No doubt that the pandemic outbreak has brought many changes into our daily routine. We’re entering a “new normal”, and one of such changes is the mass shift from office desk jobs to remote work. The strength of technology has been widely used to make the transition to distance working easier. As a result, the use of surveillance systems that enable companies to track remote employees’ productivity increases in many states. It’s worth noting that employee tracking systems serve other essential purposes. Their main goals include preventing corporate data leakage, investigating personnel’s illegal activities, and ensuring the company’s resources are being used productively.
In this article, we’ll get a more in-depth insight into employee monitoring software, investigate why cloud-based solutions are a good choice when shifting to remote work, and look through the features of the best cloud-based employee monitoring programs.
Why Cloud-Based Software?
SaaS applications (software as a service) and cloud-based software offer modern companies many advantages. They allow multiple users to view the recorded data in real-time, which is beneficial for remote monitoring of employees. With cloud software, employers don’t need to bother with inconvenient downloads. Modern employee tracking apps don’t require installing additional agents on the admin’s computer. All the logs can be checked on the go from any web browser and any device.
Another beauty of cloud software is that you never miss the updates. Developers take care of the servers themselves and roll out regular updates, so you can forget about wasting hours customizing new versions on your own. As a result, you’re free to focus on more important things, like analyzing employees’ efficiency, improving business processes and boosting your company’s sales.
Data security is crucial when it comes to installing staff tracking software in your company. Some managers hesitate to use SaaS applications for this purpose since they don’t trust cloud storages due to the increase of cyber data crimes. However, experience has shown that cloud-based solutions improve data security. Cloud service supplies take all appropriate measures to protect their clients’ data, including encrypting all data transfers, role-based access control, single sign-on, etc.
The Best Cloud-Based Employee Monitoring Software
Now, on to cloud-based employee monitoring applications that can help you shift to remote work without risks and extra losses.
CleverControl is a professional cloud-based software for remote tracking of user activities on Windows and macOS devices. This solution fits your needs if you want to record every activity, including keystrokes, clipboard events, visited websites, search queries, USB drives, etc. It may come to your mind that such a powerful and invasive app can’t be used when your team works remotely as it records so much data. In fact, you can install the program on the office machines, so CleverControl will track the data only when the user connects to the office desktop. In this case, your team won’t worry about their privacy, and you will keep an eye on how productivity they work remotely.
- installation doesn’t require an IT specialist;
- remote access to the data through an online account;
- live viewing of employees’ desktops in real-time;
- constant recording of computer screens;
- application tracking (start time and duration of use);
- email and IMs monitoring;
- control over printing;
- remote uninstallation and settings;
- hidden mode.
CleverControl can even substitute video and audio surveillance in the office thanks to webcam and microphone recording. The pricing starts at $3 per user per month and depends on the number of computers and the license period.
An exciting feature of Spyrix is recording phone calls in instant messengers and social apps. With this app, you can keep under control written and oral communications and check if your employees provide the service you expect. The program is advertised as it is. All the recorded data is saved in graphs and charts, making the efficiency analysis much more manageable.
- attendance tracking (the app records the time when the user is coming and leaving);
- monitoring of domain users in corporate networks;
- webcam snapshots;
- keystroke and clipboard events recording;
- LinkedIn, Skype, Facebook, and other social activities;
- search engine tracking;
- multiple ways to check the data: an online account, email, FTP, LAN;
- website filtering by category, keyword, etc.
What’s more, the program gives you control over USB usage, so it takes care of your company’s security. The program runs silently in the background without distracting your team from daily business tasks. With Spyrix, it’s possible to prevent data leakage and boost your team’s productivity.
Created a few years ago, ActivTrak has gained trust across companies from all over the world. PCMAG called the app “Google Analytics for your office”, pointing out its productivity metrics and behaviour analytics. The employee monitoring software keeps an eye on productivity trends across departments and individuals and gives you a vivid picture of the workflow. ActivTrak is a perfect app for company security thanks to its ability to alert you when detecting suspicious behaviour and deviation from company policies. On your online dashboard, you will find productivity reports and activity logs of your team.
- most used applications recording;
- checking work durations for remote and office teams;
- learning what activities are consuming most of your employees’ time;
- monitoring all visited websites and identifying the most popular ones;
- detecting the use of unproductive apps and sites;
- viewing the recorded data on the go on the dashboard;
- analyzing pick productivity time;
- simple user interface with intuitive graphs and charts.
