Every employer has to track employee hours at work to find out if team members are productive.
While using an Excel spreadsheet, paper timesheet, or biometric scanner might seem convenient, they can be time-consuming. They’re also prone to various data security and privacy issues.
Instead, you should use time tracking tools to track employee hours accurately.
But with hundreds of tools available today, which one is the best for you?
In this article, we’ll highlight the top 10 tools you can use for tracking employee hours. We’ll also cover why you should use a time tracker tool instead of traditional methods.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to jump into a section of your choice)
- 10 Best Tools to Track Employee Hours in 2021
- 4 Key Benefits of Using a Time Tracking Tool
Let’s get started.
10 Best Tools to Track Employee Hours in 2021
Let’s take a detailed look at the top 10 employee time tracking apps:
1. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a robust time tracking and productivity management software. It’s used by large corporations like Verizon, as well as SMBs like Thrive Market, to keep employees motivated and productive throughout their work hours.
With Time Doctor, you can:
- Track how long employees spend on tasks down to the second.
- Prevent staff members from idling during work.
- Generate real-time productivity reports.
- Export timesheets for easy payroll management.
Time Doctor also has a mobile app that helps manage employee productivity through your Android mobile device.
Here are some of Time Doctor’s best features:
A. Time Tracking
Time Doctor features simple time tracking so your employees can use it without a hassle.
With Time Doctor’s manual/interactive mode, all an employee will have to do is open the app, type in the task they’re working on, and start the timer.
Time Doctor will run in the background and track what the employee is doing. Once they finish the task or just want to take a break, they can stop the time in one click!
Note: Time Doctor also has an automatic time tracking mode, which tracks time automatically when the computer is on.
B. Idle Time Tracking
Time Doctor tracks the idle time of employees throughout their workday. You can choose a time limit to start counting idle time for each employee.
Idle time is measured in idle seconds and idle minutes.
An idle second is one second without keyboard and mouse activity. An idle minute is one full minute without keyboard and mouse activity.
With Time Doctor’s idle time measures, you can easily find out which employees perform at their best and which employees need help improving their efficiency.
Moreover, you can set how long the timer can run without any activity. Once it reaches the limit, the tracker automatically stops tracking time and displays an idle time pop-up. This nudges the employee to focus on their tasks.
Note: Time Doctor is not a keylogger. It only tracks if any keys were pressed; it doesn’t record any keystrokes or mouse clicks.
Want to stop employees from wasting time at work?
Check out our guide on how to avoid common time-wasters at work.
C. Productivity Reports
Time Doctor tracks several data points related to your employees’ activity during work.
But how can you use all of this data to see if your employees are productive?
Time Doctor gives you access to a wide range of reports generated in real-time.
Here’s a quick look at these reports :
- Activity Summary Report: See active seconds, minutes, unproductive, manual, and mobile time for each employee over a selected time period.
- Attendance Report: See if an employee is present, absent, partially absent, or late in real-time.
- Hours Tracked Report: View the total number of hours tracked by employees for any date range.
- Projects & Tasks Report: See the time spent on projects as well as individual tasks.
- Timeline Report: Look at the time spent on tasks and breaks in a day or the whole week.
- Web and App Usage Report: View the time spent by an employee on each app and website during work hours.
- Custom Export Report: Customize the fields you’d like to include in one single report.
You can quickly identify high performers with these reports and decide how you can help struggling employees.
D. Shifts and Schedules
Managers can use the Work Schedules feature to create and edit employee shifts from within Time Doctor.
Here’s what you can do with schedules:
- Save time by automating schedule creation and updates.
- Easily adjust schedules to ensure round-the-clock availability.
- Monitor and manage employee overtime.
E. Chrome Extension and Integrations
Time Doctor’s powerful Chrome Extension integrates with 50+ tools that include project management, helpdesk, accounting software, and more.
You can even add time tracking to tasks you’ve created on tools like ClickUp — this helps your team reduce the time spent switching between apps to track time.
Time Doctor has three affordable pricing plans, and you can quickly sign up for a 14-day free trial without a credit card.
Here’s an overview of the pricing plans:
- Basic: $7/user per month – offers time tracking + task management + activity tracking + unlimited screenshots.
