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Top 10 Employee Monitoring Tools for Small Businesses

© by Employee Monitoring Tools

Tempting as it may be to foster a laissez-faire work environment, it does often stand in the way of resources being efficiently utilized to cater to time-sensitive projects. What’s even more challenging is sustaining productivity in an otherwise fragmented departmental functionality.

Even if you’re employing a small team (say 5-20 people) for your business, it does not exempt you from the need to keep a tab on your employees – their work hours, productivity levels and so on. In fact, small businesses can actually benefit from employee monitoring as much as any other enterprise. 

For far too long, small enterprises have been making do with rudimentary monitoring systems. If these companies have been tracking their employees’ progress at all, it has been in the form of manual spreadsheets containing a line or two about what each employee is doing at a given time (which isn’t enough in the modern-day data-driven environment). 

2019 Accenture report reveals that more than 60% of the C-level executives prefer monitoring employees to gather actionable insights about their workflow — all to improve the employee experience (and productivity) and facilitate efficient resource utilization. 

In the New Normal, cloud computing giants like ServiceNow are paving the way for Smart Spaces (for hybrid working) and redefining what employee monitoring and the subsequent employee productivity stand for.

Favorably, all such solutions are no longer limited to Fortune 500. Every small business in any part of the world can literally plug into the most comprehensive employee monitoring software with an ease of use that’s unprecedented.

For the purpose of brevity, let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular (and feasible) options on offer today:

1. Clever Control

An intuitive, user-friendly, and comprehensive cloud-based employee monitoring tool, Clever Control has been explicitly designed for maximum efficiency and precision. With a nifty dashboard that allows you to monitor employees’ work time details, including the hours they’ve spent on the to-do list and in-progress projects, it’s one of the most effective ways to ensure your business gets the best use out of its resources.

Notable Features:

  1. Employee Monitoring: This covers everything from generating visual activity reports to recording keystrokes and tracking Internet usage (including social media) to preventing information leakage via external devices. 
  2. Work Time Tracking: This suite allows you to set up work time limits on your employees. For example, if they’re supposed to work 8 hours a day, the system will relatively assess inactivity time, find out who’s skipping the working hours and who all are working more than required. 
  3. Remote Statistical Visualisation: With a self-contained, cloud-based system, management can closely observe performance trends over a period of time through graphical representations. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 6.6 / month (six months plan) 

2. Time Doctor

A top-notch employee time tracking software for small businesses, Time Doctor’s all-inclusive tool can be effectively used not only for monitoring employees but also for managing projects, events and work time. With the help of this easy-to-use, highly functional software, you can analyze employee productivity and set different parameters for each employee as per their needs.

Notable Features:

  1. Time Tracking: This feature is ideal for end-to-end employee time tracking, including monitoring the time employees spend on activities like project management, phone calls, messaging and social media. 
  2. Project Management:Time  Doctor helps you to effectively allocate work across your team while aligning with your goals and ensuring a smooth workflow. This is made possible through data visualisation, distraction alerts, work reminders. 
  3. Employee Monitoring: Across disparate devices (desktops, tablets, mobiles), Time Doctor allows for checking through attendance rates, application use summaries, and timesheet creation. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 10 / month (popular plan)

3. Teramind

Perhaps one of the most prominent employee monitoring tools in 2021, Teramind’s capabilities soar beyond conventional tracking — all thanks to real-time employee tracking and user behaviour analytics capabilities. 

Notable Features:

  1. User Behavior Analytics: By allowing you to record, analyse and respond to your employees’ behaviours in real-time, Teramind gives you the upper hand in improving overall productivity through dynamic risk scoring.
  2. Real-time Employee Monitoring: Teramind comes with a unique feature that allows you to track real-time user details. The feature encompasses tracking keystrokes, on-screen content, social media and web page engagement, etc. 
  3. Policy Formulation: Businesses can create customised policies to define employee work hours, events using pre-built templates that elucidate profound classification of activities. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 10 / month (starting plan)


An employee task management software for small businesses, functions like a sophisticated CRM (including personalization); it’s designed to help you understand why your employees are slacking off, what tasks are they spending time on, etc. While the tool in itself might not entail a typical monitoring system, it’s a great way to spot productivity leaks and fix them through a streamlined task management process.

Notable Features:

  1. 360° View: A greater visibility means greater control, and with the 360° view, management will have a complete understanding of everything from employee performance to real-time worker tasks. 
  2. Recognising Top Talent: takes employee management to the next level by constructing a talent pipeline for the HR teams to look forward to. 
  3. Effective Collaboration: From recruitment to onboarding and training to performance assessment,’s functionalities ensure effective team collaboration at all stages of the business process. The tool also facilitates confidential communication between the HRs and employees. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 8 / month (starting plan)

5. Hubstaff

“Spend less time tracking and more time growing” — that’s what Hubstaff’s landing page says, and we couldn’t agree more. With a set of integrated tools, this revolutionary time tracking software helps you keep track of your entire workforce (and even business as a whole) — precisely why it’s trusted by a host of SMEs.

