Tracking of working hours and screen recording

26 replies
I need to outsource some things by hiring full timers remotely. What is the best working hours tracking program that I can use to keep track of when my employees work and actually be able to see what they are viewing in their screen whenever I want in real time?
#hours #recording #screen #tracking #working
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  • Profile picture of the author curationsoft
    you can use odesk software for time and screenshot tracking
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  • Profile picture of the author DTGeorge
    I can't answer your question about real time tracking for whenever you want.

    BUT Odesk does take frequent screenshots.

    Either way, why would you feel the need to track your employees time whenever you want? Sounds a bit big brotherish to me. I understand needing productivity, but I'd be happy with a worker who met all their targets without having to know what they are doing at every second of the day.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  • Try rescuetime or tracklabor.com. It tracks every opened application and webpage and takes random screenshots. It also provides you with regular reports (daily, weekly, monthly) on your teams performance
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  • Profile picture of the author LilaJade
    Like others have said, Odesk provides screenshots. Elance also has that feature, called Elance Tracker. This is from their site:

    There is an option to enable Work View™ in Tracker, which allows the freelancer to stream images and comments into the Work View™ section of the workroom. Screenshots are taken at random intervals throughout the hour to create a documented record of the work performed online. When Work View™ is enabled, payment for the freelancer's time is guaranteed by Elance.
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  • Profile picture of the author jessiem
    Just like Rescuetime or TrackLabor, TimeDoctor is also a good alternative for this. It guarantees you stay focused by making sure you work on what you're committed to working on. So when you’re having more time browsing on Youtube, online newspapers, or other personal web browsing are detected, Time Doctor will give each user a nudge to see they are still working.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewWoodward
    Hi,

    I dealt with this problem and arrived at a different solution than most.

    The problem with all this tracking, screenshots, logging and all of that is you have to spend time reviewing it all which well, takes time.

    The whole point of hiring someone is to save time.

    So what I did instead is when assiging tasks out, I know roughly how long they take to complete.

    So if the task was spin an article to my specifications I know that it will take between 2.5-3 hours to do.

    So I just assign them 8 hours worth of work per day and as long as what I have assigned gets completed I don't give a shit if they worked 9am-10am, went swimming for 2 hours, then did another few hours, went to the gym then did another couple of hours.

    Just assign them a days worth of work and then all you have to do is review it on completion, let them manage their own time.

    You'll soon know if someone is ******* about all day because they wont be getting throguh their assigned tasks.
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    • Profile picture of the author PandoraH
      The Odesk tracking system is a horrible nuisance to those actually using it. If you have documented the sort of work you need and know how long it should take, your better off finding a couple of freelancers who will not slack, do the work, and report back as you see fit.

      A lot of clients on Odesk hire new freelancers, then eventually pay em directly. Good freelancers don't need to be screen-captured, as they will do the work they are supposed to.

      If you like to know every little thing someone does, build a report sheet that covers what you want to know. If you just want to see results, maybe a daily or weekly report template would work. Make your freelancers fill this out. I would guess you need to know specifics about the work they are doing anyways.
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  • Profile picture of the author brownjason
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author mickdodson
      Odesk are good software for time and screenshot tracking.
      Its so help full for tracking time.
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
        I suggest trust - working with people who don't need to be tracked, or purchasing on a cost per task basis.

        I'm not a fan of overcomplicating or being a spy on remote employees personally.

        Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    As a former freelancer, and a good one, I would never ever have worked for someone that wanted to look over my shoulder to that degree.

    That's because the key part of the word freelancer is "free". Most quality professionals turn to freelancing so they have autonomy and control over what they do and how they do it.

    I'd suggest to you if you want those high quality freelancers, you should be aware that the best ones won't want to work that way.

    Instead, follow the advice given above on pairing the rate of pay with the amount of work done, so you're getting what you paid for delivered.
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  • Profile picture of the author teresarothaar
    I agree with those who feel it's just easier to pay a fixed price for a specified number of tasks. As a contractor, I'd rather be paid a fixed price. I'm a copywriter, and copywriting is very difficult to quantify by the hour. When I give quotes to clients, I look at what they need, estimate how many hours it will take me to complete the job, multiply that by my hourly rate, then give them a nice flat fee. Sometimes it works out in their favor, sometimes in mine. Either way, I know what I'm getting paid, and they know what they're getting charged (if it takes me longer than expected, I eat the difference - I charge extra only if they ask for extra things that weren't included in the original proposal).
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Elance and odesk have tracking software if you run the project through them.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Wow!

