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Now that over 70% of employees work from home at least part of the time, businesses are looking for ways to manage their employees' work virtually. Enter desktop monitoring.
Employees love the freedom of working from home and operating asynchronously, but many employers worry that it will decrease productivity. Fortunately, desktop monitoring software can help.
Remote desktop monitoring software tracks an employee’s computer activity during their workday. This productivity software can monitor employees’ screens, keyboard strokes, apps, or URLs and send activity reports.
The software is typically installed onto computers or laptops and can create proof of work for both on-premises and remote employees. About 60% of employers say that they currently use proof of work software for their employees.
Desktop monitoring software can enhance employee productivity by establishing benchmarks and rewarding accomplishments. It can also help management determine which employees perform specific tasks most efficiently and assign tasks accordingly.
However, there is a fine line between over-monitoring and using this tool for the good of your organization.
At Hubstaff, we use our proof of work software internally to ensure that employees are appropriately compensated for their work and on the same page with their team members. It also helps to prevent burnout.
Employee proof of work software holds employees accountable, enables managers to be more hands-off, and ensures that vital company information is safe.
Over 40% of hourly team members commit time theft while on the clock. This can lead to a lack of productivity and trust, whether intentional or unintentional.
Time tracking and proof of work software can encourage team members to be productive and reduce the need for constant check-ins from management.
Once proof of work software is set up on a computer or mobile device, it can track website and apps, keyboard and mouse activity, and even location.
One of the more popular proof of work methods is activity monitoring. When employees type, the software intercepts the signal sent from the keyboard to the application.
This data gleaned creates valuable metrics to help organize employee workloads and optimize productivity.
Many monitoring platforms, including our own, also provide time tracking software.
This can ensure employees’ work hours stay within the allotted time each day or week. According to the World Health Organization, long work hours caused 745,000 deaths over a single year.
At Hubstaff, we use our time reporting tool to prevent burnout and ensure a healthy work-life balance for our employees. Ensuring that team members are not putting in 60 or 70-hour weeks to get their tasks done is paramount — for their health and productivity.
Remote desktop monitoring software is not meant to take away employee privacy but rather improve their productivity and, ultimately, job engagement and satisfaction.
Companies can ensure that proof of work benefits the company without violating employee privacy by considering the desktop proof of work tools that will provide the most helpful information and not abusing their features.
When selecting a proof of work software, there are certain features you should be aware of and look for.
Time tracking apps record the amount of time employees spend on specific tasks. It can generate automatic timesheets and invoices. It makes paper time tracking or time clocks unnecessary and can gather accurate data to determine the required resources for specific tasks or projects. It also can automate breaks, time-off requests, and payroll.
GPS-enabled apps can tell employers where a company device or vehicle is. Some software also contains a feature that will wipe the device clean if lost or stolen. Location tracking software is particularly useful for businesses that have field service employees.
These features can improve productivity and communication. However, using employee desktop monitoring has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some controversial apps use keystroke logging to monitor each employee's keystrokes throughout the day. They're then transmitted to the supervisor or administrator.
Some controversial apps use keystroke logging monitor each employee's keystrokes throughout the day. They’re then transmitted to the supervisor or administrator.
Keystroke logging is also sometimes called keylogging or keyboard capturing. This is different than activity tracking, which does not monitor the actual keys you're pressing.
Screen monitoring apps send screenshots of an employee’s screen to a dashboard on the manager’s computer. Some software does this only when an employee creates a task; others take incremental screenshots throughout the day. When employees stop their timer, screenshots stop too.
Some even have video recording features that record the computer screen and live stream the information to a manager or system administrator.
Employee performance monitoring has several benefits, including better training, task planning and assignment, and improved productivity.
These tools can be helpful for team members in a variety of industries.
Remote work is rising, and remote desktop monitoring is beneficial for companies with remote contractors or freelancers. Employees and employers can effortlessly stay on the same page with remote monitoring.
The desktop time tracker data can also help them stay focused while increasing billable hours. Most platforms provide all the information on one central dashboard easily accessible to employees and employers.
The solutions are helpful for freelancers and contractors because they automate business processes like time tracking and billing. Freelancers and contractors can enter a client's rate, and the software automatically generates an invoice.
Companies that work with freelancers and contractors will see the hours a freelancer is billing rather than being surprised by their invoice.
They also can verify that contractors and freelancers spent the time on the projects they billed and set limits (based on their budgets) for the number of hours the freelancer can bill each month.
Proof of work features are also highly advantageous to businesses with field employees. The software typically allows for job scheduling, monitoring desktop time, and automating payments with the app.
Location tracking optimizes routes and tracks locations throughout the workday so that employees don’t lose time looking for a customer’s location or sitting in traffic jams.
It can also alert management if a call takes longer than expected so that management can decide whether to reassign jobs to ensure they meet customer needs.
Proof of work also can provide warnings if an employee is careless in dealing with confidential, personal, or sensitive information.
While monitoring employee computer activity has numerous advantages, it does have some drawbacks if used unethically. The key to using desktop monitoring well is transparency.
Transparency should go both ways with employee desktop monitoring. Leaders need to be transparent about what information is being gathered and why.
According to Forbes, “a lack of trust can make workforces sick and dysfunctional.” If employees discover that management has been monitoring their activity secretly, they will likely feel that leadership has betrayed their trust.
When misused, desktop monitoring features have the potential to infringe on employees’ privacy. This is why employees must know how and when they are monitored and be able to turn it off during breaks and after hours.
Without this boundary, employees might access their bank balance or credit card information during their break. The company could potentially record personal information that it doesn’t want and should not have.
Fortunately, some tools stop monitoring when users stop their timer.
Each company has different needs, and the best desktop proof of work software will vary for each company depending upon those needs.
Hubstaff is an excellent choice for many companies because of its wide range of proof of work features and its ease of use in managing remote workers.
Computer monitoring software can help companies to increase their profits. It provides managers or business owners with information that can help them:
Estimate project costs and stay on budget
Train employees and reward their performance fairly
Improve productivity by establishing benchmarks and locating bottlenecks
Automate business processes, such as payroll and scheduling
Avoid unnecessary overtime, interruptions, and check-in meetings
More than 95,000 companies work productively with Hubstaff. The Hubstaff team is eager to answer your questions about our user-friendly desktop monitoring and add your company to our family.
Reach out to us and request a free demo and 14-day trial today.
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