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Blog

Jan 16 2017

ACH Payments!

We’re excited to announce that you can now pay for ActivTrak directly from your bank account!

Here’s How You Can Upgrade Via ACH :

  • Go to Subscription > Upgrade OR Click Upgrade Plan’
     in the top right corner of ActivTrak
  • Select your new subscription
  • From the payment page, click the tab labeled ‘Bank Account’
  • Enter all required information including your bank account number and routing number. 
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  • Click ‘Update Account’

That’s it! After the transaction is processed successfully, your account will automatically reflect your new plan.

Ready to upgrade? Click here! 

Oct 10 2016

[Case Study] Keeping Employees Focused with ActivTrak

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Using ActivTrak’s employee monitoring and Behavior analytics service, Parry International Enterprise Pte Ltd is able to focus on business priorities and not worry abut whether or not their staff is on track and focused.

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Aug 12 2016

[New Feature] Scheduled Monitoring

We’re happy to announce that Scheduled Monitoring is now available for all ActivTrak accounts!

Scheduled Monitoring lets you tell ActivTrak when it should and shouldn’t be monitoring your assigned workstation. Now you can rest assured knowing you’re not collecting data outside your scheduled monitoring hours.

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Aug 8 2016

[Product Update] Real-time for Mac, Simplified Categories & more!

We’ve added a bit of functionality that I think you’ll want to know about:

Categories, Now Simplified:

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Aug 1 2016
Mar 22 2016

[New Feature] Real-time Monitoring

 

At ActivTrak, our goal is to paint the clearest possible picture of your productivity, without violating anyone’s privacy.

We wanted ActivTrak users to be able to actively check-in with their monitored devices at any point throughout the day because we understand that every minute counts, and that sometimes you just need to know now.

We’re happy to announce that Real-time Monitoring is now available as an ActivTrak feature on all accounts, including the free tier.  

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Feb 22 2016

[New Feature] Productivity Reports

Reports are some of the most useful pieces of information ActivTrak provides, as they clearly outline activity on your monitored devices, and provide proof of productivity levels when called into question.

With our new Productivity Report, managers get an at-a-glance picture of an employee’s activities during any given time span by taking a data ‘snapshot’ every five minutes (or any interval you set), categorizing the activity as productive or unproductive, then laying out this information color-coded on an easy to read timeline.

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Jan 14 2016

5 Ways to Ensure Productivity Without Being Creepy

In 2016 productivity monitoring among businesses is projected to shoot up for a number of reasons. For a lot of small to medium sized business owners and IT managers, productivity monitoring may seem like an invasive, unnecessary expense, but it can actually make your business more profitable at a very low cost. It makes perfect sense doesn’t it? More productivity equals more work, which equals more money, right?

In a small business, it’s often about more than just making money; it’s about the trust, culture and relationships you build and nurture everyday to create a team that does amazing work. All of that trust goes flying out the window once your employees feel like they’re being spied on, which can make measuring productivity difficult. The key is to not be creepy, which is easier said than done when you have so much access.

To help with this touchy subject, we’ve put together five ways to ensure employees are being productive without trampling over their personal privacy.

1. View screenshots, not keystrokes.

It’s important to realize that you don’t need every keystroke to know that your employees are working. A lot of employers have been fooled, by legacy employee monitoring systems, into believing that you must know everything that happens on a computer to be sure your employees are on task.

There are two flaws within this idea: 1) You don’t need every keystroke, only what’s on the screen (duh), and 2) Capturing keystrokes is extremely invasive, and can give employers access to sensitive employee information and passwords.

To avoid this invasive practice ActivTrak does not capture keystrokes AT ALL. Ever. Why? Again, it’s not necessary. ActivTrak lets you set alarms that trigger (or manually trigger) screenshots given your set circumstances (eg, looking at the same page for X amount of time), web pages (eg, Facebook is in the titlebar/URL), and user actions (eg, opened a chat application) so that screenshots are only triggered when they need to be. This way as an employer, you’re only seeing the information you need to see.

2. Understand the whole picture.

NEWSFLASH: Your employee don’t work eight hours straight.

Our brains get tired, need breaks, and actually function better after a period of rest (again, duh). You know this, so why do you get so upset when you walk by and see someone on Facebook? It’s because you don’t know how long they’ve been on their “brain break”. Also, remember that your assumptions about people aren’t always correct, you could be wrong about who you think is working and who isn’t.

Instead of immediately reprimanding your employees when you catch them “slacking,” you should figure out what they’ve done for the day. If they’re a good employee, and you catch them on Facebook, chances are that they just wrapped up that project you were checking on, or they’re in the thick of it and needed to come up for air.

ActivTrak’s easy-to-read dashboard (redesign coming soon!) lets you look at overall productivity reports for your workforce as a whole or by individual employee, and lets you view productivity by any time period with activity shown as productive or unproductive. This lets you monitor everyone equally while highlighting unproductive users and activity.

BONUS: If you need to dive deeper into what your employees are doing, ActivTrak logs all online and application activity by item line with time stamps. This way you have all of the high-level information you need to know what your workforce is up to.,

3. Peek, don’t watch.

Most employee monitoring systems boast real-time screen viewing, which is great, if you want to watch a cursor move magically. Again, this type of monitoring is archaic and extremely invasive. Honestly, it doesn’t tell you much more than a screenshot does unless you have time to sit there and watch. Creepy.

The key to successful employee monitoring is not being creepy. You’re their supervisor, not their mom. Excessive monitoring has been shown to add stress, diminish employee dedication, job satisfaction and actually reduce productivity. You don’t need to know every move, just that they’re being productive. You have to find a balance that works for your company.

