Category Archives: Screenshot Monitor

Time tracking for WFH employees during the coronavirus outbreak

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, many employees will be working from home instead of the office. Therefore, it may be more difficult for many companies to stay profitable during this COVID-19 pandemic. How can managers ensure that employees stay productive when they telecommute? 

How to keep productivity when employees work from home

In some jobs, employee productivity can be measured based on results such as articles written or items sold. In these cases, it doesn’t matter if employees work from home or the office – they are paid for results. But for many employees, such as office clerks, customer service representatives, managers, bookkeepers and many others –  there are often no simple criteria to know if employees are being productive or if they are doing something else while being paid for their time. One of the ways to ensure productivity in such cases is to monitor employees. Because of the coronavirus, one of the most popular time tracking and screenshot monitoring services, is now offering their top-tier service free until June 2020 with an unlimited number of users.

How Screenshot Monitor works for WFH employees

Employees install an app on their computers and start time tracking when they start working and stop when they are done. A manager can open a browser and see what their employees were working on, their activity level and periodic screenshots of their monitors.

Also recorded are all of the programs their employees ran and websites they visited during time tracking

All of this gives managers a clear picture of where the time is spent. And for many employees, just the fact that their work could be reviewed may encourage them to focus more on their tasks.

How to overcome objections to screenshot monitoring when working from home

Ideally, your employees will realize that screenshot monitoring can be beneficial to all involved. However, you may initially encounter some resistance to this concept. Here are some answers to common objections:

It is not fair

When employees get paid for their time they exchange their time for a payment. It’s not unfair when employer wants clarify on what they are paying for.

It invades my privacy

The employees choose when to start and when to stop monitoring. Anything private that appears on an employee’s monitor can be deleted manually on the website.  

If you trust your employees – you won’t be using monitoring

“Trust, but verify” is a useful phrase in this context. Assure your employees that you do trust them, but that a level of verification is needed in order for you not to be completely blind as to what employees are working on.

My boss will want me to work 100% of time

Establish early on that you understand that your employees will need the same sort of breaks that they have in the office, such as getting coffee or going to the bathroom. Research suggests that employees are more productive when taking occasional brief breaks, so you are encouraged to keep this in mind when determining what percentage of productivity you expect from them.


Even if the coronavirus forced your company employees work from home – it is not a reason for their productivity to go down. Quite the opposite, with the right tools they may be more productive working from home and happier without a commute. And management can have a clearer picture where the resources are spent while saving money on keeping an office space.

Screenshot Monitor time tracking is free until June, to help businesses working remotely due to coronavirus

To help businesses track their employees’ time while they work remotely from home due to the coronavirus, Screenshot Monitor is letting employers use the top-tier version of their time-tracking software for free until June with the promo code COVID-19

The Professional time tracking plan  usually costs $6.99 per user per month and this is now free until June for an unlimited number of employees. Employees start and stop time tracking themselves and managers can see in real time their screenshots, total work time, activity level, applications run and websites visited and time spent on each. See How it works for more information.

To apply the promo code, start your free 2 week trial, go to My Account, and click “Upgrade to a Paid Plan”


Select “Professional Plan” and click on “Enter code” next to “Have a gift or promotional code?”


Enter COVID-19 as a promo code and hit “Apply code”

Alternatively, if you have a free account already, you can just follow the link below to get to the Upgrade page with the COVID-19 code applied:

Finish your upgrade to the Paid Plan. Your trial will be extended until June 2020. Enjoy!


Is Employee Monitoring Ethical?

Letter to freelancers who dislike screenshot monitoring

Hi! I am Ross. I am one of the creators of Screenshot Monitor.  I would like to address the small but loud group of freelancers who take a high moral stance against using screenshot monitoring. For example I’ve recently stumbled on this conversation on Reddit about our service (the highlights are mine):

Continue reading Letter to freelancers who dislike screenshot monitoring

Introducing the “Pay Per Project” Feature to Screenshot Monitor

Switch between various hourly rates for the same employee and calculate the pay in an instant.

