The Top 6 Ways Your Employees Can Cheat Your Time Tracker
Naturally, companies tried to look for ways to ensure that their remote team members were not loafing around. Within weeks, the demand for employee monitoring software surged.
You would be surprised to discover what people can do to cheat time tracking software. Cheat 1: Automating Mouse Movement This may seem ridiculous and unbelievable, but people can automate mouse movement with a battery-operated toy.
They attach the toy to their mouse and let it drag the peripheral around. As a result, they fool their monitoring tool into detecting mouse movement or activity. With a quick glance at the report, you would assume that your employee had been doing something productive. By letting the app take random screenshots, you will have solid proof of what your remote team members are doing at a particular moment. Cheat 2: Using a Window as a Red Herring Some people find a way to watch videos while faking productivity on their monitors.
What they do is open a full-screen window of the content they want to watch. Then, they launch another window for a work-related program. The user will keep that window as small as possible to prevent it from obscuring the other screen containing the video. With Traqq, you will be able to identify if your employee is using another window as a distraction. This monitoring app has smart algorithms that identify activity levels based on mouse and keyboard movements.
Cheat 3: Taking Advantage of a Second Monitor A lot of people find it efficient to use a dual-monitor system. However, not many employee tracking tools capture screenshots and collect data from both monitors. Some people who are aware of this take advantage of the loophole. On their primary monitor, they have all their work-related apps opened. As such, you should choose a professional, high-quality monitoring app that can cover dual-monitor systems.
This way, there will be minimal chances of your employees tricking you. Cheat 4: Timing the Screenshots Most monitoring apps have a screenshot feature. So, what they do is time this period and cheat the system by pretending to work at the exact moment of the screen capture.
Once the tool takes the shot, the employee goes back to being unproductive. This tool was designed to take random screenshots and videos. Cheat 5: Using Remote Access Using two separate computers may seem tedious, but some people are willing to go to great lengths to trick monitoring apps.
On this device, they will set up a remote access client and connect it to their second PC. After all, time trackers tag the use of a remote access client as work-related.
For instance, Traqq lets you track the websites and apps that your employee uses. Now, if you notice that they keep running a remote access client for no reason at all, you can call them out for it. If they have the right skills and tools, they can customize it to identify and track certain activities only. In reality, it is extremely challenging. Even so, we cannot rule out this possibility.
They will be able to identify the issue and fix it for you. So, when selecting a time tracker, make sure that their customer service team is reliable. Traqq contains military-grade encryption Rijndael CBC bit , which protects the data from tampering.
While a hacking scenario is possible, it would take highly sophisticated tools and exorbitant resources before anyone could crack the app. Your employee has to be richer than Tony Stark to pull this stunt off.
So, make sure to choose a monitoring tool that cannot be deceived. Too often, a few swipes can turn into hours of wasted time. Traqq can help determine if employees are spending too much time on non-work-related applications that may distract them from completing their tasks. Traqq takes note of the web pages that a user visits during work hours. Moreover, it monitors the amount of time they spend on each site.
You can let the tool generate a report where you can review all the data collected at a single glance. Now, if your employee attaches a moving toy to their mouse, you will see that they are spending too much time on the same program.
After all, over the years, remote workers have become cleverer and more creative when it comes to cheating time trackers. However, you should put your trust in Traqq.
Our developers equipped the app with an anti-cheating algorithm. It is when a user repeatedly clicks their mouse to simulate high desktop activity. Well, with Traqq, your employees cannot do this. Aside from that, your employees have the freedom to delete screenshots that may compromise their privacy. However, keep in mind that any monitoring tool can only do so much.
As an employer, you also need to do your part. Sometimes, employees feel the need to cheat because they are overwhelmed and pressured by all the monitoring you do. It is only natural for them to get distracted or to hit a slump from time to time. So, if you notice that they spend some time surfing non-work-related sites, just let them be.
Sometimes, they will need this short break to refresh and get back to their efficient self. This free time tracking app for macOS and Windows is downloadable at no cost. You can access all its features for free. Contact the Traqq team today to start using this foolproof monitoring app!
