Remote employment is getting more popular by the day. Many businesses today are interested in letting employees work remotely due to various benefits, including motivating employees, saving money and increasing productivity. However, this additional freedom for the worker, sometimes brings additional worries for the employer. It’s only natural for employers to consider using employee monitoring software.
Without monitoring software, it is extremely difficult to determine whether the employees are doing their job, how much time they spend working and how much work they actually get done. This is a huge problem and may reflect badly on any business, affecting its growth and productivity in the long run.
Certain employers solve this problem by covertly installing spyware on their employees’ computers. However, this is considered immoral, intrusive and disrespectful. Hence, transparent employee monitoring software is the right solution for this issue.
Some may argue that monitoring software is “just as bad” as spyware. Needless to say, this assumption is wrong, as employees know about the software being installed on their computers. This software is not only useful for employers, but employees as well. Namely, they get a chance to prove how many hours they have spent working and they don’t have to worry about being paid less or unfairly getting fired.
Why Is Employee Monitoring Software a Good Idea?
The main reason that employers decide to start using employee monitoring software is because it’s cheap. It also gives employers a chance to find talented and hard-working individuals from all over the world and use their potential (check out these 3 important lessons for building a remote team). Moreover, it makes the business look good because the employer seems flexible, while the employees enjoy greater satisfaction.
As far as employees are concerned, they are happy to work from their home since they can organize their work schedule and still have time to do all the things they like. However, the temptation to spend time on social networks or “timewasting trivia sites” is huge, and the employer can never be sure if the employees are doing actual work.
There are all kinds of employee monitoring software solutions on the market. Some pay special attention to whether the employees use the Internet and for what purpose. Some of the different solutions also offer tools that block access to websites that the employees aren’t supposed to visit or use.
In addition, monitoring software may monitor email messages and stop them from being sent to people who don’t work for the company. Other employee monitoring programs are able to monitor every activity the workers do on their computers, by taking screenshots. Furthermore, they may monitor the files that the employees open, so that the employer makes sure that important information will remain private.
Since there are many employee monitoring software applications, it may be difficult for you to choose the one that meets your needs. Nevertheless, you cannot go wrong if you pick Hubstaff or one of a few other decent monitoring solutions.
Hubstaff is a simple application that can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux. It does a couple of things such as taking screenshots of all active screens, tracking activity levels, generating timesheets and producing reports that can be exported.
Hubstaff can offer many advanced features, while only asking the employee to install a very light and simplistic app. The way it works is that all of the advanced features are controlled and processed online, on the Hubstaff servers. The app itself only gathers the relevant data – and that data later gets processed online, so the app itself is light and unobtrusive.
The Hubstaff app starts taking screenshots after being installed by the employee. Then, it uploads the screenshots to Hubstaff’s cloud servers (hosted by Amazon). The employers need to sign in so that they can observe all of the team’s activities. This way, the employer gets a chance to see whether the employees are working on their projects or spending their time elsewhere.
The screenshots are extremely useful when it comes to micromanagement because the employer can observe the quality of the work being done. This also means that employers can intervene (by sending an instant message) if they think that something should be done in a different way.
Moreover, Hubstaff shows activity levels based on mouse and keyboard use, which makes it easy for the employer to see which workers are effective and which ones are being unproductive. The Reports section provides details about how much time is being spent on a specific project.
The best thing about Hubstaff is that there is a free 14-day trial version that users can download instantly. If you go for an annual plan, you get the first two months completely free of charge. Furthermore, Hubstaff integrates with some other popular employee monitoring applications, such as Asana, Producteev, Trello and Basecamp (see why you should transition your business to Hubstaff).
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Asana is a web and mobile app that focuses on team collaboration “without having to resort to email”. Its goal is to provide effective teamwork and communication for remote workers.
Producteev is a task management application (developed by Jive Software) that can be used anywhere. The employer may expand the tasks, provide deadlines and comments.
Trello is another project management application, created on the basis of a productivity system called Kanban. The projects are represented by boards containing certain task lists, whereas the tasks are represented by cards which are assigned to particular workers.
Basecamp is a great project management application because it offers time tracking, messaging, file sharing, to-do lists and milestones.
How Do You Choose the Right Employee Monitoring Software?
First of all, you need to pay attention to the tools offered by any given monitoring software. It should be able to provide you with enough tools so that every activity may be monitored both online and offline. Second, the recording features should be of exceptional quality, including email tracking, website monitoring and instant messaging.
Finally, look for for employee monitoring software that provides an elaborate explanation on how you should install it, because the installation process may sometimes prove to be very tricky. Fortunately Hubstaff offers the most elegant and simple one-click installation on all platforms.
Taking everything into consideration, employee monitoring software is a great and affordable solution that makes it possible for employers to keep track of their team’s progress and easily deal with workers who aren’t fully committed to their job.