Regardless of it still being a hotly debated topic, employee monitoring has proven its worth in many companies and industries. From higher productivity to better time management to increased security, there is no denying that employee monitoring software has become an essential tool in business management.
However, most workplace monitoring tools have so many features and offer so many insights that it’s incredibly easy to lose track of what you should monitor, how and to what end.
To help businesses and employers successfully use their employee tracking software, we have compiled a list of seven essential features that every monitoring platform should have and how to make best use of the data.
1. Real-time monitoring
The first thing most people think about when employee monitoring is mentioned is monitoring employees at work in real time. With this feature, you can see a tab for each employee with the information on which app or program is active on their computer at the moment.
The ability to see exactly what is going on on each employee’s computer at any given time gives you a very high level of control, but it’s just as important to know how to use this knowledge. You can know which workers are actually doing their tasks and who is slacking off and you can act on the information accordingly.
However, using an employee monitoring software to constantly watch what everyone is doing is not only an imposition on your employees’ freedom and autonomy, but is also a huge waste of your own time. So use this tool wisely and sparingly.
2. Apps used
An inseparable part of real-time monitoring is recording which apps and programs are being used by each employee. Some monitoring tools let you categorize apps according to whether they are productive or unproductive. One thing to keep in mind when deciding is to make sure to customize this for every employee: Instagram may be unproductive for a web developer, but it’s practically a job description for a social media strategist.
This gives you a great opportunity to optimize your workload. If you see that your workers are using a particular unproductive app frequently, work with them to fix the issue and decrease its use. However, you shouldn’t expect your employees not to use any unproductive apps at all. Short breaks from work are normal and beneficial for the overall productivity.
3. Attendance tracking
Most employee activity monitoring software has automated attendance tracking that activates when a user turns on their computer. Clearly, this is the most reliable and objective way to keep track of your employees’ attendance and see who is arriving late and by how much.
As the time of turning the computer off is also logged, you can see how long everyone spent at work which makes paying employees overtime much easier and more fair. Having this in place will also make your workers more punctual.
4. Time tracking
With employee productivity monitoring software, you get a clear view of how much time is spent on which task and in which program. Having this information can prove valuable for many reasons.
For example, if one of your workers regularly spends considerably more time on a particular task than all the others, this might be a red flag and you should consider putting time and resources into providing additional training for that employee in order to improve productivity and time management.
5. Data reports
All of the data that is being recorded by a monitoring software in real time is also being aggregated and you can access a report on different aspects of the team’s performance, including timeline of their productivity and most frequently used apps. All of the data can be shown for an individual employee as well as for the whole team.
Using this data gives you insights into what the most productive part of the work day is so you can decide when to get to your most important tasks and who to allocate them to.
This feature is an extension of the real-time monitoring. It gives you the possibility to take a screenshot of any employee at any given moment or, alternatively, you can set regular intervals for screenshots to be taken automatically.
This can be used as an extra layer of security if you are suspecting illegal or unprofessional activities. If you decide to use this feature, make sure you respect the privacy of your employees during break times.
7. Automated time tracking
This is an extra feature some types of employee monitoring app have that enables time on projects to be recorded and tracked automatically, without users having to start and stop their projects manually. This makes time tracking and work allocation much easier and, since it’s automated, human error is eliminated.
As we have seen, employee computer use monitoring software, such as Workpuls for instance, has plenty of useful tools and features integrated within it that allow you to record and keep track of the most important indicators of your employees’ performance and productivity. Making use of these invaluable insights will make managing your company or team much easier and more effective.
Kristina Valjarevic is a Content Writer at Workpuls. With an MA degree in English, she loves all things written but she especially enjoys writing about workplace productivity and time management.