App & URL tracking – employees don’t like it

After notifying our users about the release of App & URL tracking, we have received this colorful opinion from the employee’s side of view, and we’ve got a permission to post it unedited without mentioning the author’s name:

I’m not happy with this. You keep adding more and more performance indicators for workers… I don’t know how everyone else feels about this, but I feel persecuted, haunted. What’s wrong with trust anyway? Are you like this with your girlfriends or wives? I understand the means of this kind of service and I believe it’s really useful. But things are getting quite uncomfortable for me, at least.

OverTheShoulder

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App & URL tracking

App & URL tracking  is a  feature of Screenshot Monitor that will monitor what applications your team members are using and what websites they are visiting. You can see it under “Apps & URLs” link on the Timeline next to “Tasks”.apps and urls

App & URL tracking is turned ON by default and can be disabled by the account owner. This feature is available in the Professional version only. See Demo (click on an employee’s name there to go to timeline)  to get a feel for it.

Employee desktop application settings

Most of the settings – like number of screenshots, Activity tracking, App & URL tracking – are controlled on the web by a manager on the Settings page.  This post describes web settings in details.

Nevertheless, there are other settings – primarily related to user interface – that are controlled by the users in the menu of their desktop applications. Here we will explain what these settings do.

Launch Screenshot Monitor when I start system

The app will be launched when the computer starts. While the application will be loaded, the tracking will not start automatically by default. The default is “Yes”.

Automatically start tracking when I launch Screenshot Monitor

The tracking will start without pressing “Start button” right after the application is launched. This is often combined with “Launch Screenshot Monitor when I start system” setting, when tracking has to be run all the time while the computer is running (for example when using time tracking in an office). The default is “No”.

Display a notification in tray when a screenshot is taken

A small notification will pop up next to the tray, showing that the screenshot was taken and the name of the current task. The default is “Yes”.

This option on the desktop is only available when in web settings manager selects “Notify when screenshot is taken” – only then an employee has an option to show, or not to show the notification.

Minimize button minimizes to the tray

When Minimize button is pressed – the app will be shown on the taskbar (like any other program). If you check this option, the minimize button will collapse the app without showing it on the taskbar,  so only the icon in the tray will indicate it is running. The default is “No”.

A case study on sharing tracked time & screenshots with client

In freelancing clients often request from freelancers to use time tracking / screenshot monitoring services. Even if clients do not require that – there are still many reasons for a freelancer to use such services – clients will value it. Lets see how a freelancer can track time for himself, and then share the time and screenshots with client.

ShowScreen

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I hate Activity Levels in Screenshot Monitor

We have recently released Activity Levels in Screenshot Monitor – many employers have been requesting it for quite some time. Immediately we have received this very frustrated email. We are publishing it unedited (it was anonymous and it had no reply-to address), because despite the tone, it voices a very real concern that kept us from introducing the Activity Levels into SSM for quite some time. The concern is that productivity will be measured – to a large extent – by how actively user uses the mouse and the keyboard, not by results – and in most of the cases it is just wrong. What do you think?

I really hate the Activity level in SSM! I hate it!

I know you said in the mail, that activity does not reflect your job, because every job is different. Continue reading

New features: Summary on the Dashboards and Pie Chart reports

You may have noticed that Screenshots Monitor got a few small improvements. If you go to My Home (you can see it on Demo), at the top you will see the summary or work for today – how many employees were active today and how much time they have worked: img005

If you want to see more – just click on one of the links to get to reports. For example, if you’ve clicked on the time for today (10h 12m in the image above) – it will take you to reports where you can see in greater details how much time was spend today per employee, per project, or per task note (select one of the tabs Employees, Projects or Notes):

img006

Don’t neglect “Share this report” link on this page – it allows you to share the report with your clients without asking them to login.

Should freelancer send screenshots when tracking time?

Freelancers usually work from home and clients receive the results remotely. Since there is no physical monitoring, clients often want to use time tracking and screenshot monitoring software to supervise freelancers. While time tracking is very common, screenshot monitoring is still often met with fierce resistance by some freelancers. Should you resist or embrace screenshot monitoring? What are the Pros and Cons?

OverTheShoulder
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Top payment options for freelancers

The universal goal of businesses and freelancers is getting paid for their efforts. In case of online work space, the payer and the payee may reside long away from each other. The financial transactions between a freelancer and a buyer needs a channel to take place. There are many ways to make it happen. Today I’ll discuss on some of the top payment options for freelancers as well as their clients.

PaymentOptions

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