In late February, an internal memo, leaked from Yahoo’s head of Human Resources revealed a change of policy under the newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer. According to the new rules, employees were prohibited from working from home – a move that was criticized by many. The argument the memo puts forward is that “in-person meetings boost the quality of decisions and business ideas”. You may or may not agree to Miss Mayer, but for an online company, outsourcing work to online contractors working from home is the very model based on which some of the most successful web companies are running on the Internet today. However, one cannot deny the fact that keeping track of outsourced employees and the projects they are working upon can be challenging. If you run an online business with many outsourced employees, you need an employee management system which you can monitor from a central place.
Hubstaff is an employee management tool that allow businesses to track hours worked by each individual employee, broken down by date and individual projects. Workers can select a project, and Hubstaff will then track time and activity to that specific project, which becomes viewable in the web application. Reports can be followed up with regular screenshots of the employee’s desktop taken every few minutes. Hubstaff also monitors user activity from keystrokes, and track when a user is active and when idle, and then calculates activity percentages to show how active your team is.
Things like invoicing and paying your staff are being build into the program so that you can pay employees for the exact time they’ve worked for a given time period.
Hubstaff offers one free Basic plan and one paid plan, with several subscription options based on the number of employees your business has. The free plan includes access for one user and up to five projects. Paid plans starts from $15 a month, but because Hubstaff is currently in beta, all plans are available for free.
DeskTime is a real-time automatic time tracking software that tracks and analyzes your employees’ productivity, including yours, by sorting the different applications that you or our employees use into the categories “productive”, “unproductive” or “neutral”. It runs quietly, unobtrusively and automatically in the background, requiring no user input, so the user never has to manually enter start and stop times.
The program than generates reports reports that are sent to a specific email address each day, week or month, based on the time frame set by the user. Business owners can examine individual workers’ time of arrival, work time, "productive" time for the day, a measure of overall efficiency, and their ranking relative to other employees.
All DeskTime users get free 30-days trial, but personal account can continue to use the application for free. Companies and business need to buy a license which starts at $19 per month for 2 employees. The price then goes north, depending on the number of employees your business has.