Most projects nowadays require specialists with a varied set of skills. Developers can sometimes act as project managers, graphic designers may also be capable of some front-end development, copywriters are often quite knowledgeable about SMM, and so on.

Acting in a different capacity other than your main profession has become a norm for most projects in the IT industry, especially when it comes to freelance work or projects whose members are spread across several cities or even countries.

However, when it comes to tracking the working hours and calculating the pay for these specialists with multiple roles in the project, most time-tracking tools fail to deliver the proper solution – unlike Screenshot Monitor.

Continue reading Introducing the “Pay Per Project” Feature to Screenshot Monitor

Auto-pause doesn’t work and activity is always 100%

Screenshot Monitor uses system API to determine user activity level.
100% activity level means there’s some hardware or software issue (like faulty mouse) that makes system think that user types or moves mouse constantly. In this case the app will not auto-pause and users would have to stop it manually by pressing button Stop themselves. Try disconnecting the mouse for a few minutes and see how it affects time tracking. If activity level is back to normal – replace the mouse. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about it on our side.

Blur all screenshots option

In Screenshot Monitor you have an option to either take the screenshots of your employee monitors or not take them. We have just added a new “Blur all [screenshots]” option that allows you to do something in between.

If “Blur all” is selected, all screenshots will be permanently blurred like below. Blurred screenshots give some idea of what the employees do while protecting their privacy and sensitive information.

To set it up go to Screenshot Settings and select “Blur all” for everyone on your team or for some of your employees only:

How to use Clients in Screenshot Monitor

If you company works on projects for multiple clients, you will appreciate the ability to create Clients, group your projects by Clients and run various reports by client. To start – go to the Clients page and add your clients:


Next, assign your Projects to clients. Your projects will appear grouped under the customer title like below:


You and your employees will have easier time identifying the Client as everywhere where you have previously seen a project name you will see “Project ● Client”

And finally on the Reports page you will see a new “Clients” drop-down allowing you to filter by clients, a Clients bar chart allowing you to visualize time spent on each customer and option to group by Client for easier report:


Note that if you have not added any clients, you will not see the options to assign projects to clients or any other references to clients on reports or other pages. This is done in order to keep the interface simple for our customers who do not use Clients.

Blurring screenshots

Both employee and their managers can blur the employee’s screenshots on the timeline. This is useful when some sensitive information needs to be protected, but the user would still prefer not to delete the screenshot.

To blur the screenshot, mouse over the thumbnail or the full size image and click on a Paint icon in the top right corner:


The image is now blurred:


Note that once blurred, there’s no option to restore the image to the original clear non-blurred view.

If you would like to blur all of the screenshots by default, go to Settings > Screenshots and select “Blur All” option. Then all of the captured screenshots will be blurred. This may be useful in cases when you want users to retain a greater degree of privacy while still getting enough idea of what users do. In other words this option is a middle ground between normal screenshots and not capturing screenshots at all.

Cheat application detection in Screenshot Monitor

Employees may use applications that imitate mouse movements, typing or the set of pre-programmed or pre-recorded activities with a goal of cheating time tracking. Screenshot Monitor uses a combination of heuristic analysis and extensive database of cheat applications to detect the use of such application.

When we detect it, the employer receives a “Potential cheat application detected” email where we say that a particular user has used such application with a link to the app. Then it is up to the employer to decide if the use was justified or indeed it was used to cheat the time tracking. We will send this email once a day when we detect the use of such application.

Here are a few examples of such applications:

Auto Mouse Click

Automatically initiates mouse clicks.



CLICKER is a robot design for automated mouse clicking and keyboard writing.


Apps & URLs report

If you use App & URL tracking in Screenshot Monitor, there’s a couple of extra features that we’ve just added:

On the timeline you can now see the name of the application the user was running when the screenshot was taken (like Adobe Photoshop or Sublime Text in the example below):


And in the Reports you have a new tab Apps & URLs that summarizes what was used the most for the currently selected employees:grabilla.Uh9596

Note that Apps & URL tracking is available on Professional Plan only.