User activity tracking software is feasible as they provide an insight into the performance that the team members are currently capable of doing. Doing a task and doing it better and in less time if feasible is the prominent cause of deployment of a User activity tracking software. It automates the otherwise burdening tasks of evaluation and comparison of performance using manual time entries, pace, and accuracy of the employee. User activity tracking software does the gruesome tasks of evaluation for you using the constantly amassed data of the employees over a period of time. One such robust solutions for User activity tracking and productivity management is Teramind, a software that provides multiple techniques to monitor and manage productivity.
What is Teramind?
Bet you didn’t saw that question coming. Pun intended. Teramind, as illustrated from their elaborate website is a user monitoring software that can be deployed to obtain precise knowledge about the time spent on the system. Teramind has evolved since its early release in 2014 and now offers more than just user activity monitoring software solutions. Teramind currently finds its use in industries and companies that do not want their resources wasted during a project.
While the scope of deployment is endless as a user activity monitoring software, still there are a few hits and misses that compelled us to find a few alternatives for it. Teramind is in no shape or form a lackluster user activity monitoring software. Some of its features are as follows
User activity monitoring
The user activity monitoring feature tracks every move a user makes while being logged in during work hours. It tracks the overall system and not just the company software in which the employees work. This means every window, every file, document resources that you draw from the system or copy to it is recorded. It stays on until you are done for the day. This data is then fed through their productivity calculation algorithm to produce the current status of the employees regarding productivity. It also offers insight into various projects and subtasks that need improvement.
The data generated by activity monitoring a user for a period of time is used by the analytics engine to render predictions regarding the doubtful activity. It categorizes each and every action into a predetermined set of rules and can be used to successfully predict a fault before it occurs.
Insider threat detection
Multiple visits to the same file destination, repeated requests of the same data repository and it’s access, can be used to flag an insider threat brewing in the company. This proactive behavior of the software helps in prompt reaction to malicious activity by locking out users, preventing data transfer and copying, and revoking permissions. Until the issue is thoroughly investigated, the user cannot be back inside the system again.
Policy and Rules Enforcement
The administration department can set its own rules or browse from the effective solution template that they offer. An area that is always left unnoticed when you venture into a new project with a new team is rule formulation. It’s better to lay them down before starting the project so that employees have a crystal clear idea of how the tasks need to be done and in compliance with the company policies.
The user tracking software also offers users the liberty to define their own category of productive and non-productive applications. This can be used to flag applications used by employees during work hours and clearly differentiate between real performing assets and lackluster and laid back guys. This data works best for productivity management and improving the efficiency further on.
Audits and Forensics
With the employee’s activity, audio recordings, video recordings, system activity logs, on-screen content recording are a few quirks that Teramind provides to you. Quickly scroll through these data logs for timely audits scheduled as per your need. In case of a serious threat or data theft, every action that the illicit user-made can be used to retrace the steps and reinforce the security.
Third-Party Vendor Management
Another overlooked area of exposure that can lead to grave data replication and theft, just because you put in too much trust. Using the granted access for project purpose snooping around the system is common when the stakes are high. Teramind provides control over these users that have access to critical systems so that a backup security mechanism is in place.
So all these services are just a few tricks that Teramind has to ensure a productive workforce that doesn’t slack off whenever they get the chance. But there a few cons that are associated with Teramind
No importance to privacy
User activity monitoring is required but Teramind features can be a bit invasive to the point that you have to dwindle between two systems in order to escape that. In the digital age when everything right from goods, groceries, appointments, health care, and necessities are migrating to online services, a quick glance at an email or two doesn’t exactly kill productivity. This invasive approach should be retracted as every employee has its privacy rights in place.
No GPS tracking feature
Teramind lacks a GPS tracking feature so it cannot be employed in work sectors that involve regular and frequent movement between worksites. An apt example is a delivery service or a door to door maintenance services whose route changes with every gig. Managing that activity using Teramind is not possible.
A traditional method of logging user activity before OCR was a thing and apparently Trojan is a keylogger too. We are implicating Teramind as a Trojan horse but still, keystrokes Logging in present digital space is not cool. It is an abuse of power if you ask us and a means of an unnecessary collection of personal data in the name of activity monitoring.
The on-screen recording is also a feature in Teramind to capture every single second of user activity during work hours. Say you have to make a recurring payment that is due today. Doing that during work hours may be allowed by the manager but can lead to the loss of confidential information. Not every industry needs OCR in place to boost productivity.
With the maximum security comes an equally large bill that may not be possible for small businesses. Teramind is an enterprise-grade solution and could benefit a little more if they shed their base price by a few dollars.
Teramind is an effective solution limited to computers only. Currently, it doesn’t have any feature to track mobile activity. So if your entire workforce or a part of it uses mobile phones and tablets for work, there is no feature to track their activities.
