How to measure the performance of remote and onsite employees

Going remote is a challenge, and work discipline might “shiver”. There is a chance that as soon as employees put on slippers and robes they will feel too comfortable and that will impact the quality of their performance. And regarding the fact that there are no colleagues and managers near the drop of productivity can be noticed only by a special software. Here we will tell you how to control efficiency of the remote team work and will unfold implicit capabilities of DLP systems.

Ways of control

Free but ineffective ways of control include collecting of daily reports in the format of “task – time spent to solve it” and calls during work hours. A little bit more complicated method implies participation of a system administrator. Shadow connection – RDP tool – to user desktops can be configured in order to monitor employee work. The option is not the most technically suitable – you can’t control several employees from on PC at a time, and the picture will not be full if you need to see the situation for the whole day.

Time tracking software give more opportunities. For example, TimeInformer tracks employee PC activity, detects arrival and departure time, analyses work with websites and apps. The collected data is transformed by the software into reports which let you understand who was diligent and who was watching YouTube half a day or chatting in social media.

DLP systems can measure employee performance – they will also ensure remote work safety. Since this is the most inclusive method in the list, let’s see how these systems evaluate user efficiency with the help of one of the SearchInform Risk Monitor instruments - ProgramController.

What should be controlled and how it can be configured?

Decide who you want to control. You might want to exclude specialists who rarely use PCs for work – drivers, couriers. These settings are tweakable in the EndpointController console.

Let’s have a look at relevant tasks and analyse the key instruments and reports based on real life cases told by SearchInform clients.

Respecting work hours


Remote employees regularly sent reports to the manager at the end of the workday. The company installed the Risk Monitor solution comprising ProgramController instrument. The specialist responsible for risk mitigation detected a violation. Staffers would be active only during the morning meeting and, if no one had additional questions or urgent tasks, turned off their PCs after the online meeting and got busy with their own things.

How to configure and control?

You can configure the calendar in the Analytic Console for correct time tracking. Work hours, dinner time and days off can be chosen. The settings can be adjusted for the whole year or only during remote work.

The early departure can be detected with the help of a report which is created taking into account all users or only particular. The software can send the report to your email each morning. This is how you will identify those who like to finish work earlier and be able to monitor them more strictly.

A report which includes employees who are late for work and is configured in the same way will come in handy when controlling employee work hours. A Detailed user information report will help you see those who go early from work as well. This report shows the whole picture of employee arrival/departure and being active/inactive on PCs within a selected time period. This report is good to use in the end of the month to count work hours and include working overtime in a salary. The Journal of work hours and the Work timesheet are useful as well.

It often appears that not all employees who work overtime are honest workaholics.

Control of alleged hard workers


An employee was online in corporate messengers all day, but ProgramController revealed that his computer was inactive for a long time. Specialists reported the situation and the manager called the employee and heard household noise. The employee was busy with his chores all day at home while his laptop was on.

How to configure and control?

Set a worktime interval and an activity threshold to receive more correct answers. For example, you can put 10 minutes as a permissible interval for arrival/departure, whereas the duration of an active session shouldn’t be less than 7 hours. Thus an employee who booted the laptop at 9:01 or made breaks for no longer than 2 hours in total during a day wouldn’t be considered a discipline violator.

A report on Periods of inactivity can help you identify those willing to make a soup or do some laundry during work hours. It is created taking into account 3 key parameters – active intervals, dinner interval and permissible 10-minute (for example) breaks between active intervals. The software starts to count inactive intervals if a mouse or a keyboard are in a “sleep mode” for more than 2 minutes.

The Search tab in the UserActivity mode allows you to monitor users who take frequent breaks. They are shown on the processes and websites activity scale as white spaces. Such a visual “picket fence” created by the blank spaces and active periods in the report may point at discipline issues.

Internet surfing monitoring


The attention of a remote employee became easily distracted and she couldn’t complete her tasks till deadlines. The performance analysis in ProgramController showed that most of the time an employee was watching movies and series. The MonitorController module allowed the specialists responsible for risk mitigation and employee monitoring to collect evidence of her weak performance with the help of screenshots.

How to configure and control?

Popular web resources, for example, related to law, government, ad websites, games, etc. are uploaded to ProgramController by default. All of them are categorised. You can add corporate sources, such as an internal portal or CRM. All websites which aren’t recognised belong to “Other websites” heading.

Productivity coefficient can be attributed to each website category, rules for user groups should be set. Default values – efficient (=1), neutral (=0,5), inefficient (=0) can be used, but you can introduce your own as well. You should take into consideration the job peculiarities of your employees in the rule settings. For example, PR managers can spend a few hours in social media but it is efficient as they promote their company on Facebook or on YouTube. And it will be another situation if a purchasing manager uses YouTube for hours.

Sometimes the analysis of visiting various websites helps a company detect more serious issues. For example, activity on websites featuring luxurious real estate, jewelry and resorts might reveal those who accept kickbacks.

The Search tab in the Analytic Console lets you see which websites were accessed by a user during a day. The software gives results in the table which shows the name of the source and the duration of visiting. You can use filters and conditions to precise the parameters. This will help you learn about who and how often visited website for entertainment during the first week or any other time period of remote work.

You can monitor employee activities online in the Current activity tab. It will show you the number of active and inactive users, those who were late to work or absent in the workplace at a certain moment.

Reports may be used for the analysis. The frequency of information updating in them is every three hours – it is set by default. But it is better to check them on the next day in the morning – the yesterday’s situation will seem more complete.

The report on user performance, which is compiled taking into account the given rules (efficient, inefficient, neutral), will help to evaluate the productivity of user work.

The report on Total website activity shows the resources from which groups employees most often visited and how much time they spent on them. The results can be detailed - for example, you can view all employees who visited sites from the Ads category.

Perilous activities during working hours


The specialists discovered that on the sales manager’s PC Photoshop.exe process is continuously ongoing. The graphic design software is not needed for the tasks the sales manager implemented. The specialists looked at the screenshots made by MonitorController and revealed that the manager forged commercial offers. He changed the details on the documents of other suppliers to promote his companies.

How to configure and control?

The action algorithm is the same as with websites. Choose the needed processes from the list and if required add corporate programs to them and adjust performance and discipline policies for user groups.

Total process activity report will be helpful for analysis. The diagram in the form of columns shows the processes from different groups and their duration. Information can be filtered for each user individually.

The process and website activity is also demonstrated in the User efficiency report. It displays data on a specified employee for the selected time period in pie charts - you will see which processes were active more often on the PC, as well as see the efficiency scale, the number of days an employee was late to work, was off early, the beginning and end of a workday.

Reason for a leak

When working remotely, many companies actively use cloud services for the exchange of corporate documents. This poses additional risks for confidential information.


The chief accountant of the transport company uploaded a large archive with documents to the public cloud for convenience. Specialists tracked this activity using the CloudController module. The enterprise is a closed joint-stock company, therefore disclosure of certain information is unacceptable. After checking the contents of the archive caught in the interception, it turned out that the information posted was confidential. In case competitors could obtain it, the loss would cost the company $400 000.

We recommend that you control all the information that passes through cloud storages in order to avoid cloud leakage. CloudController will be a help here. The module intercepts incoming and outgoing data on popular cloud services, as well as files transferred via remote access tools - TeamViewer, RAdmin, RealVNC, LiteManager.

ProgramController is one of many modules of the SearchInform solution that protects the company from leaks of confidential information, corporate fraud and other human security incidents. Use all the features of the system to control employees working remotely.

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