Every manager wants their team to operate as efficiently and autonomously as possible. They take their time hiring just the right candidates, and design and enforce standards to ensure those candidates are doing the best work they can. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know exactly how your employees are working throughout the day just by intuition.
These days, it’s possible to track your employees’ productivity with the help of productivity tracking software—high-tech tools that give you insights into your employees’ performance and time expenditure. But which employee productivity tracking software tools are worth your while?
Employee Productivity Tracking Software Tools
Here are our top ten favorite employee productivity tracking apps on the market today:
First, there’s our very own employee productivity tracking tool: EmailAnalytics (#shameless plug). It’s a comprehensive email monitoring tool that can tell you virtually everything about how your employees are emailing; think of it like Google Analytics for Gmail. With it, you can use interactive data visuals to measure how many emails your employees are sending and receiving, how much time they’re spending on messages, their busiest days and times, and more. If you’re looking for analytics for email, this is the tool to use.
Timely automatically records all the time you spend on work to a neat private timeline. It effectively holds up a mirror up to your productive performance – revealing how long different tasks take you and when you are most focused. Seeing the time you spend on specific apps or websites helps to surface distractions and low-value tasks, like email, meetings, project management and admin. It’s essential for understanding exactly where your effort goes, as well as tracking employee KPIs.
3. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a cloud-based employee time tracking and management solution for remote employee monitoring as well as for busy professionals to track self productivity. Its simple installation takes less than 5 minutes to get started, and employees can start tracking time right away. The software automatically starts whenever the computer is started, which helps to make sure employees don’t miss tracking any time. Time doctor also tracks applications and websites accessed on the employee’s computer, and can take screenshots at set time intervals.
ProofHub bills itself as “the one place for remote teams to work productively,” and does so by centralizing task lists, workflows, discussions, calendars, documents, and more. It provides tools to help plan projects, collaborate with team members, clients, and vendors, and provides a bird’s-eye view of ongoing projects for managers to get an easy sense of what’s going on across their teams. It runs in the cloud, so there’s no software to install, making for easy and convenient access no matter where you’re working from.
Everhour is a simple time tracking tool that helps you determine not only how much time your employees are spending on various tasks, but also how that time is translating to company profitability. It also has features for task management, expense tracking, reporting, and resource planning.
nTask is a free online task management platform. It makes use of an interactive taskboard that all your employees can use at once. With it, you can manage projects, track time, rebalance workloads, and even manage meetings and communications. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a low-cost way to manage projects in addition to tracking productivity.
How much time are your employees spending in meetings? Microsoft MyAnalytics can tell you. It keeps track of things like employee emails, calendar entries, and real time spent in various apps to breakdown how many hours are spent across various activities. Each week, you can see how that breakdown changes as you instate more positive changes.
Hubstaff is another type of time tracking software, with a handful of unique perks. Like most time tracking apps, it prompts your team members to keep tabs on how they spend their time on a regular basis, and gives you the chance to create reports on their ongoing progress. You can also use it to track employees with GPS, and track how they use apps and access the web.
Another free employee productivity monitoring app, ActivTrak helps you track your employees’ actions on practically any installed device. When you install the program, it’s completely invisible, and will send you regular reports and screenshots of the employees’ actions.
iDoneThis is team monitoring and task management software. The unique feature here is a series of daily check-ins, which allows employees to check in daily and explain what they’re doing. It’s a simple, high-level way to evaluate what your employees are working on, what their holdups are (if any), and which areas are in need of improvement.
Using Employee Productivity Tracking Effectively
Just installing a new employee productivity tracking software tool on your employees’ devices is usually enough to result in a positive change, as long as your employees know they’re being monitored. The added accountability can have measurable benefits by itself.
Start by installing and learning from one app at a time, and make sure all your insights are actionable; in other words, use the data to inform a new policy or procedural change, rather than just acknowledging their existence.
Change by change, your team will become more effective, and capable of getting more done every week. Be sure to check out these ways to monitor employees working from home if you’ve got a home-based workforce!
For more tools you can use to track employee email activity, see our list of the 7 best email tracking apps! And don’t miss our list of the top 50 email productivity tools as well as our list of the top tools for remote teams.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.