Alternatives to Teramind are as follows:
Hubstaff ranks our list of the top alternatives to Teramind because of its flexible approach, easy integration support, and nominal pricing that doesn’t deter small businesses. Hubstaff is mainly a time tracking software that leverages the time to manage and bolster productivity. Hubstaff also has a dedicated employee monitoring feature that is not as harsh as the features provided by Teramind.
Hubstaff provides an optional screenshot feature to see work happen in real-time. You can set the time frame between each screenshot and take note of the productivity level, percentage of work done, and use it to praise or encourage employees to work carefully. Hubstaff can track applications and URL activity that you visit during work hours. It pre categorizes applications so that you can differentiate productivity from slacking off during work.
Hubstaff can be used to enable geo-tracking on employees involved in fieldwork such as meeting clients, door to door services, delivery, etc. An easy solution that suits the workforce of all types both field and in-office employees. Hubstaff can capture activity levels based on keyboard and mouse usage. A little different from keystrokes Logging and less invasive to employee privacy. Managers can use the stats for the construction of timesheets and reports and export them into CSV format. Moreover, Hubstaff is available for most operating systems and mobile devices that include Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. It can be integrated with over 40 popular project management software and is comparatively cheaper than Teramind.
2. Activ trak
Like Hubstaff, activ trak offers an extended range of activity tracking features that are for both remote and in office employees. It is a cloud-based service that collects and analyses user generated data and their activities for productivity management. The activity tracking feature of the software helps you to measure each and every employee’s productivity as a single entity. This helps to adjudge if it’s a shoulder to lean on or are just excess baggage to the team. Activity tracking can also help you to identify bottlenecks that exist in the current operational structure.
Staffing hours can be tracked by the elaborate dashboard that displays which employees have been logged in and are active at the moment. It can be used to adjust staffing hours especially in the case of remote teams where time zones pose a slight challenge. Viewing the applications used frequently by your employees you can also identify sluggish applications. You can deploy useful integrations that require less running from one application to another.
Visually rich and accurate graphical views are available that display the frequent uses of applications, team member’s involvement, project completion time, task status, and much more. All that makes it easy to flag compliance risk and identify root causes that are undermining productivity. It doesn’t log keystrokes as per the latest update and is available for nine dollars per user per month.
Basecamp in a nutshell is a project management software with a few features that supplement simple activity tracking of the participants. It is very visual not bleak at all and uses a single view that is accessible by each employee on the team. This enables transparency and reduces commotion among team members. A common message board is in place so that all the conversation happens together and everyone is up to date about the recent changes.
Basecamp focuses on collaborative effort from each and every team member. There is a to-do section that illustrates the delegated task to each team member. A shared file repository is there too so that nothing is confidential to team members. The scheduler is also built-in so that you or your team members don’t miss important deadlines. Automatic check-in is the way of basecamp to implement activity tracking.
At the end of the day, the software asks each employee about their day and the answer then relays throughout the team. This ripple effect compels everyone to answer the questions and thus facilitate easy status tracking rather than wasting time on one. As mentioned earlier the software focuses on project management with a little bit of activity monitoring features. It is available at 99 dollars per month for unlimited users and supports application integrations as well.
Vericlock is also a popular time tracking tool that does move away from the rigid nature of a dedicated system to log in to the office. Vericlock is a cloud-based activity tracking software that doesn’t fail like staff cop in the case of data corruption or hardware damage. Vericlock is super easy to use and does not throw a bunch of unnecessary features that overload the system.
Vericlock uses real-time data and doesn’t just rely on the logging in and out time to track the employee’s activity. Using real-time activity tracking the software provides an overview of brimming hopes of sunshine and dusty performers that need to step up. It also provides a facility of clocking in using its application or using the phone by calling or texting, and using the website.
The employee’s activity is turned into timesheets so that they can be used for productivity monitoring and payroll automation. Vericlock doesn’t have the GPS tracking features like Hubstaff but also isn’t invasive like Teramind. It costs a 10 dollar subscription and then a subsequent five dollars for each user that you add to your account.
Interguard is an activity tracking software that also offers web filters and a data leak prevention system. It tracks everything that the employees do on the system right from the application, website visits, rest and inactive time generated productivity reports. That can be used by the manager to impose strict regulations in place that don’t allow them to repeat the behavior.
It offers the option of collection of timed screenshots and video capture as well, which is as invasive as Teramind so it isn’t suitable for all work types and organizations. It doesn’t appear as a separate program and cannot be turned off by using a task manager. Perfect for a time-constrained project and less feasible for qualitative work.
Interguard also offers social media monitoring, website monitoring, file activity and sharing logs, and email monitoring so that the projects stay confidential to the organization only. So it mimics Teramind in most features except that it is available for multiple platforms and is less costly as compared to Teramind. Not a perfect alternative but a cheaper yet effective one for projects where deadlines are rigid.
Hubstaff and ActivTrac will be the least intrusive activity monitoring software. Basecamp and Vericlock are super simple to use. Interguard is Teramind more or less but costs a fraction of its price. But all options mentioned here are cheaper than Teramind and more suitable for remote as well as the in-office workforce.