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UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes Magdalena Mozgawa I think most problems with time tracking that you've mentioned are due to flawy software, not necessarily the process itself. You simply have to use good tools, preferably ones that both time track and book resources so you can keep track of time and tasks for particular projects. If you don't want to make a financial commitment, then you can try out teamdeck. We don't work on screens, we push metal about. If I take a keyboard into the workshop you won't read the keys after a day.
What have you got for us? I worked as a software in Sitiata Company. It would be absolutely hellish to have my every action monitored. I would also never use this software in my consultancy. Promoting this software is like advising a business to whip their employees every 15 minutes. Can TimeDoctor be held liable for the resulting loss of productivity, decline in morale, and loss of technical talent?
UpVote Reply 10 Upvotes Fost I've found that just employing people and not treating them like dicks is the only way to ensure better productivity. Big brother tactics like this software promotes are a guaranteed way to drop the morale of your team. It creates unnecessary pressure on the employees because they have to be weary of every single move while they work.
UpVote Reply 10 Upvotes Anita Hi Rob, You brought up some very interesting points about time tracking software and some of the limitations involved. We have a time tracking software called AccountSight which is very easy and affordable.
It has a stopwatch that records your time on tasks for better control and multi-tasking effectiveness. Plus, if you ever wanted to bill out your time, you could use the quick and easy invoice templates.
We offer a free trial so it may be something for you to look at. I appreciate your blog and for your reading my comment. I've been using the tool only on myself, and I've found Time Doctor to be extremely helpful in staying focused and being mindful of what I'm doing.
Some jobs are better geared toward this tool than others and I think it would be unfair to slam on this thing without even giving it a try.
I mean, even when you're not on the keyboard things could still get tracked. All a user has to do is put down things like "following up on the xxxx issue" or even just "thinking about xxxx"! It's flexible. The only thing I wouldn't use at all would be the screenshot feature, since much of my work is top secret and I would not want screenshots of my work stored remotely UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes Barbara Unless one's work is entirely manual, this is a ridiculous way to track time.
I am a writer. If I stop typing and diagram thoughts in my notebook, for example, I have not stopped working! Ditto printing out a page to read and make edits. I'm with the attorney who commented. UpVote Reply 6 Upvotes admin Yes it's important to take into account activities off the computer. We do this comprehensively with Time Doctor. Yet somehow we did valuable billable work.
So the notion that one can accurately track billable time solely by monitoring computer usage is laughable. In fact, the most valuable time is usually spent in contemplation and analysis, not keyboard and mouse manipulation.
I have been a loud and vigorous advocate of technology since before I went to law school, and lawyers need more, not less, technology - but tracking time is not where it needs to be applied.
Tracking and charging for time is like selling gold by the inch - no matter how precisely you measure, you're measuring the wrong thing. Automated tracking of time is like a robotic buggy whip - of no use whatsoever in driving your car or flying your airplane from point A to point B.
UpVote Reply 8 Upvotes admin hi Tom, I think the time tracking needs to work well even when the person is away from their computer. Time Doctor does work well with the right settings for people working away from their computer. Depends on the type of legal work they are doing. UpVote Reply 8 Upvotes Gilles I've been using time tracking apps for a long time, including rescue time, clockingIt open source with really neat features and others; I am using a project management app teamworkpm that has timers included, but none of those are satisfying.
In fact, the best timetracking tool I found is the one that comes with Odesk, an outsourcing platform. I can see real time what my coders are doing, and that's a really important thing to do because I pay they by the hour.
There was recently a discussion on Odesk forums about how to replicate those features outside Odesk. It looks like timedoctor can do that. The screengrab features is a must for me, not only because it allows me to see what they are doing and I can track progress.
One thing that the Odesk time management app has, and timedoctor does not have apparently, is the keystrokes amount.
It's a very good indicator of work type. UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes Daniel Punton Has it occurred to you Giles to measure what is being delivered and pay based on that rather than a monkey on a seat punching keys.
