We Analyzed Over 40k Hours of Employee Productivity. Here’s What We Found.

What websites do remote teams use? We’ve done our research and found some of the “theoretical best tools for managing remote teams.

Tools like Asana and Basecamp for project management frequently get mentioned. And apps like Hipchat and Slack are at the forefront of team communication.

But the simple question we asked ourselves is:

What are the tools and sites that remote teams are using in the real world to get work done?

So, we queried our database and found the top 10 most popular websites and top 10 most popular apps that teams throughout the world are using.

And what we’ve found was fascinating.

10 Most Popular Websites in the World as Tracked by Time Doctor

I’ll admit, when I first asked to run this report, a part of me thought we were going to discover that our users “waste” a lot of time during work hours.

But that is far from the truth.

In fact, the most used website that we’ve tracked is Google Docs. And our users spend quite a bit of time on project management sites like Basecamp and Trello.

As you might expect, Facebook is the leading social media site, followed by Youtube, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Finally, our users spend do spend some time on Amazon.

most popular websites as tracked by Time Doctor

Google Docs

Here at Time Doctor, Google Docs is our choice of office productivity software.

By far the single most important feature is the ability to have your team edit a single document, no matter where they are on the planet.

With Microsoft Office, you have to save your file, email it to your colleagues, and track changes. Before you know it, that document is located on dozens of desktops in six different forms.

Oh yeah, Google Docs are free to use!

Basecamp

There is a lot of great project management software, but it’s clear that our users tend to prefer Basecamp above all others.

There is a minimal learning curve. It’s lightweight. And it’s inexpensive.

Facebook

It’s no surprise that Facebook is the number one social media site that our users visit.

The average person spends 51 minutes per day on social media, with Facebook taking up 40 of those minutes. Time Doctor’s users are simply keeping form with the rest of society.

While it’s easy to dismiss this time as wasted, we should remind you that Facebook is a great platform to research and message people and create highly targeted ad campaigns.

We suspect that while some of the time is used for looking at pictures of friends, that a lot of it is also related to work.

10 Most Used Apps Worldwide as Tracked by Time Doctor

If sharing is the common theme among websites visited by Time Doctor customers, then communication is the theme when it comes to apps.

In fact, people spend as much time on Skype as they do on the next 9 apps combined!

While Skype seems to be the transcendent app across all teams and professions, the remaining 9 apps that we tracked center around specific careers and job functions.

Many of our users tend to be software developers and designers, which is why these tools show up so prevalent in our database of hours tracked.

Most used applications as tracked by Time Doctor

Skype

While there are a number of communications apps, Skype is by far the dominant player among Time Doctor users.

We like to consider ourselves Skype Ninjas, so we get the appeal.

You can host group meetings, have video chats, IM and share screens and documents. Given that the tools is free (another perk), it’s easy to see why such a powerful app is also the most used.

MS Terminal Server Connection

The second most used App among Time Doctor users is the Microsoft Terminal Server Connection.

Considering the nature of remote teams and the need to log into an intranet, it’s not surprising that an app like this logs the second most hours tracked

How to Eliminate Time Sucks

Before I end this post, I wanted to show you some free tools to help you eliminate some of the time sucks that invade our work day.

Look, we aren’t naive to think that every second spent on Google Search, or Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube is work related.

We’re guessing that some of that time is spent on entertainment.

So let’s say that you want to block out some time and eliminate all distractions to write a blog post, or code, or design a new website.

The tool I like to use is SelfControl.

SelfControl is a free tool for the Mac that will eliminate all distractions from your computer including websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet.

Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.”

Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites, even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

SelfControl Mac app

Facebook tool

The problem with Facebook is that you might not be able to avoid it for the entire day.

I know, I can’t.

Like many of you, I’m constantly going there to look someone up, or to check out my ads, or message someone. So, instead of using the SelfControl app, I use a free Google Chrome extension called Kill News Feed.

You see, the thing that makes Facebook so addictive is the news feed scrolling.

You’re only naturally curious to see what your friends are doing and what pictures they’re posting.
The Kills News Feed app eliminates that “addiction”.

Conclusion

Communication and collaboration.

When it comes to remote teams, these features seem to be most paramount. (It also helps that Skype and Google Docs are free!)

Remote teams work in different cities, countries, or in our case, continents, yet we all need to collaborate in groups in order to achieve our goals.

When we decided to find out what apps and websites our users were using most, we weren’t 100% what we’d discover.

However, looking over the data, we really shouldn’t be too surprised.

Communication and collaboration.

The beating heart of every successful organization.

time tracking software

Liam McIvor Martin

Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor—a time tracking and productivity monitoring software designed for tracking hours and productivity of remote teams.

4 Comments

  • Gene Krause says:

    Hi Liam. I’m wasn’t surprised in the slightest to read that Skype is the most popular communications app. The fact that it’s free is a huge perk, but sometimes reliability issues go along with free side of their service. In some cases, I believe it’s better to upgrade to their paid service to enjoy better connectivity.

    Thanks for the tip about KillNewsFeed. Ignoring Facebook is usually a terrible idea for those who are trying to connect with new clients, but it sounds like this provides a solution for occasional productivity issues while still making Facebook accessible for business purposes and other necessary tasks. Very cool!

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Hey Gene, I absolutely agree with you. I’m very interested in the new up and comer slack.com which is directly approaching skype’s customers but is a paid solution. We can do an updated version of this article in a few months to see if anything has changed.

  • Katie says:

    It’s looking like these findings are really backing up the idea that the more basic (albeit efficient) the tools, the more they’re going to be used to actually get things done. It’s not all that surprising to me that Google Docs and Skype at the top of the list because they are the two apps/programs that are most centered around the features you need to get actual work done without having a lot of extra bells and whistles that only stifle productivity.

    I’ve recently been playing with some ideas I got in this article What Business Productivity Software Really Looks Like as far as building out systems around basic tools and systematically avoiding anything that’s going to distract me from my work. Combine that with the results of your findings, and it’s looking like the perfect recipe for what should and shouldn’t be on a work computer.

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