hardly be considered working. Or your office manager watching Netflix. Or anyone playing Minesweeper.

Also, remember what we said about Facebook being productive for digital marketers? Should we still consider it productive if apps that monitor employees' computer activity showed one of your accountants using it? Of course not. And this is a prime example of the importance of considering job roles when tracking productivity.

Borderline Cases

So far, it’s been easy. Does this employee need this app for their job? Yes - productive; no - unproductive. However, not everything is so clear-cut. When you monitor employee computer activity, you need to think about all the potential uses of an app or website before you categorize it as ‘unproductive’. Because sometimes the apps are so versatile and even though they might seem like a waste of time, they can actually be useful for certain types of jobs.

A couple of examples are the best way to illustrate this conundrum.

YouTube is generally an entertainment platform, but maybe one of your IT interns has opened it to look at some tutorials on how to do their task. Or Reddit for instance - it’s a source of fun, right? Yes, but it also has many topics and threads dedicated to helping and solving problems in many different industries. There are many other specific examples of blurry lines - designers looking for inspiration on Instagram, content writers visiting news websites and blogs as a part of their research, and so on.

Clearly, these are productive activities but you can’t just categorize YouTube as productive because of a marginal possibility that it’s used for tutorials. That would give a pass to everyone to spend their entire day watching funny cat videos and get paid for doing it. So what should you do about these borderline cases?

Well, you’ve got two general directions in which you can go. The first is the harder but more accurate way - ask your employees directly what they’re doing if you see them using an uncategorized app for an extended period of time. Or, if there are a lot of such instances or a lot of employees or both, use the screenshot feature to quickly see whether this activity should be added to their productive time or to their break.

Obviously, although this gives you a good idea of what’s happening, it’s extremely time-consuming. Another option is to simply categorize every app and website you’re not sure of as ‘neutral’ and cover both scenarios. Not optimal, but certainly much easier.


Using categorization when you monitor employee computer activity is an extremely useful feature over which you have absolute control. Having accurate data on how much time is used productively will give you productivity reports that can inform your decisions concerning process optimization, performance enhancement and much more. So make sure you do it right.

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