- Standard: $10/user per month – includes “Basic” features + integrations + payroll and invoicing.
- Premium: $20/user per month – includes “Standard” features + concierge account setup + client login access.
- G2: 4.3/5 (180+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (330+ reviews)
Connecteam is an online employee attendance tracker app. It also offers a customizable tracking app that enables business owners to manage their teams from anywhere.
- Time clock to track and manage employee work hours.
- Assign shifts, duplicate, drag-and-drop, or create templates with employee scheduling.
- Easily create tasks and add task descriptions, images, files, and more.
- Tax and labor compliance to monitor overtime shifts.
- Offers employee training software for onboarding new hires and routine training.
Has a free plan for up to 50 users. Paid plans for this time clock app start at $47/month.
- G2: 3.9/5 (10+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (120+ reviews)
3. When I Work
When I Work is a time clock and employee scheduling tool. Organizations can use this tool for timekeeping, tracking attendance, creating work schedules, and reviewing any timecard.
- Easy employee scheduling with a drag-and-drop interface.
- Ability to forecast labor costs.
- Supports applicant tracking and onboarding functionalities.
- Receive attendance data as soon as employees clock in or clock out.
- Mobile clock in with GPS location tracking for Android and iOS devices.
Pricing plans for time and attendance tracking start at $4/user per month.
- G2: 4.4/5 (230+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (860+ reviews)
4. Toggl Track
Toggl Track is a cloud-based time tracking app that allows small businesses to manage the working hours of their teams.
It also offers useful task management and revenue tracking functionalities.
- Gain insights into team members with detailed reports.
- Track work time across the web, desktop, and mobile app or browser extension.
- Team dashboard to view each employee’s workload.
- Calendar integration to convert meetings into time entries on your mobile device.
- Integrates with more than 100 websites and apps.
Here’s our detailed Toggl Track review.
Free plan includes auto tracker, idle detection, and Pomodoro timer. Paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (1400+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (1700+ reviews)
Desktime is a time tracking tool that helps boost employee productivity. It’s suitable for business owners to track employee time as well as for freelancers.
- Automated time tracking via the desktop app.
- Offers Pomodoro timer to help prevent employee burnout.
- Automatic screenshots to capture employees’ computer screens at random intervals.
- Supports offline and online time tracking.
- Easy integration with task management tools like Jira and Basecamp.
Check out our DeskTime vs. Time Doctor comparison article.
Has a free limited plan. Paid plans start at $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (15+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (185+ reviews)
Hubstaff is a simple time tracking solution that supports employee scheduling and payroll functionalities. It also offers mobile apps (Android and iOS) that enable teams to track time from anywhere.
- Record employee work hours with timesheets.
- Send shift reminders to employees if they are late.
- Employee monitoring to view work in progress in real-time.
- Records employee activity levels based on mouse and keyboard usage.
- Geofencing to automatically track work based on custom locations.
Read about Hubstaff vs Time Doctor comparison here.
The free plan includes timesheets, activity levels, and limited screenshots. Paid plans for this timesheet app start from $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (350+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (1150+ reviews)
TimeCamp is a time management and tracking software suitable for teams as well as freelancers.
It also offers project management features to help you organize all your projects and tasks in one place.
- Automatic time tracking through calendar integration.
- Automate employee timesheet approvals and reminders.
- Project cost analysis for expense tracking and better resource management.
- Activity tracking to identify the tasks your employees spend most of their time on.
- GPS tracking using the Android or iOS mobile app.
Has a free plan. Paid plans for this time and attendance software start at $7/user per month with team productivity tracking features.
- G2: 4.7/5 (160+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (520+ reviews)
Clockify is a simple time tracking software that allows employees to track work hours across different projects.
- Track time with a timer or manually log time entries on an employee timesheet.
- Set hourly rates and see team member activity.
- Categorize time by projects and mark time as billable.
- Export and download reports as PDF, CSV, or Excel sheets.
- Use Pomodoro timer for Mac and Chrome operating systems.
Has a limited free plan. Paid plans for this employee hour tracking app start at $4.99/user per month.
- G2: 4.4/5 (80+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (1500+ reviews)
Everhour is a web-based time tracking tool suitable for small teams. It’s an all-in-one time management software for budgeting, invoicing, and payroll.