      Talk about micro-managing!

      I would never work for someone who wanted to watch over my shoulder, let alone in my face. If you feel the need to spy on me, then I'm not the one for you.

      Don't you think that constantly watching someone would stifle their creativity, therefore cause them to deliver less than their best?

      I think the whole thing is counterproductive all the way around.

      Just Wow!

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

        Wow!

        Talk about micro-managing!

        I would never work for someone who wanted to watch over my shoulder, let alone in my face. If you feel the need to spy on me, then I'm not the one for you.

        Don't you think that constantly watching someone would stifle their creativity, therefore cause them to deliver less than their best?

        I think the whole thing is counterproductive all the way around.

        Just Wow!

        Terra
        It depends. For creative work, yes, it would be counter-productive, but for other things it might be a good idea, especially if one is paid by the hour.

        Take for example coders. They don't do much creative work, do they? And especially if you don't know much about coding, you can't estimate how much time it takes to code something, and logging their activity might deter them from misleading you when it comes to how many hours the coder needed to come up with something.

        But I'll never use such a strategy if I were to outsource article writing or other creative work. That would really, really stifle their creativity.
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        • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
          Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post


          Take for example coders. They don't do much creative work, do they?
          I haven't a clue. I couldn't code my way out of a wet paper bag, lol!

          It just seems to me that just as it is true in the offline world, as studies have shown, employees that are happy and content are more productive for their employers than those who aren't, would be true in this case as well.

          It just reminds me of a person who is drunk on power and rules with an iron fist. That tends to make make people feel nervous or under pressure which has a tendency to lead to more mistakes and invites rebellion which is never a good thing for anyone.

          Terra
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          • Profile picture of the author MarketMaster13
            With oDesk you can track the hours and screen shots of the work done,So i would recommend you to outsource for freelancers for your job from oDesk.
            I do not know much about Elance but i assume they also have a tracking software.
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          • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
            Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

            It just reminds me of a person who is drunk on power and rules with an iron fist. That tends to make make people feel nervous or under pressure which has a tendency to lead to more mistakes and invites rebellion which is never a good thing for anyone.
            I see what you're getting at. But, as some chick told me when she was asked if she would sleep with a guy on a first date: "It's all about how the situation is handled. That's where most guys have problems."
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            • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
              Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

              I see what you're getting at. But, as some chick told me when she was asked if she would sleep with a guy on a first date: "It's all about how the situation is handled. That's where most guys have problems."
              Uhh, I won't even pretend I know what that is supposed to mean, lol!

              Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Hubstaff
    Hi. I'm Charlie with Hubstaff. You may want to try Hubstaff. It has time-tracking with screenshots, payments, and can be integrated with projects. It also has a time-tracking widget that is surprisingly lightweight and unobtrusive.
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  • Profile picture of the author lucila
    There are many ways to find and hire freelance contractors and outsourced team members, though if you want things to run like clockwork you are either going to want to hire through one of the leading outsourcing platforms like oDesk.com or invest in some type of employee time tracking and monitoring tool like livetecs.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    IANAL, but you need to be careful how much control you impose on contractors, otherwise they or the government may claim they're employees and you'll be liable for benifits and employment taxes.

    Jack
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    • Profile picture of the author Hubstaff
      You should try Hubstaff with their new features. This software quickly see which remote employees are online, what projects they are working on, how much time they are spending(weekly, daily and monthly) and also create a random screenshots. Hubstaff even knows when you take breaks automatically. Check out here for more Hubstaff Tutorials.
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      Employees wasting time? Take Screenshots of your virtual team's workstations. Integrates with basecamp and Google apps. 100% Free Account

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  • Profile picture of the author OlaRybacka
    You should take a look for sure at TimeCamp - an intuitive, well-packed time tracking software, which is cheaper than the other tools available on the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hippos
    Hire someone you trust. If you feel they're not doing a good job, simply hire someone else. Like others have said, who cares if they're on youtube half of their day, as long as they do the job done for a good price. If you can find someone to do it better and cheaper, hire that one instead.

    Time tracking can be useful, but really following their screen with screenshots or whatever goes way too far for me.
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