Compare Screen Monitoring Software for Remote Teams

If you’re looking for screen monitoring software there are a few different options to consider.

Upwork’s Work Diary

Upwork (formerly known as oDesk) is a platform to help you find contractors in any country and a software platform for managing workers.

They have a screen capture technology that works by taking screen shots every 15 minutes. They also have activity notes and they track how often the person has used their keyboard and mouse.

Upwork’s Work Diary allows users to view their screenshots and remove any that they’re not happy with. When a screenshot is removed the system will deduct 15 minutes of time from that person’s worked time for the day. So the overall effect is that the software will track reasonably accurately the hours worked for that person.

Upwork charges 10% of the contractor’s salary, so if you are not planning to actually hire a contractor through Upwork, then it’s an expensive solution.

Agent Guardian

This tool has screenshot history, keystroke recording, activity updates and a representation of how much the person has used their keyboard and mouse. The cost for Agent Guardian is $15 per month per user.

Silent employee monitoring software

WebWatcher and StaffCop are a couple more example of applications that have a comprehensive set of monitoring features including: keystroke logging, email monitoring and web site monitoring. If the software is not visible and controlled by the user then it is actually an invasion of privacy in our opinion, and definitely is not suitable for work-from-home employees.

It may also be illegal in your country to install monitoring software without an employee or contractor’s consent. As always, do your research.

What is ethical monitoring?

We believe that an employee should have access to any data that is monitored.

Any employee using a screen monitoring software should also be fully aware of what is monitored and when they are being monitored. An employee should be able to turn off monitoring at any point; If you need to send a personal email, you should be able to (…by easily disabling monitoring and then switching it back on when you go back to work).

Likewise, you should be able to surf the Internet during a lunch break and not have your activities monitored.

In short, tracking internet usage during designated breaks is invasion of privacy. Unfortunately most monitoring software doesn’t meet these requirements.

Different approaches to employee monitoring

Screen monitoring paints a fairly accurate picture of what a person is doing during their work hours. The biggest downside is that it can take a lot of time to review each image. It’s not a great way to see what someone is programming in a text editor, but can be useful if you want to see what a designer has been working on.

Web site monitoring and application monitoring is faster because you can easily see in one report the time spent browsing non work related web sites (although It should be combined with automatic tracking of breaks so that your team is allocated as on a break when away from the computer, or at least that you can see exactly how much time was spent on and off the computer – see Monitoring Activity below).

Keystroke monitoring is invasive for work from home employees and it creates greater security risks than other monitoring methods (all data entered into the keyboard is monitored).

Monitoring Activity (keyboard strokes or mouse movement) is useful to make sure someone is at their computer, but nearly useless as a way to see if someone is working effectively (some activity monitors track the amount of typing, number or mouse movements, etc). This information is most useful when combined with screen shots, but even then it’s not likely to provide any useful feedback (unless you are interested in how fast someone can type!)

Using Time Doctor as employee monitoring software

Time Doctor does have a screenshot monitoring feature. However it’s not the primary focus of our software. It is more of a productivity monitoring software.

The software is designed for improving productivity rather than just monitoring workers. Monitoring is useful to some degree, but it’s only a part of what is needed to improve productivity.

Our software includes: priority tracking, screenshot monitoring, monitoring web sites visited and applications used on the computer and time tracking.

The software automatically puts users on a break if they move away from the computer. This means that time tracked for your remote working team will be accurate.

There are also project management features under development where you can quickly allocate tasks to users (faster than any existing web based project management software).

time tracking software

  • Computers are necessary for every business’ smooth operation. However, they can lead to a low level of productivity and huge losses when used for the wrong reasons.
    Your employees may waste time and bandwidth surfing irrelevant websites or using irrelevant applications. Worse, your business’ data and information is always at the risk of leaking to competitors, putting your investment at risk.

    iMonitor EAM is the leading employee monitoring software guaranteed to give your absolute control over your employees computer activity. You can monitor every click and keystroke to determine productive and unproductive computer usage. You can also restrict access to irrelevant sites and applications and even block the use of external drives and suspicious activity such as copy pasting and email attachments.
    Keep your employees on their toes for smooth business operation and growth – use iMonitor EAM to monitor every click and keystroke on your employees’ computers. http://www.imonitorsoft.com/employee-monitoring-software.html

  • Janelle36T

    Good post. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well..

  • KoreyConnell

    Great post.

  • Mikey

    Some time ago I used this one for real time monitoring – http://www.ammyy.com/en/index.html

  • Screen monitoring

    Good computer tracking software will help you to log and trace all your computer’s activities and IP address even though you are away from your computer.

    • rob

      If you are away from the computer why would you want to track the computer’s activities?

      Re the IP address, this is very easy to track, but I’m not sure how useful it is as some internet connections have a rotating IP address for example.