Monitoring employee performance with software has become a common practice nowadays for the corporate world. And as many surveys are showing, it is going to leave anytime soon. The questions that may come into your mind is what sort of software companies are using to track employees and what benefits they are supposedly getting from implementing this tool.
Employee productivity monitoring is nothing new; even before Covid-19 made the most of us work from home, employers were focusing on employee productivity monitoring. Gartner said in their 2018 report that 50% of 239 large companies had been monitoring employee email and social media content, along with keeping track of the persons they met and their way of utilizing workspace. Right after a year, Accenture surveyed C-suite executives and 62% of the survey attendees claimed to be a part of employee data collection leveraged by their organizations.
Interestingly, these statistics were taken from the time before the pandemic occurred, which accelerated the work-from-home strategy for thousands of firms. The radical change in work has left many employees wondering what really is going on. The sudden change created fears of productivity loss and declined revenue, eventually influencing leaders to adopt an employee monitoring software.
But before we start any discussion on this tool, you should know that monitoring employees just for the sake of “following the trend” is a measurable way to fail its core value. You also need to ensure: 1. Implementing and using monitoring software is compliant with your country’s law, and 2. That the solution you have chosen best suits your business needs.
Primary steps to adopting monitoring software
Learn the regulations
First of all, find out if the concept of monitoring is completely legal in your region. For most cases, the answer is “Yes”, but you have to be 100 percent positive that you are aware of the legal liabilities. There is another complexity for you. Say your business is based in the United States, and you have checked all the USA regulations before deploying this tool. But you also have a few remote team members from Canada. In this case, following your local rules will not be enough as you have to comply with the regulations of Canada before deploying the tool there.
Do some research
The first step may sound critical to follow, but once you pass through it, your only job left to do is to find the right employee monitoring software. This step is all about broad research, you will find a lot of “best employee monitoring software” reviews, find some of their free trials, or go to forums and read some of the real users’ reviews on a specific tool. This will help to narrow down your goals and understand how the software can achieve them. With thorough research, you will be able to find the best suitable app for logging work hours and finding employee performance.
Having said the primary steps, let’s find the software companies use to monitor employees.
You might also like to read: How to track productivity using employee monitoring software?
Software with the right features
As we said before, getting the best suitable features is the key to choosing the right software. Employee monitoring software offers many features, which one you may need depends on how you plan to monitor the employees.
The core feature of employee monitoring software is tracking work hours. It starts tracking time right after the employee logs in to the app and stores them for future reference. Both you and the employees can see the work hour datasheet when you want to and download a PDF or excel file when necessary.
As many employees now work from home or some other remote areas, ensuring their identity is crucial for your business. The monitoring software offers a solution to this challenge. With its biometric face recognition system, you are able to know if your real employees are doing the job. The face recognition system works while logging in and out, and also sends periodic pop-ups to ensure that they are present at the desk while logged in. In a way, it helps you justify employee salaries.
App and website usage tracking
This feature keeps a tab on the running apps and web usage throughout the working time. It shows the URL names and links, along with the application list. This helps to know which websites your employees have visited, how much time they have spent on them, and which applications they have utilized for the tasks.
Random screenshots of computers
Want to know if your employees are working on the right track? Most employee monitoring software comes with the option of taking screenshots of the user (employee) computers. This feature can be set to take screenshots in random or specifically given time period, though we would recommend to set it for random.
There are many ways to understand employee performance. One way is to track their productivity and idle times. Besides tracking the work hours, monitor software also helps to distinguish between movement and idle times. This data helps to identify where to improve to be more efficient. Employees can analyze this data to create better workstyle and be more productive.
Log in from anywhere
Unlike traditional offices, a remote team can work from anywhere in the world, and you need to keep track of their productivity too. That is where the monitoring software comes in handy. It is a cloud-based application that can be logged in from any computer, and the administrator can check their performance on the go through its mobile and PC platform. This flexibility opens up lots of opportunities for both the employers and employees at the international level and allows to bring in a cultural variety to the team as well.
Flexible working hours
Although remote work sounds good and approachable, there are certain drawbacks to it too. An employee becomes a family member when he/she is surrounded by nephews and nieces, and it causes distraction at work. They will need some personal moment for it, and flexible working is the best way to solve this issue. The monitoring software allows employees to do so by pausing the time clock. This way, your employees can attend family activities without hampering the work or taking a day off. This feature plays an important role in employees’ position at work as they can avoid taking a day off and manage to keep a good impression of the organization.
Benefits of employee monitoring software
Depends on your needs
This tool offers benefits to all types of businesses; however, what benefits you will get completely depends on what features you have access to. Many of the small businesses seem to look for ways to increase employee productivity and business data security with the monitoring tool.
Keeps employees on the right track
Features like web usage tracking and computer screenshots help you to know how much engaged your employees are and whether they are performing on the right track. It also enables you to know if anyone is staying idle for a long period of time or actively engaged to work throughout the day. Obviously, the features of different employee monitoring tools will vary, but it is always useful to have some idea regarding which employees are working when they are supposed to.
Keeps employees engaged to work
These features help to gain insight in many ways, like what content your employees are engaged with, which websites and applications they prefer most to spend on, etc. You get to know if they watch cute puppy videos or any inappropriate content using company properties at the work time. It accelerates discussion on such issues and allows you to talk about performance degradation or efficiency with proof in hand, thus avoiding any misunderstanding or gossips.
You might also like to read: Top 10 best employee computer monitoring software features
Methodology to find suitable employee monitoring software
Ask for review from the current users
The practical way to research is to ask small business owners that are already using it- their recommendations should be impactful. Reach out to them for honest reviews, and find out what they have in common about the advantages and disadvantages. It will help you know which factors are missing in some tools so that you choose the other.
Choose the best services
With a list of enough applications, sit in front of the computer, check websites of those apps, find for more customer reviews and see if there are any online reviews available from other publications before narrowing down to your finalists. If any team seems to offer service to small businesses, do prioritize them as they tend to provide customizable, customer-focused features for each client.
Research on each application
After you are done with checking websites and publication reviews, compare companies based on detailed criteria, and narrow your list further down. Download free trial software if someone is offering, give it a deeper look and look for video tutorials or training materials to make your research easier. Match the features with the list that you have made by talking to other business owners and determine how far they match your requirements. Lastly, check if their price fits your budget and if you have to pay additional fees for any features.
CloudDesk® remote employee monitoring software will not give you this hassle. Its $10/user/month offer is standard for all sizes of businesses with any number of users. It is easy to set up and use, and no one can match this tool in terms of platform flexibility or price range. Do try this tool using the 14-day free trial before you go for your final purchase.
Darrent is a digital marketer, tech enthusiast & blogger.