A Watchful Eye: 4 Software Tools for Remote Employee Monitoring

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Companies find that monitoring what their workers are doing during work hours is a necessity rather than a mere extreme measure of security.

With the need for Internet access at work, increasingly companies find that monitoring what their workers are doing during work hours is a necessity rather than a mere extreme measure of security.

The addition of people who work from home to the workforce and an increased need to see that proprietary or sensitive information and client details are not accidentally or maliciously leaked also mean that companies these days need tools to monitor what their employees do during company time.

This isn’t just restricted to monitoring what websites employees may visit or whether they are on social media or YouTube.

It also means that employers know what projects have been assigned to which employees and how much time is being spent on such projects and can figure out methods to improve their productivity.

So, without further ado, here are a few tools that help employers with remote employee monitoring.

Related Article: Distractions Be Gone: 5 Ways to Make Working Remotely Work for You

Time Doctor

A great tool for the self-employed or for an employer, Time Doctor works not only to monitor productivity but also to improve it. It tracks time for every task you are doing separately after you have entered the details. It also prompts you every time it realizes that you are no longer on a window related to work.

For example, if you are watching a video on YouTube, the software will show you a prompt asking you if you are still working on your project. If you click ‘Yes’ the software continues tracking time on that task. If, however, you click ‘No’, it shows that you are on a break.

From an employer’s perspective, it is particularly notable for its screenshot ability. One can set the frequency of the screenshots to be taken and the software will take screenshots of the employees’ computers after set intervals. The website even allows you to download the software to test it out through a demo.


Hivedesk is the perfect tool for the employer with many remote employees. First, it allows you to create as many projects as you need to. You can also create a further unlimited number of tasks for each project. Second, you can decide whether you want screenshots of your employees’ systems while they are working.

If you do decide to utilize the screenshots function, you can set up how frequently the screenshots are taken. You can monitor the time your employees spend on a particular task or project and can even view reports that the software generates to get an overall picture.

Related Article: Remote vs. In-Office Workers: Which Employee Is Actually Better?


For the employee who wants more than just mere screenshots, there is Worksnaps. The software takes screenshots of employees’ systems every ten minutes, but that’s not all it does. It also allows you as an employer to check keyboard strokes and even mouse movements.

It also lists what applications are open on an employee’s system, so you can tell whether the employee was working on the assigned project or spending time on Facebook or YouTube. You can try out the 30-day free trial after which you can select the plan that best suits you and your company. The software plans begin at $20 a month.


If you don’t want to get too intrusive when it comes to monitoring your workers and their productivity, but you still want to keep tabs on their productivity and what they’re doing while on the company’s time, this software is something you should look into. Also, if you find it difficult to utilize monitoring software data to improve employee performance, MySammy again can help.

The software monitors productive and non-productive time by monitoring how much time an employee spends on which applications. You can decide and enter into the software what applications are needed and productive. It shows you the productive and non-productive time in terms of bar graphs which are easy to interpret green shows active or productive time and red shows non-productive time.

In addition, many companies have resorted to a combination of simple tools such as Google Drive in conjunction with Hangouts to not only manage but also monitor employees, track the time spent on projects, especially by part-timers or workers in remote locations, and how much work they have already done.

Increasingly, companies are coming to realize that merely blocking certain websites or even taking screenshots isn’t enough. If they are truly interested in improving worker productivity and reducing the amount of time that employees spends on non-productive activities, they need more.

Related Article:The Best Solutions to Improve the Workflow of Remotely Working Teams

They need to make sure employees are not stretching out the time spent on a particular task, that they aren’t accessing anything that could be deemed objectionable by other workers, that their clients’ information or any proprietary information is not compromised and that the company’s systems aren’t left vulnerable to malware and data theft because of the websites that the employees may have unwittingly visited. As such, an increased need for remote employee monitoring is definitely understandable.

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