- Employee schedules to see who’s available and assign tasks accordingly.
- Easily track work hours using clock-in, clock-out, and break buttons.
- Set project budgets to track progress in real-time.
- Central dashboard to view all time and expense data.
- Integrates with project management tools like Asana and ClickUp.
Plans start at $10/user per month for five users. Offers a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).
- G2: 4.7/5 (120+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (250+ reviews)
Timely is an automated time tracking and productivity tool. It can allocate time to specific tasks based on websites accessed, files worked on, software used, and more.
- Automatically record billable activity across apps and create timesheets.
- Customize employee timesheets, payroll, and more with personal branding and various designs.
- Monitor employee work hours, overtime, capacity, and workload in real-time.
- Drag-and-drop functionality for allocating tasks and visualizing project plans.
- Use Windows and Mac desktop apps as well as Android and iOS mobile apps.
Plans start at $10/user per month for 50 projects and three teams with a 14-day free trial.
- G2: 4.8/5 (130+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (200+ reviews)
4 Key Benefits of Using a Time Tracking Tool
Now that we’ve covered the list of tools you can use for tracking employee hours, let’s see why automatic time tracking tools are the best way to keep track of employee working hours:
An inaccurate employee time tracking system can cause several problems like underpaying employees and overbilling clients.
Your time tracking system stores data about each team member — whether they’re an hourly employee or a salaried employee. Incorrect employee tracking data can affect your labor cost and even the billable hours of your clients.
Inaccurate payroll and invoicing data can even put you in serious legal trouble.
For example, if you fail to pay the correct overtime pay as defined in labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees can take legal action against you.
So it’s essential to ensure your time tracking system is error-free.
Automatic time trackers are the best solution to track employee activity since they aren’t affected by human factors as in manual methods, such as spreadsheet time tracking.
For example, an employee can forget to update a manual spreadsheet or enter the wrong timing.
But with an automatic time tracker, you only need to start and stop the timer and label the time spent on work. The time tracking system takes care of everything else — and it’s accurate down to the second.
2. Ease of Use
A time tracking tool is something that your team members will use at work every day.
While manual methods require a lot of input and cross-checking for accuracy, an automatic time tracker will handle all the hard work for you.
As a business owner, you also need an app that covers your business needs and makes things easier for your team members.
An automatic time tracker can help you here — it provides employees with an app they can use easily while giving you access to auto-generated reports you can use to measure employee productivity.
People use tons of productivity software at work, and your time tracker is just one of them.
However, you need to track employee time across all of your tools, right?
An automatic time tracking tool is the only way you’ll be able to integrate your tracker app with other productivity tools.
These integrations can help you significantly boost employee productivity at work.
For instance, Time Doctor integrates with a wide range of productivity tools like project management apps, payroll, and invoicing software like QuickBooks, CRMs, and helpdesk software.
4. Data Security and Privacy
Time tracking tools record a large amount of sensitive information.
The software you use to track employee hours will record:
- How employee hours are spent during the workday.
- Employee scheduling data.
- The projects you handle on behalf of clients.
- Other productivity data.
Whatever method you use, you need to be aware of protecting your employees’ privacy rights. It’s essential to treat all employee data as private and confidential to avoid privacy issues.
An automatic time tracker app trusted by businesses worldwide, like Time Doctor, can help you protect all information collected by the software.
They’re most likely to use state-of-the-art technologies to protect user data, which provides additional security to all information collected by the app.
Using manual techniques may not provide accurate information, while invasive methods like employee surveillance software could violate your employees’ privacy.
That’s why you should use a user-friendly and accurate automatic time tracker that protects employee privacy and data.
And while you can explore the tools we covered here to find what fits your needs, Time Doctor is clearly the best way to track employee hours. It also helps you manage your team’s productivity levels and help them improve over time — leading to a highly efficient workforce.
Sign up for Time Doctor’s free trial today and boost your employees’ productivity in no time!
Lauren Soucy is the VP of Marketing for Time Doctor, the world’s leading time tracking and productivity software. She has 15+ years of experience in marketing at fast-paced companies. Her first passion is SEO, she can’t start her day without coffee, and she enjoys spending time at the beach with her two boys and her husband.