Employee Monitoring: A Cost-Effective Way to Survive an Unstable Economy

Surviving an unstable economy: Save money with monitoring tools

During an unstable economy, businesses are faced with a variety of challenges. 

Companies may find themselves operating with limited resources, struggling to maintain consistent productivity with their current staff, or facing the challenge of cutting costs without sacrificing quality. 

To stay competitive, businesses must find ways to increase efficiency and productivity while still maintaining their bottom line. 

This article will outline how businesses can use our employee monitoring software BrowseReporter to reduce operating costs, improve productivity, and optimize their business processes.

Key Takeaways

  • Actively disengaged employees cost $450 to $550 billion per year in lost productivity; BrowseReporter saves businesses money by providing visibility into how their employees are spending their time. 
  • Underused software costs businesses a staggering $34 billion per year. BrowseReporter provides tangible SaaS and software usage data that businesses need to detect software waste.
  • The average employee steals ~4.5 hours/week from their employer, costing businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year worldwide. BrowseReporter’s user activity monitoring features provide the data needed to combat time theft in the workplace. 

Get a Pulse on Your Team’s Activity

“No matter how you feel about it, employers that don’t monitor will become fewer and fewer, not to nail employees, but because monitoring increasingly makes business sense.”

Manny Avramidis, President & CEO, the American Management Association

When budgets are tight and companies are forced to reduce costs they are often tempted to reduce their headcount. But before taking such drastic measures it’s worth first asking: Is anyone currently underutilized or overutilized? 

With BrowseReporter’s user activity insights, you can see who is working diligently, who may be overworked, and who is simply pretending to work. Use these insights to make data-informed management decisions and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Use Today’s Insights for an Immediate Snapshot

BrowseReporter today's insights productivity score

BrowseReporter’s reports and dashboards provide excellent visibility into work trends over time; but what if you want to see what your employees are doing right now

With the Today’s Insights feature introduced in version 8.0, you can see the most recent productivity, activity, and availability status of your team at-a-glance. This allows you to see what your employees are working on right now and how productive they have been throughout the day.

  • Who hasn’t logged in yet today?
  • Who has stepped away from their computer?
  • Who is actively working at their computer?
  • What activities have my team members spent most of their time on?
  • How long have they been working on their computers today?
  • What are the average productivity levels of each team?
  • What unproductive applications and websites are distracting my team members?

Product Tip

Want more details about a particular user, group, website, or application? Simply click on that part of the Today’s Insights card to open a dashboard with more granular insights.

Managers of remote and hybrid teams often struggle to keep a pulse on their team’s productivity and availability. Today’s Insights provides a helpful snapshot of productivity with high-level details about what applications or websites are currently in use, online statuses, and top activities.

Track Productivity, No Matter Where They Work

BrowseReporter productivity dashboard - individual user

Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.

With this in mind it’s no wonder that a 2021 Digital.com survey found that 60% of companies with employees who work remotely were using monitoring software to track employee activity and productivity. 

Among the employees whose activity was being monitored, 53% were spending 3 or more hours per day on non-work activities—while the occasional break is rarely a concern, excessive time wasting is detrimental to your company’s ability to sustain itself.

Let’s face it—Direct supervision of employee productivity is simply not scalable, especially with the rise of remote workers

Thankfully, BrowseReporter provides insights that are essential for detecting actively disengaged employees so they can be coached before their disengagement escalates. 

BrowseReporter’s Key Productivity Monitoring Features

  • Location Insights: Unlock insights based on in-office vs remote time to see who is continuing to work diligently while working from home and who needs further support.
  • Idle vs Active Time: BrowseReporter tracks active and idle times of employees based on how long it has been since they have used their mouse or keyboard. After a predetermined period of inactivity their website and app usage will be recorded as idle time, allowing you to focus on the time they actively spent on their PC.
  • Idle Time Alert: Concerned about employees misrepresenting their work hours or taking excessively long breaks? With the idle time alert you can send an alert to a designated inbox when an employee’s computer is left untouched for X minutes during work hours.
  • Productivity Score: See at-a-glance how productive each team and employee is, then use the productivity dashboards to see productivity trends over time and find out what apps/websites are distracting your employees.
  • Productivity Grading: BrowseReporter automatically categorizes websites and applications as productive, unproductive, or neutral. These classifications can be customized across the organization or customized based on groups to fit your needs.