If you don’t want to fork out, you can choose the free version. It’s somewhat limited in features but still valuable. To monitor 5 or more users, you will need to purchase either an Advanced or Premium license that cost $9 and $15, accordingly. What’s more, there are some helpful add-ons like app integrations and export and query data.
Controlio isn’t so popular as its competitors, but it is also appealing due to the features and pricing. The app has an online demo and a free 14-day trial, so it’s undoubtedly worth a try. Controlio’s primary goal is tracking office and remote employees automatically and letting employers forget about the tedious task of controlling their personnel. The installation is easy — all you need to do is sign up, download and install the client on the target PC and track employees from your online account.
- measuring your team’s level of productivity;
- attendance tracking;
- recording of visited websites;
- taking webcam snapshots;
- keystrokes recording;
- removable drive filter;
- email recording;
- setting behaviour rules;
- scheduling automatic reports.
With Controlio, you can choose who will have access to the monitored data and keep an eye on the activities performed on the dashboard (the time of login, user IP, the page they visited, etc.). This helps you identify any abuse in the system and ensure that you comply with data security standards like GDPR. The cloud-based employee monitoring software costs $7.99 per user per month.
As the name suggests, this cloud employee monitoring app is intended to track employees’ work hours and productivity. The service is suitable for remote and in-office employees and shows their active and idle time to detect slackers and improve business processes. The recorded data is encrypted, password-protected, and properly stored. Since the service is cloud-based, you can access the data distantly from your web account.
- recording of employees’ attendance;
- website monitoring;
- tracking of idle and active time;
- Facebook activities recording;
- monitoring of personnel’s activities in documents;
- hidden or visible tracking;
- blocking of unproductive apps;
- ongoing projects tracking.
The software offers a free employee tracking solution for up to three users. The paid version will cost you $5 per user/month with a 14-day free trial. WorkTime may help you detect poor attendance, spot underperformance and save your company’s money.
With EmpMonitor, employers can keep an eye on their teams’ activities from afar and get comprehensive productivity reports. Suppose you’ve never used employee tracking apps. In that case, you can request a demo on the official website, and the EmpMonitor team will show you how to use the cloud service. The solution is perfect for managing all devices in your company distantly from a single location. It allows viewing activities as they happen in real-time and analyzing business processes in your organization.
- automatical screenshot capturing;
- recording of every single website with web page and timestamps;
- checking widely used apps;
- an invisible mode that can be turned off easily by company managers;
- keystroke recording for checking what employees discuss with their colleagues;
- viewing productive and unproductive time;
- cloud storage for your logs.
EmpMonitor offers the most powerful free trial with all advanced features. Companies can try the service for 15 days on 5 computers at no cost. Unexpectedly, the free version allows using the stealth mode. Other plans cost $3 — $5 per month/user and have different features. On the EmpMonitor website, you can check how it differs from other cloud-based employee monitoring services and decide if it meets your organization’s needs.
Teramind is a widely-known cloud-based service for tracking remote and in-office team members. The software records various activities covering used apps, visited websites, social networks, and more. Unlike other monitoring solutions, Teramind analyses personnel’s behaviour and spots malicious activities, enabling company managers to detect insider threats before they become a problem.
- email monitoring and social media tracking;
- blocking any harmful actions if malicious activity is identified;
- creating your own policies for the company;
- checking how the team uses applications;
- video and audio recording;
- limited login;
- encrypted file transfer;
- printed document monitoring.
The cloud version offers a 7-day free trial and 3 plans. The pricing varies from $10 to $25/user per month, which is much more expensive than other mentioned software. Teramind UAM ($20) will suit your needs if you need a powerful employee tracking solution to monitor all user activities and employees’ behaviour analysis.
To Sum Up
There are many employee monitoring services on the modern market, both on-premise and cloud ones. The question is, how to find the application that you can trust your company’s data and that will perfectly work on all devices. First of all, ensure that the company offers daily-available support. Though cloud-based services are easy to install, you may still face some issues or have questions. What’s more, take your time to check what actual users say about the application across the web. You should also find out how the developers protect your company’s data stored in the cloud. If you’ve ever used any of the mentioned services, share your experience with other readers below.