Notable Features:

  1. Timesheet Streamlining: One of the primary reasons behind Hubstaff’s popularity (and many other similar companies) is the feature that gets the best of timesheets, namely merging them into a single view. It’s noteworthy that timesheet generation and visualisation is automated. 
  2. Application and URL Tracking: This goes hand in hand with the timesheet streamlining; with this feature, you can track what applications and URLs employees are accessing — particularly important for remote workers and other outsourced projects. 
  3. Optional Screenshots: You can either turn this feature off or on, depending on the level of employee surveillance you’re comfortable with. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 10 / month (popular plan)


6. StaffCop

Well, the name says it all, isn’t it? StaffCop is an employee monitoring tool that serves as a wonderful liaison between businesses and their employees. It achieves the same through advanced analytics targeted at quantifying employee productivity and exposure to threats.

Notable Features:

  1. Live Employee Desktop Monitoring :StaffCop comes with a nifty feature that lets you monitor user activity in real-time and assess if that adheres to your organisation’s security policies. 
  2. Smart Rules & Alerts: Be it keystrokes, certain user behaviour, instant messaging, or a simple file transfer, StaffCop ensures that you’ll be alerted if the system (and, therefore, your organisation) is compromised. 
  3. Employee Productivity Tracking: You can stay on top of your employees’ productivity levels through a detailed report that helps you understand the amount of time spent at work, as well as the location. 

Capterra Rating: 4.9

One-time Pricing (5-25 systems): USD 98

7. ActivTrak

With a 9000+ client base, ActivTrak stands out as one of the most preferred employee monitoring tools in 2021. Businesses can leverage its features to streamline their management operations and better understand what’s happening at the back office.

Notable Features:

  1. Productivity Insights: Businesses can get a holistic view of their workforce’s productivity levels by identifying the areas of their business that are most resource-intensive. The tool makes this possible through the expedition of flexible configuration settings for reporting and metrics. 
  2. App Labeling: ActivTrak is unique in the respect that it categories the on-the-fly apps that an employee uses, thereby enabling you to keep on top of who’s doing what. 
  3. Workload Tracking:  Employee monitoring isn’t just about productivity; it’s also about understanding whether your employees are putting in enough effort into the tasks they’re assigned to — something that workload insights profoundly elucidate. 

Capterra Rating: 4.6

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 9 / month (starting plan)

8. DeskTime

DeskTime promises a 30% boost in productivity for its businesses, and we’re inclined to believe it. The feature-rich time tracking suite allows you to automate your team’s productivity alongside paving the way for top-notch performance. 

Notable Features:

  1. Automatic Time Tracking: DeskTime comes with a feature that automatically records time spent on a specific task. The tool additionally makes sure that appropriate timesheets are generated and updated, eliminating manual processes and allowing you to get to work on the things that matter most. 
  2. Promodoro Timer: This feature allows you to break a task into a number of smaller tasks and then set a timer for each of them, ensuring an efficient workflow. 
  3. Project Tracking: From comprehending the TAT for a project to estimating the associated costs to documenting every project milestone, DeskTime makes the productivity monitoring process seamless. 

Capterra Rating: 4.5

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 9 / month (popular plan)

9. WebHR

Another cloud-based HR software joins the list, and rightly so. With a massive client base (25K) spreading across 198 countries, WebHR has made a name for itself in the corporate market — all thanks to bespoke employee monitoring solutions. 

Notable Features:

  1. Time & Attendance: With an easy-to-understand interface and biometrics tracking capabilities, the tool allows businesses to assign tasks, track attendance with attendance tracking software, and make deductions for time away.
  2. 360° Appraisals: The integrated 360 Degrees Appraisals feature apprises employees of their performance levels within the organisation and lets them know if they’re aligning their performance to that of the company’s expectations. 
  3. Employee Training: WebHR equips the HR teams with the tools needed to manage training sessions, including summaries of the training objectives, topics discussed in each session, and feedback generated from them. 

Capterra Rating: 4.3

Per-User/Computer Pricing: USD 2 / month (starting plan)

10. SentryPC

A complete cloud-based software ideal for core monitoring operations. SentryPC is often in the discussion for the best employee monitoring tools and was even named the “best pick” by in 2020. 

Notable Features:

  1. Activity Monitoring & Recording: From alert logging to keystroke analysis, and screenshot capturing to location (IP) targeting, SentryPC ensures that you never miss a moment. 
  2. Content Filtering & Restriction: Whether it’s a software download, a website visit, or leaked data, SentryPC keeps you protected from all types of threats by monitoring all the activity that occurs on your systems. 
  3. Time Management: The employee monitoring tool comes with an integrated time tracking solution that enables you to monitor your employees’ working hours, as well as their productivity levels. It further allows for daily task scheduling and analysis of the same. 

Pricing: $59.95 / year

Other Honourable Mentions: InterGuard, Veriato, Work Examiner, Controlio, BambooHR, VeriClock, Workpuls, Remotedesk, Apploye, DeskTrack, BrowseReporter, EmpMonitor. 

In a Nutshell

The employee monitoring tools listed above are sure to come in handy if your business is looking to leverage its efficiency levels and staying competitive in the cutthroat corporate landscape.

Efficiency isn’t all, though. Employee monitoring tools also offer a host of other useful features, including HR support systems and mobile apps. With that in mind, it’s worth mentioning that no tool is perfect, but the best ones are designed to deliver an all-inclusive package that’s budget-friendly.