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Top 7 must-try free screen monitoring software

Screen Monitoring Software

Remote work gives advantages to both the employee and the business hiring them. The time flexibility for remote employees gives them more freedom to do their work while planning for their personal lives. No more traffic going to a physical office since they can work in the comforts of their own home with just a laptop and the internet. 

However, remote work also comes with its disadvantages. One of these is the lack of control and monitoring. Especially with freelancers, it’s difficult to track their time and activities since they usually don’t have a formal login needed.

Employers don’t know how their employees use their time doing a project or a task. As a result, employees either give a half-baked output or none at all. When hiring a remote employee, it’s best to make it a habit to include screen monitoring in the agreement terms.

Employers who hire through business process outsourcing providers, meanwhile, can have an agreement to monitor their teams through their preferred monitoring software. There are reliable tools they can use for screen monitoring, having an easy to use interface that’s perfect for small businesses and startups.

Employers who hire through business process outsourcing providers, meanwhile, can have an agreement to monitor their teams through their preferred monitoring software. 

Top screen monitoring software

  1. Time Doctor
  2. TImeCamp
  3. Workpuls
  4. Hubstaff
  5. Harvest
  6. ActivTrak
  7. Kickidler

What is screen monitoring?

Screen monitoring or computer monitoring is an act of recording a user’s activities on a computer. The latest studies show that almost 80% of major companies in the US monitor their employees’ activities, mostly their emails, internet, blogging, and social media. 

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Employers usually have screen monitoring software that employees can use in working on the project, when they are away from the computer, and the websites they usually visit. Here, every time a user logs in, their username and timestamp will be registered.

From then, they can screen monitor the employees‘ productivity and the most frequent software they use. Screen monitoring software can also log the websites they usually visit and how often they visit it. Periodically, employers have the option to take screenshots of their work.

Why should you use screen monitoring software?: Pros and cons of screen monitoring

Screen monitoring is one of the ways to ensure productivity, establish accountability, and properly track the employees’ work time. However, the use of this tool depends on a case-to-case basis.

A lot of screen monitoring software includes the following features and advantages:

Pros and cons of screen monitoring

ProsCons
Ensuring fairness at work The threat of employee privacy
Ensuring work productivity A decrease in employee’s trust
Create accountability Additional cost to maintain
Simplified employee supervision Potential ‘gamifying’ or ‘hacking’ of result

Pricing and features of screen monitoring software

Most screen monitoring tools are available for as low as $7 per user per month. Many of these have a free trial for up to one month so they can check if the tool is fit for their business.

Features include:

Time usage alert

Remote employees receive a notification once they’re away from their computer too long or browsing a website not related to their work.

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Payroll and invoicing

Employers can generate invoices based either on a fixed salary or number of work hours generated by the tool.

Chat logging

Employers have an insight on chats and calls made by the remote employee, including usage frequency.

App and URL tracking

The system saves a record of software and websites visited by the employee and its usage frequency. 

Mobile app integration

On-the-go employers can access and track their employees even when they’re away from their desktops.

Top 7 must-try screen monitoring software 

There are reliable tools they can use for screen monitoring, having an easy to use interface that’s perfect for small businesses and startups.

Each software differs in terms of price, offering, and features. We have listed the best screen monitoring software you should check out right now for your team:

NamePriceFree trial?3rd party integration?

Cancel anytime?

Time Doctor$9.9914 days40+ appsYes
Timecamp$7.0030 days39+ appsYes
Workpuls$6.007 days5+ appsYes
HubStaff$7.0014 days33+ appsYes
Harvest$12.0030 days90+ appsYes
ActivTrak$7.20*3 users11+ appsYes
KickIdler$9.9914 daysNoYes

 

Time Doctor

Image via timedoctor.com

For almost $10 per person per month, Time Doctor gives access to full employee computer screen monitoring features, including web and app usage, payroll, and webcam shots.

Employer’s clients have exclusive access to screenshots and reports to projects they worked on. They also have a mobile app companion that tracks down employees’ locations and allows integration for employers on the go.

 

Timecamp

Image via timecamp.com

For projects that need minimal screen monitoring, TimeCamp offers free computer monitoring features for one user that only includes time tracking and graphical timesheets. This feature is perfect for one-time and output-based projects.

Other options are also available ranging from $7 to $10 per user per month, with added features such as invoicing, payroll, and software integrations. Their mobile app version also enables manual time tracking and task input for on-the-go individuals.

Workpuls

Workpuls
Image via workpuls.com

 

Workpuls is an employee computer monitoring software that gives employers a “unique perspective” of their teams’ productivity, reports, timesheets, and day-to-day activities. This software offers features to help companies better streamline their operations and organize their teams. Some of its unique, productivity-focused features include:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Automatic attendance tracker
  • Manual time entries
  • Productivity labeling and tracking
  • Timekeeping; and
  • Manual screenshots

For as low as $4.80/employee monthly, companies can enjoy these screen monitoring services. Further, Workpuls also offer a seven-day full-access free trial to help you get set up! Sign up here to start the free trial.

Hubstaff

Image via hubstaff.com

HubStaff’s pricing starts with $7 per person per month for at least two users. The platform includes an optional screenshot of employees’ desktops which can be customized or turned off altogether.

HubStaff gives employees more freedom and flexibility by letting them choose tasks they’ll do and set their timer to begin working. This lets employers track activity rates and view reports in real-time through the organized interface.

 

Harvest

Image via getharvest.com

Among the platforms in the list, Harvest not only tracks employees’ activities and work times, but it also prevents employees from possible burnout through its unique tracking feature.

It shows the billable and non-billable time each employee has made and alerts the employees if an employee exceeds their work times. The platform gives a better insight into the breakdown of an employee’s week, how much they worked each day, and what projects they worked on.

 

ActivTrak

Image via activtrak.com

ActivTrak, when activated, is invisible to the employees’ desktops. The platform enables employers to discreetly track the employees’ activities like other screen monitoring tools. It detects the idle time of employees through mouse and keyboard movement tracking.

A workstation without input for two minutes is considered idle to the system. ActivTrak offers limited features for free up to three users and $7 per user per month for full access.

 

Kickidler

Image via kickidler.com

 

Kickidler offers its full features for as low as almost $10 per month or a lifetime license of $170. Among the platforms in the list, KickIdler has a screen monitoring feature where employers can have access to a video record of their employees’ activities.

This includes the website they’ve visited and the software they’ve interacted with. The recording feature gives employers a more in-depth view of their employees’ activities and evidence of the violations they made if any.

Which screen monitoring software is best suited for your team?

All software we’ve mentioned above shares a great deal of beneficial features to track and monitor your team’s performance and productivity. Some cost higher than the other but also contain additional features than the others.

It’s up to you and to your team’s specific needs on what screen monitoring software you should use that would enable them to work better in a remote setting. 

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.