If you know what the deliverable is and cost the components and progress on the milestones then you are on track. Counting hours on a console is neolithic when you are measuring coding. Like many of the comments above most coding is done in the head too. On top of that, it is useless. Here's why. Managers exist because today people expect everything to be 'manageable'. It's not. Even if they try to track every twitch that a person is making to the last second and millimeter - they only get a big pile of useless statistics that basically says nothing at all.
It's just a pile of paper that the manager in question can hand over to their supervisor. The supervisor will then put that pile in a drawer, until it is thrown away a year later. Stop that spying nonsense: it doesn't work! You only create a nightmare police environment. In order for people to create great results, you should treat them as responsible individuals; let them do what they are good at. Sometimes people NEED to do something useless like chatting on FB or what in order to be really inspired or to get into a flaw.
But what does Time Doctor do? Report it as "unproductive time". Gosh, I can't believe that this simple truth is so hard to understand. Facebook is a waste of the only true asset you have in life, i. Then again, those workplaces probably don't need to be doing time tracking with that kind of accuracy anyway. I work at a company that does outsourced work on a certain field to multiple different clients. It's critical that we're able to track every billable second our staff - me included - does.
It's not to prevent them from taking a break to use Facebook. It's to allow us to know when one of us has done something we can bill the customer for.
Without that we'd make no money and we'd be bankrupt in a matter of weeks. We've tried multiple different software to accomplish that and so far I've heard no complaints from anyone. Everyone knows their paycheck is directly affected by the amount of hours we can charge from our customers. Quoting you: "Gosh, I can't believe that this simple truth is so hard to understand.
My opinions above are based on the general situation, not TD itself. UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes admin Hi Luthien, Timedoctor is mostly used at the moment in remote teams where you have for example you have team members in the Philippines and you have never met them. This is a completely different situation to an office where you see everyone come into work and you know what is going on with your team mates in a general sense.
If you do not have an office, and have never met your employees, it's nice to know what is actually going on each day. Some are legally required to do it. Actually Time Doctor is better because you can at any moment turn off the tracking. So the employee has complete control and can use Facebook whenever they want. It's nice to think that employees would work hard without any kind of discipline or structure around their work for example a requirement to come in and work a certain amount of hours each day which is the fundamental basis of how most businesses operate however a large majority of people simply do not have the discipline to work consistently without some element of monitoring.
Come on! A large majority of people would go on 3 hour lunches every day if they could get away with it! Yes there are the minority that are so consistent and disciplined that they would never need that kind of monitoring. Because I know exactly what I am spending my time on each day. I know how to improve and stay focussed on my priorities.
It's true the monitoring hours worked is NOT the most important thing to monitor. As a manager you need to monitor work output first. However hours worked is a nice adjunct that helps to evaluate business processes and improve systems. You can see exactly what people are spending their time on and create systems so that less time is wasted. So it is useful as a manager to know this information.
In summary tracking work hours is not the most important thing to do, but it is very useful especially when your team are working remotely. UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes Daniel Punton The real potential power in something like TD which you seem to be missing is its capabilities to deal with super unreliable and distracted people like errr - everyone. I use it with RT, aceProject, Zendone, GApps and some tools of my own to measure my progress and compliance and it has been a helpful addition to that custom suite.
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The user will keep that window as small as possible to prevent it from obscuring the other screen containing the video. With Traqq, you will be able to identify if your employee is using another window as a distraction. This monitoring app has smart algorithms that identify activity levels based on mouse and keyboard movements. Cheat 3: Taking Advantage of a Second Monitor A lot of people find it efficient to use a dual-monitor system. However, not many employee tracking tools capture screenshots and collect data from both monitors.
Some people who are aware of this take advantage of the loophole. On their primary monitor, they have all their work-related apps opened. As such, you should choose a professional, high-quality monitoring app that can cover dual-monitor systems.
This way, there will be minimal chances of your employees tricking you. Cheat 4: Timing the Screenshots Most monitoring apps have a screenshot feature.
