Options and best practices for employee productivity monitoring technologies

Software and analytics continue to grow in importance across nearly all industries, as part of an increasingly digital environment. Many companies have to manage productivity as their team adjusts to new, hybrid systems of remote, contract, and on-site work. With these changes, you might not always get an effortless transition. A growing company can be slowed down by unseen, untreated productivity sinks that are affecting workers. With that in mind, let's compare some of the top productivity monitoring technologies today and everything else you need to know about them.

Best productivity monitoring software options

The main goals of productivity monitoring are to help eliminate time wasters and encourage overall higher productivity, but the right systems do the job without being invasive or off-putting. Different systems will have a design or benefits that match up better with certain companies or workplaces, so it pays off to shop around. Compare some of the top picks below.

Teramind

This highly reviewed monitoring system stands out for offering affordable packages for remote control access systems for employee devices, as well as violation-triggered automatic recording. Teramind is highly customizable and well-suited to visual monitoring tech security for any size of company. Their packages, serving as few as five or hundreds of employees, give you a lot of in-depth and powerful monitoring abilities typically reserved for a larger firm.

ActivTrak

ActivTrak is designed to help employers and managers get better insights into the work being done on screens, both in an office or remotely. Their workforce insights through analytics can help you more clearly understand how hybrid or remote teams make use of their working time, put digital time tracking on autopilot, and can help you maintain compliance regarding site access. ActivTrak free plans, plus a generous two-week free trial on paid plans, help make ActivTrak a top contender.

BambooHR

If you intend to use productivity monitoring software from the position of a manager, and less from a business analyst angle, BambooHR's all-in-one software may be the right fit. Beyond a complete human resources software package, it also has a mobile app and resources to monitor and manage payroll, hiring, and onboarding. Although one of the pricier options, it's well-suited to medium or larger-sized teams and offers convenient API keys to get up and running during your free trial.

InterGuard

If your company is based entirely or mostly on remote work, InterGuard software lets you set up a six-view dashboard and other multi-view and mobile monitoring solutions. Alongside time tracking and guidance on improving employee activity, this service also offers secure data theft and fraud detection to keep your online business perimeter secure. You can actively safeguard against compliance issues while keeping sensitive data where it belongs.

Veriato Vision

The Veriato Vision employee tracking package lets you track and manage attendance, employee time use, and general productivity from one interface. It includes a free trial and offers an online test drive. Consider also implementing Veriato Cerebral software with a stronger emphasis on mitigating potential insider threats. Veriato Cerebral has both a free trial and free versions.

Controlio

Controlio offers cloud-based employee monitoring at affordable pricing and good scalability with all-online businesses. A straightforward security monitoring software, it also offers productivity scoring and improvement tips for individual employees and groups. Try out Controlio if you have a particular interest in video snapshots, webcam recording and simulatenous keyboard-stroke tracking, and tracking productive work versus distracting activities.

Hubstaff

Hubstaff is an affordable time tracking tool that can also be used for simpler or partial employee monitoring. Their services include keystroke logging, screenshot capture, URL and app use watching, location monitoring, and features for geolocation and job-site monitoring. Hubstaff also makes it easy to schedule shifts for employees through the same interface.

When it's time to monitor employee productivity

When you choose to monitor employee output or productivity is up to you, although generally having a consistent expectation and following it will help employees get used to it. When you suspect that you could improve employee productivity, something that many businesses discover when making new workplace structures, the most important detail is to protect your employees' data and their trust in you. It's ultimately up to you when it's time to use productivity monitoring software or strategies, so you'll have to know your reasons and be ready to express them clearly.

Many companies have to manage productivity as their team adjusts to new, hybrid systems of remote, contract, and on-site work.

Best practices for productivity monitoring

While managing productivity is a fantastic way to strengthen a business, there is some sensitivity required when adopting a new system. Some members of the team could get the wrong idea and feel insulted if the subject isn't broached properly. Most of all, no one wants to break the law by monitoring employees without their informed consent. To avoid stressing employees out or reducing productivity further, here are some tips to move forward.

Set firm limits to what you monitor

It's often said that to highlight everything is to highlight nothing, and the same is true of monitoring. You can choose to watch for certain productivity infractions without being hyper-vigilant. For an example of what would be too far, always-on webcams or device mirroring applied across the board to remote workers to ensure they are working is a bit extreme and doesn't target a particular productivity obstacle. By setting limits about what is too far and sticking to it, your hard-working employees don't have to feel compromised by the actions of less-productive workers.

Keep communicating

To avoid difficult feelings from employees, you should be as clear as possible when you decide to employ productivity monitoring. A healthy team requires trust, so it's essential to be clear about:

•          What you monitor

•          How and when you monitor it

•          Why those things are monitored

•          Who gets access to data from employee monitoring

You can provide all of this information in a single document and provide constant, easy access online, as well as provide notifications about any updates you make to the monitoring strategy or rules. Communicate your purpose, the process, and that you have clear, positive intentions.

Remember your whys and your goals

Less than 50% of employees said that they trust their employers with their personal data. To keep trust as high as you can, it's wise to keep asking yourself what outcomes you are looking for. In what ways would you like the data to change, and if successful, what will that allow you or your company to do? When employees understand that these things are your focus, not mistrust or other negative emotions, they will understand and cooperate more regularly.

Create rewards to encourage higher productivity

It's one thing to detect and fix leaks in your company's time, but productivity monitoring also gives you the chance to see who is working the hardest. If you create rewards that people know about and can work towards by doing well or reaching goals, you can compare how those rewards motivate employees across the board. You might discover that a larger amount of smaller rewards, given more often, leads to more productivity than one or two special high-dollar rewards like a vacation, or vice versa.

Use productivity monitoring technologies with trust and confidence

While productivity monitoring can be an uncomfortable thing to adjust to on the employee and employer side, coming at the endeavor with honesty will go a long way. Leaders can be open about what they're monitoring and the reasons they're doing so while sticking to their commitments to ethical practices.

More tips to boost employee productivity:

Try these six tips to motivate employees.

See our guide on how to fix five common talent management mistakes.

Start fresh with an overview of how to build successful teams.

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