Screenshots triggered by alarms that you set as an employer tell a much clearer story. Furthermore, ActivTrak notifies you, by way of screenshot alarms, when employees are slacking, rather than putting the burden on you as a manager to keep tabs on multiple workstations.

4. Be fair and transparent.

This is a big one. As I noted above, the key to successful employee monitoring is not being creepy. The easiest way to not be creepy about looking at what your employees are doing is to let them know you’re doing it. It’s really that easy. Also, as an added benefit, people that know they’re being watched tend to work more diligently.

Also avoid targeting specific employees to monitor. The only way to fairly and ethically monitor employees is to monitor all employee equally. This also helps you avoid any legal issues and reduces that creepy factor I mentioned above.

I know what you’re thinking: but doesn’t telling them defeat the purpose? Doesn’t that make them feel like I’m breathing down their neck? Great questions! This brings me to my next point…

5. Don’t be a task czar.

This shouldn’t come as a shock to you, but you’re never going to completely eliminate distractions. Again, you have to understand that employee monitoring is strictly for auditing productivity, and to improve company performance among actively disengaged employees. In other words, you’re only monitoring everyone because you need to know if someone decides to take advantage of company time and resources. Let this be known.

Personally, I would suggest calling a meeting to inform your employees that you’ll be implementing a monitoring software, but that there’s nothing to worry about unless they aren’t doing their job. Emphasis the fact that you understand employees need breaks, and that they won’t be punished for reasonable breaks when they need it.

The key to monitoring your employees ethically is remembering that people are people. You get distracted and take breaks too, don’t punish people for keeping their sanity in tact.

Sources:

http://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2015/0615/pages/0615-employee-monitoring.aspx
http://www.isaca.org/Journal/archives/2004/Volume-1/Pages/Employee-Monitoring-and-Surveillance-The-Growing-Trend.aspx
http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/455430/employee+rights+labour+relations/16+Labor+Employment+Resolutions+For+2016
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251388
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/minds-business/can-electronic-monitoring-improve-employee-performance.html
https://fpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/The_Eavesdropping_Employer_%20A_Twenty-First_Century_Framework.pdf

Dec 31 2015

ActivTrak 2015: A Year in Review

ActivTrak 2015: A Year In Review

2015 was a banner year for ActivTrak. We expanded our team, enhanced our product and much, much more. As we begin a new year, we would like to let you know where we are, what we did, and where we’re going in 2016.

What we did in 2015:

Released a Mac Agent:

As I said, 2015 was big and we wasted no time getting started. Our Mac OS release of ActivTrak in January of 2015 was a huge milestone for us. With this one update, we expanded our user base by thousands, and it’s still growing!

Expanded Our Team:

We’re happy to say that we’ve added new people (myself included) to our awesome team! With expanded sales, support, marketing and IT departments, we’re sprinting into 2016 with the strongest team we’ve ever had. With our forward-thinking decision makers at the helm, our office is buzzing with, you guessed it, PRODUCTIVITY!

Shameless plug: Did you know you can evaluate your team’s productivity with ActivTrak?

Rebooted Our Partner Program:

This one is actually a HUGE win for us. We absolutely LOVE our partners and resellers, and when our partner portal was shut down for a quick revamp, we were devastated. Now within less than six months, we’ve created a brand new partner portal, and we’re currently accepting any and all interested partners!

Don’t know about our partner program? Here’s a quick run-down:

  • You get commission each time someone you refer purchases a yearly subscription of ActivTrak.
    • 30% commission on yearly signups
    • 20% monthly commission for 12 months on monthly signups
  • You receive electronic payment of your commissions on the 15th of every month
  • Questions? Email Asahl@ActivTrak.com

Plus, we created all this awesome content! 

How technology can help managers make more informed decisions
[Case Study] Keep your employee honest
4 steps to ensure employee productivity…they’re not all what you think!
[Webinar] ActivTrak Product Demo
[Case Study] Maintain Your Standard of Excellence

What we’re doing now:

IN THE OFFICE WORKING HARD AT THIS MOMENT! Just kidding, even we take holidays.

However, we are working very hard to prep for the coming year. I’m talking scheduling, developing, supporting and selling like crazy! With our recent hires, we have a lot of big plans, which means we have a lot of big work to do. We love work.

What’s to come in the future:

The most exciting thing about 2016? NEW DASHBOARD! Users can expect a completely re-designed, modern, easy-to-read ActivTrak dashboard in 2016! Our dev team has been hard at work and promises the update in 2016.

Also, we want you to get everything you can out of ActivTrak. In order to do so, we have to keep you informed on current information and new updates. For this reason, we’ve decided to launch a company newsletter this year! Now you can expect regular updates from us letting you know what’s new, what’s not and what’s coming.

Don’t worry, we won’t flood your inbox, we’re talking one email every three months.

That’s all for now!

We have a lot of exciting stuff planned in 2016, but most of it is top secret. Keep checking in here to learn about new updates, and don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list to get our quarterly newsletter!

Oct 6 2015

How technology can help managers make informed decisions

Category: Business Tips

One sign of a good manager is the ability to inspire employees to give their 100% at the office. This can sometimes be difficult, since many employees have a tendency to drift off on the internet and can be resentful if they feel their boss is looking over their shoulder.

So how do you strike a balance between ensuring employee productivity and positive encouragement? Many organizations turn to ActivTrak to monitor computer usage, which can give managers a page-by- page view of an employee’s screen. Armed with this knowledge, employers can make informed decisions on what the best course of action is with employees.

You can see for yourself in this recent article in the Washington Post, about one business owner’s experience with ActivTrak and how it’s helped her small company.