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So, what they do is time this period and cheat the system by pretending to work at the exact moment of the screen capture. Once the tool takes the shot, the employee goes back to being unproductive. This tool was designed to take random screenshots and videos. Cheat 5: Using Remote Access Using two separate computers may seem tedious, but some people are willing to go to great lengths to trick monitoring apps.
On this device, they will set up a remote access client and connect it to their second PC. After all, time trackers tag the use of a remote access client as work-related. For instance, Traqq lets you track the websites and apps that your employee uses. Now, if you notice that they keep running a remote access client for no reason at all, you can call them out for it. If they have the right skills and tools, they can customize it to identify and track certain activities only.
In reality, it is extremely challenging. Even so, we cannot rule out this possibility. They will be able to identify the issue and fix it for you. So, when selecting a time tracker, make sure that their customer service team is reliable.
Traqq contains military-grade encryption Rijndael CBC bitwhich protects the data from tampering. While a hacking scenario is possible, it would take highly sophisticated tools and exorbitant resources before anyone could crack the app.
Your employee has to be richer than Tony Stark to pull this stunt off. So, make sure to choose a monitoring tool that cannot be deceived. Too often, a few swipes can turn into hours of wasted time. Traqq can help determine if employees are spending too much time on non-work-related applications that may distract them from completing their tasks.
Caffeine Software Caffeine software will keep your PC awake by stimulating an F15 keypress once every 59 seconds. The F15 key is chosen since it has the least possibility of interfering in your current work. This makes your PC think there is a movement at the keyboard and hence it does not go to sleep. Once you download and run it, you can find it in the system tray. Either by using the right-click and the options available or by double-clicking the icon you can enable or disable the software.
You can download Caffeine software here. Insomnia Insomnia is slightly different from other tools above. It can take charge of your desktop and will not let it sleep until you have turned it off.
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Usually, our laptops are configured by default or manually to go to sleep after a certain amount of time for say minutes or half an hour and so on. Sleep settings for the displays can be separately configured.
This is absolutely great in terms of saving electricity and ensuring the longevity of the display when you are not really going to use it. However, sometimes you need your computer to not sleep even if you are OK with the display going to sleep. This is where Insomnia comes in. With Insomnia, your display will go to sleep and power off, while the computer does not. Due to this unique approach that Insomnia takes, it can be very useful for server machines that you always want online.
You can download Insomnia here. Caffeinated Caffeinated is a simple tool that comes in handy when you are wondering how to keep the computer from sleeping in a more configurable way.
It prevents your PC from going into sleep mode or displaying the screensaver when you are doing tasks like transferring large files or streaming music. You can customize the duration of how long should the tool keep your computer awake. You can set it up to activate on launch and stay active. Caffeinated is easy to use as any other software on the list and you can enable or disable going into the system tray. Caffeine is inspired by the well-known Caffeinated tool for macOS and is open-sourced.
You can download Caffeinated here. Auto Mouse Mover Auto Mouse Mover is an excellent option you can consider to prevent your laptop from logging off. This tool is highly configurable and requires a proper installation process unlike any other software on this list. There is even an option to set when you want to start and stop the mouse movement.
Auto Mouse Mover is a tool to try if you are looking for a more customizable and sophisticated tool to keep your computer awake and for preventing your laptop from going into sleep.
You can download Auto Mouse Mover here. These settings do give you some control over how long your computer stays awake. But since these settings are designed from the point of view of efficient power consumption, they might not be as effective as the tools listed earlier.
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Alternatively, you can just type change power-saving settings in the Search tab in the start menu and click on the option that shows up. Once you are at the Edit Plan Settings, you have two options — Turn off the display and Put the computer to sleep — with dropdown menus beside each.
Here, you can choose to turn have your computer sleep after 1 minute of inactivity, 2 minutes of inactivity, 1 hour of inactivity and never, with every conceivable option in between. If your computer wakes up locked and you find that annoying, you can change that setting on the Edit Plan Settings page too. Just click on the Change advanced power settings option at the bottom of the page, find the Require a Password on Wake up option and choose No in the drop-down menu beside it.
You can also change other power settings here, like keeping your computer awake when media is playing in the background.