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Time-and-attendance applications

5 May 2015, by — admin ()

Time-and-attendance applications offer an alternative solution for companies worried about insufficient productivity of their employees.

The way these applications work is rather simple. Most of them save information about the open window (an application or a web-site) at any specific moment, computer’s operating time as well as the time the user was actually being active.

And as is the case with personnel monitoring systems, a mere mention of these programs causes a storm of emotions and opposite opinions.

Very often this is a sign of time-and-attendance applications being used heedlessly, at the wrong place and time or in an unbalanced manner. Instead of improving the situation, all this can potentially make it significantly worse.

Let’s see when using such programs is really justified or whether it will do more harm than good.

The cons of time-and-attendance applications are quite easy to see and are often cited by the opponents.

  • Employees’ negative attitude.

People don’t like strict limitations. Attempts to implement any technical solutions might lead to conflicts or even resignations.

  • Motivation and ways to cheat the time-and-attendance application.

Limitation may not only cause negativity but a countermeasure. This is particularly relevant for the people comfortable with computers. The Windows API can be easily coded in such a way that it will imitate frenzied activity.

  • Legal and moral restrictions.

Before you use any time-and-attendance application make sure to consult your lawyer. Some countries don’t allow these applications. Besides, it is widely recommended to inform employees about such an application being used.

  • Technical restrictions.

The majority of time-and-attendance applications are Windows-based. A significantly fewer number of them is available for Mac OS and just a couple run on Linux. Most of the applications use cloud data storage systems requiring permanent Internet access.

  • Modern management trends.

In fact, more and more successful companies abandoning time control systems, as well as any control whatsoever, apart from the self-control. For example, Valve and GitHub HR-managers always stress they don’t hire people who are not willing to work and need some control.

  • High prices.

Implementation of time-and-attendance applications might turn out to be a more expensive than what the company will eventually gain.


Nonetheless, time-and-attendance applications have certain advantages and many companies are quite successful at using them.

  • Correct time-tracking and remote jobs.

A project manager is most likely to find information about the actual amount of man-hours spent on a specific task very valuable.
Many programmers often prefer to work remotely with their clients being situated in a completely different part of the world. A basic time-and-attendance application allows them to negotiate about how much they want to be paid.

  • Self-monitoring.

Many users install time-and-attendance applications on their own desktops.


For example, RescueTime evaluates my productivity at 69 percent, telling me that it’s a relatively good result and recommends me to read news less, something it is quite right about.

  • Large companies with big number of employees.

If your company is 15 people large, it’s very unlikely the manager isn’t aware of what any particular employee is doing. But if you have 200 people employed this is something to make you consider tracking work efficiency.

  • Lack of personnel evaluation.

If any department of your company is lacking staff and people experience too much work load, work analysis will help to see this.

It’s important to remember we discuss only software solutions for tracking office employees who are using computers. There are biometric complexes and other RFID tools capable of monitoring and restricting physical location of employees on the company’s premises.

Below are some examples of time-and-attendance applications. All of them are rather similar in their specs.


  • Time and attendance monitoring
  • Software, applications and web-sites monitoring, efficiency and productivity analysis
  • Monitor’s screenshots and web-camera snaps
  • Abuse control
  • Employees access to personal statistics
  • Hidden and open monitoring


  • Time and attendance monitoring
  • Visited web-sites and used applications monitoring

Time Inspector

  • Applications and visited sites monitoring
  • Productive and unproductive applications / sites / activities statistics
  • Worktime activity control



Refog applications don’t belong to time-and-attendance class. But after numerous requests from the users of our corporate software product line (Employee Monitor and Terminal Monitor), we have added a number of features that will allow performing such a control.

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