Among the various types of business optimization and management tools, remote working software stands out as the latest and the most sophisticated and functional platform for overseeing your employees, ensuring working standard compliance, as well as increasing productivity and data security.
It works by collecting certain kinds of data from your employees’ computers - screen captures, which apps employees use, which websites they visit, how long they spend on those activities, etc. - and then a report is compiled in your dashboard that lets you see how your employees are spending their office time and which files they’re accessing.
Monitoring software is therefore pretty automatic and works in the background, while it also provides you with very important insights about your workforce and their digital activities. For these reasons, employee tracking systems are becoming more popular in various industries.
So, the question is - which employee monitoring software options do you have at your disposal? What software do companies use to monitor employees? And which one of them is the best?
In order to help you answer these questions, we’ve reviewed ten of the best and most popular platforms and conducted an employee monitoring software comparison based on the following criteria:
- Platforms: It’s important to know whether your chosen remote working software is going to work on the operating systems that your corporate machines run on.
- Features: One of the most critical questions you should be asking is whether a system can answer your business needs and help you effectively track what you want. There are some basic monitoring features that every software on our list has, such as app and website tracking, but there are also additional advanced features that you’ll want to take into consideration. In general, monitoring apps are either productivity or security-oriented and it’s up to you to decide which direction you want to go.
- Price: It’s understandable that you want your employee tracking software to be affordable, but it’s just as critical to balance this with the array of features you get. Most of the platforms charge you a monthly fee per employee, but there are a couple with license-based payment plans as well.
- Free trial or free version: Getting a trial period is the best way to make sure your chosen software is the right fit. Some systems also offer freemium versions of their app, but these are usually limited in some respect compared to their paid counterparts.
- Support and resources: Good customer support is essential for seamless user experience, especially if you run into a problem, so having more channels of communication with your monitoring software provider is always better. Also, it’s a good thing to have a variety of helpful resources to keep up to date with the industry and best practices.
- Ease of use: You don’t want to spend countless hours installing the software and learning how to use it, which is why we’ve dedicated a part of our review to user experience and ease of use.
- Capterra rating: For an unbiased overview, we’ve also included an average rating on Capterra which is based on other users’ experiences with each software. These ratings are on a scale from 1 to 5 stars. Our top 10 PC monitoring software all have a score of 4 or more stars.
- Other: We’ll also be talking about other aspects of each monitoring software, including deployment options, different access levels, other products that the brand offers, integrations, etc.
One more thing to do before we go to employee computer monitoring software reviews is to explain a couple of concepts and features which we’ll be mentioning throughout the text and which you might not be familiar with:
- Scheduled monitoring - the ability to monitor employees’ computers only at a scheduled time (during office hours)
- Third-party vendor management - this advanced security feature lets you track the activities of third-party clients who occasionally have to access your files and data
- User behavior analytics - the AI-based functionality which automatically maps out each employees’ typical behavioral pattern and alerts you when it detects any anomalies
- Website and app labeling - custom categorization of apps and websites into productive and unproductive
- Category labeling - labeling entire categories of apps and websites (e.g. social media) as productive or unproductive for different teams
- Screenshots on demand - the ability to manually trigger screenshots instead of capturing them automatically at intervals
- Access levels - giving different access privileges to admins, managers, employees or clients
- Attendance - tracking attendance depends on which method of monitoring the software uses, i.e. whether it’s based on fixed working hours schedule or monitors only the period between first and last activity
Now that you’re familiar with some of the common terms as well as with the criteria we’ve used to review and rank the chosen systems, we’re ready to go straight to our top 10 computer monitoring software list: