In recent years, companies have changed how they think about work and where employees can work for a number of reasons. With this paradigm shift to hybrid and remote work environments, it is imperative for businesses to ensure both offsite employees and on-premises workers complete tasks and assignments in a timely, efficient manner.
SEE: 7 steps for onboarding remote employees (TechRepublic Premium)
One helpful way to track and boost employee performance across the board is by using employee monitoring software. In this in-depth product comparison guide, we’ve reviewed several of the top employee monitoring solutions on the market today.
- Best employee monitoring software: Comparison table
- Best employee monitoring software products
- What are the key features of employee monitoring software?
- What is employee monitoring software?
- How does employee monitoring software work?
- Why is employee monitoring software important?
- Should your business use employee monitoring software?
Best employee software: Comparison table
|Product||Employee monitoring reports||Keystroke logging||Location tracking||Free plan available|
Best employee monitoring software products
SentryPC is one of the top employee monitoring solutions for a number of reasons, but its ability to covertly allow managers to track user activity makes it one of the premier options. Through the use of its platform, SentryPC enables those in supervisor roles to remotely monitor what a particular user is viewing; it even allows the supervisor to take screenshots of an employee’s screen to verify their work output. In addition, SentryPC is fairly affordable for those at the enterprise level.
Features of SentryPC
- Central user and device management
- Real-time monitoring of user activities
- Remote settings management for employee computers
- Compatible with Android, Chromebook, Mac and Windows devices
- Administrative keyword and phrase banning
- Time scheduling to set weekly and daily schedules and monitor usage
Pros of SentryPC
- Relatively affordable
- User-friendly interface
Cons of SentryPC
- Complex setup and installation process
- Software infrequently crashes
- Customer support could be improved
SentryPC offers six pricing plans with varying features:
- Basic plan: Manage one device and store up to 500 screenshots. The cost is $69.95 per year plus $29.95 per additional license.
- Business 50: Manage up to 50 devices and store up to 500 screenshots. The cost is $1,495 per year plus $29.90 per additional license.
- Business 100: Manage up to 100 devices and store up to 1,000 screenshots. The cost is $2,495 per year plus $24.95 per additional license.
- Business 250: Manage up to 250 devices and store up to 1,000 screenshots. The cost is $4,995 per year plus $19.98 per license.
- Business 500: Manage up to 500 devices and store up to 2,000 screenshots. The cost is $7,495 per year plus $14.99 per license.
- Business 1,000: Manage up to 1,000 devices and store up to 2,000 screenshots. The cost is $9,995 per year plus $9.99 per license.
Teramind is another employee monitoring solution and, based on cost, it may be a more feasible option for small to medium-sized businesses than SentryPC. In addition to taking screenshots of employees’ work activity, Teramind can also record screen activity remotely and track everything from emails to individual keystrokes. Its stealth option is a major value-add for many organizations. Depending on the size of the business, Teramind may be better suited for organizations with a limited number of employees due to its pay-per-endpoint pricing.
Features of Teramind
- Optical character recognition engine
- Employee productivity level metrics and identification
- Endpoint monitoring for remote employees and contractors
- Automated compliance management
- Live recording and screen recording
- Integrations with project management software such as Jira, Trello and Basecamp
Pros of Teramind
- Free trial available for all plans
- Intuitive UI and dashboard
- Extensive monitoring features
- Keystroke logger
- Online meeting monitoring
Cons of Teramind
- Minimum of five-seats
- Application infrequently disconnects
- Lacks support for the Linux platform
Teramind offers four pricing plans with the option to pay monthly or annually.
- Starter: $10 per seat per month invoiced yearly, or $12 per seat per month billed monthly.
- UAM: $21 per seat per month billed annually, or $25 per seat per month payable monthly.
- DLP: $25 per seat per month billed annually, or $30 per seat per month payable monthly.
- Enterprise: Quotes available upon request.
ActivTrak is one type of employee monitoring software that allows for timesheet tracking, a key component for organizations that use this type of software. Timesheet tracking is one of the basic features of many types of employee monitoring software, but ActivTrak is recommended for those working with remote employees to make sure they remain logged in and engaged with assignments and tasks. ActivTrak’s platform is much like Teramind’s, since it is priced per tracked user, but ActivTrak offers a free option with some reduced capabilities.
Features of ActivTrak
- Employees’ activity monitoring and reporting
- Productivity insights into top performers
- Advanced analytics and insights
- Reporting and alerts
Pros of ActivTrak
- Ease of use
- Comprehensive dashboard
- Free plan available for up to three users
Cons of ActivTrak
- No option for monthly payment
- App integrations are offered as an add-on with extra fees
- Lacks keystroke logging
ActivTrak offers a free plan with basic features and three paid plans with advanced features. This vendor also provides a 14-day free trial of premium features to test the software before buying it. All paid plans require a minimum of five users.
- Advanced: $10 per user per month billed annually.
- Premium: $17 per user per month billed annually.
- Enterprise: Contact the ActivTrak sales team for Enterprise plan quotes.
Hubstaff also boasts the ability to keep up with individual employees and their timesheets; the platform even compiles a report to show how much time has been spent on certain pages. These in-depth reports allow those in executive positions to track employee hours and automate tracking for accurate employee timesheets. Hubstaff also gives employees intuitive mobile, desktop and web time-tracking apps to assist with the timesheet-tracking process.
Features of Hubstaff
- Web tracking app tracking, idle prompts and other activity monitoring capabilities
- Time management and scheduling
- Integrations with over 30 apps, including Trello, Asana and QuickBooks.
Pros of Hubstaff
- Free plan available
- Intuitive user interface
- Achievement badges
Cons of Hubstaff
- Support could be improved
- Reporting could be improved
Hubstaff offers various pricing plans, from free to enterprise level. They also offer a 14-day free trial so you can test the software before committing. Paid plans require a minimum of two users.
Hubstaff Desk Plans
- Desk Free: Free for one user only.
- Desk Starter: $5.83 per user per month billed annually, or $7 per user per month payable monthly.
- Desk Pro: $8.33 per user per month billed annually, or $10 per user per month payable monthly.
- Enterprise: Price available upon request.
Hubstaff Field Plans
- Field Pro: $10 per user per month billed annually, or $12 per user per month payable monthly.
- Desk Field: $12.50 per user per month billed annually, or $15 per user per month payable monthly.
- Enterprise: Contact the Hubstaff sales team for quotes.
iMonitorSoft is one of the best employee monitoring software solutions for making sure staff members are staying on task when at work. The iMonitor platform allows organizations to track up to 1,000 computers from a single location. As part of its task management tracking, iMonitorSoft allows administrators to run up to ten different remote desktops simultaneously to monitor employee actions in real-time. They can also set notifications for when employees finish certain tasks or alert supervisors when employees are on certain websites.
Features of iMonitorSoft
- Online activities monitoring for URLs, instant messages, email and attachments, and online searches and downloads.
- Multiple live remote desktops with up to 30 screens in one window
- Real-time alerts for various activities, including when a removable disk is connected or disconnected
- Centralized management console
- Reporting and analytics
Pros of iMonitorSoft
- Comprehensive monitoring
- Large user base
- Support for Windows, macOS, and Terminal servers such as Citrix and VMware
Cons of iMonitorSoft
- Complex pricing model
- May require antivirus to be uninstalled before installation
- User interface could be improved
This product has three licensing options:
- EAM Professional: $79.95 per device, requiring a minimum of five devices.
- EAM Standard: $59.95 per device, requiring a minimum of three devices.
- EAM Lite: $49.95 per device, requiring a minimum of three devices.
InterGuard is another type of employee monitoring software that has task management capabilities tied to alerts. These alerts can be sent to those in management roles via regularly scheduled emails.
Alerts can detail what individual tasks are being worked on and how long employees have been working on them. The notification emails can also be color-coded and grouped to signify severity, allowing the emails to be viewed in order of how time-sensitive they are. In addition, InterGuard is useful for organizations that have to abide by policies such as HIPAA, as alerts can be sent to the organization when one of these policies has been violated.
Features of InterGuard
- Productivity and idle time monitoring
- Security features such as insider threat detection, data loss prevention and remote incident response
- Investigation and compliance audits
- Advanced reporting and blocking
Pros of InterGuard
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, Terminal Servers (VMWare Citrix), Chromebook, Android and iOS devices
- Customizable dashboard
Cons of InterGuard
- Steep learning curve
- Support could be improved
This tool’s pricing is based on the number of users and duration of use. InterGuard costs $25 per user per month when billed monthly, or $179 per user per year. Both plans require a minimum of five users.
Veriato is top-tier employee monitoring software that affords organizations productivity evaluation reports. These reports can either be preconfigured or completely customizable based on the company’s needs, with employee activity reports viewable online in real-time or sent at the end of the day via email.
Finding the employees that are most productive can be beneficial in the short term and the long term. These reports can be especially helpful when looking for employees who are more suited for promotions or compensation increases, while also highlighting employees who need to increase their productivity levels.
Features of Veriato
- Idle and active time tracking
- Custom dashboards and alerts for audits and investigations
- Web and application usage monitoring
- Omni-device user activity monitoring, blocking and reporting
Pros of Veriato
- Screen recording and screenshots
- Real-time alerts
- AI and machine learning functionality
- Straightforward setup process
Cons of Veriato
- Customer support could be improved
- Steep learning curve
Veriato has two licensing options:
- Vision: $25 per user per month, or $179 per user per year.
- Cerebral: Quote available upon request.
Work Examiner Controlio
Work Examiner Controlio’s cloud-based productivity evaluations are also some of the best in the industry when it comes to tracking employees’ time spent on tasks. The Work Examiner Controlio platform comes with a robust number of statistics for each worker. It includes automatic tracking for both productive and distracting activities, a productivity score for users and departments, productivity graphs and user activity ratio tracking. The ability to group both individuals and departments into the graphs gives organizations the ability to verify that employees are making the best use of their time. It also makes it easier to sort through a large enterprise’s workforce data.
Features of Work Examiner
- Application and web tracking
- Rule-based user behavior monitoring
- Alerts based on suspicious activity
- Cloud-based, on-premises and private AWS cloud deployment options
- Multi-login dashboard access
- Remote client agent deployment
Pros of Work Examiner
- Automated app and website categorization
- Live screen streaming
- Keystroke logging
Cons of Work Examiner
- Complex pricing model
- Lacks location tracking
WE Controlio offers a 14-day free trial, and customers can subscribe to one of their plans depending on their needs.
- Controlio: $79.90 per user per year.