BrowseReporter’s reports and dashboards provide insights into how both remote and in-office employees spend their time. This allows companies to offer flexible work arrangements with the peace of mind that their employees are thriving no matter where (or when) they work.

Get a Summary of Your Team’s Activity This Week

BrowseReporter's weekly performance report with a summary of the team's productivity, website, and application usage

With BrowseReporter’s weekly performance report managers can get a weekly summary of their team’s activity.

  • What is the average productivity of my team?
  • What 5 websites & applications did my employees spend the most time on?
  • Were any unproductive sites or apps used excessively?
  • Who were my most and least productive employees this week?
  • How much time was actively spent using computers this week?

This feature can be found under BrowseReporter’s Email Reports feature; simply select “Weekly Performance” as the report type, set who the report will go to, and what users/user groups will be included in the report. | Learn More: How to Set Up the Weekly Performance Report

Detect Underused & Unwanted Software

“There is huge evidence of software waste across all sectors. The inability of organizations to reduce average waste levels suggests that they remain unaware of the underlying cost-saving opportunities.”

Buffi Neal, co-author of 1E’s Software Usage and Waste Report 2016

A 2016 report from 1E found that underutilized software costs businesses in the US and UK an estimated $34 billion per year. A single enterprise of a few thousand seats will likely be wasting millions of dollars on this area of IT alone.

BrowseReporter’s software usage tracking features provide the insights you need to recognize what SaaS tools and software applications are redundant, unused, or underused in your organization.

The Benefits of Monitoring Software Usage

  • Save Money: Get real data on usage rates to see what software can be decommissioned, have license count reduced, or consolidated
  • Shadow IT: Detect the use of unsanctioned software so it can be officially supported or blocked to reduce cybersecurity risks
  • Detect Piracy: A failed software compliance audit can cost an organization as much as $150,000 in fines per violation. Proactive monitoring helps detect the use of pirated software before it proliferates.

Activity Insights in Citrix Workspace Drives Software Adoption and Productivity

Businesses need insights into the employee experience so they can address any friction during the adoption of new tools.

Read The Coding Network’s case study to learn how CurrentWare’s software usage tracking solutions helped them get their software adoption rate to 100%

How to Monitor Software Usage With BrowseReporter

BrowseReporter application activity log

To see who is truly using a specific piece of software in your business, simply open BrowseReporter’s application usage dashboard, select the time period you’d like to review, and search for the specific application in the Activity Log.

From here you can click the name of an application that was used. This will bring you to a dedicated dashboard with details about that specific application.

  • Time spent actively using the app (Active Time)
  • Time the app was open but left unused in the background (Idle Time)
  • The # of employees that used this application during the selected time period
  • What % of your users’ active time was spent using the application
  • What specific users/groups used this application

This process can be used to measure SaaS application usage as well; simply visit the websites dashboard and repeat the process.

Product Tip

Need to track a service that can be accessed through both a desktop app and a website (e.g. Dropbox)? Create a custom dashboard with a URL activity log and application activity log to have all of the data in one place.

Read More: Software Asset Management – Why Track Employee Application Use?

Detect Time Theft in the Workplace

Employee time theft; who's actually working?

In January 2023 a woman from British Columbia, Canada was ordered to reimburse her ex-employer $1,500+ for time theft after monitoring software proved that they misrepresented the time they spent working remotely.

While trust is paramount to making remote work possible, the unfortunate reality is that there are employees who will take advantage of the reduced visibility.

Monitoring tools are essential for detecting employees that are misrepresenting their work hours or spending an excessive amount of time on unproductive activities such as social media browsing, online shopping, and video streaming.

While there are work-adjacent tasks that take place outside of a computer to consider, managers know how much non-computer work their team members realistically have. 

If an employee is expected to follow particular working hours, monitoring software becomes an essential tool to prove that the employee is starting and stopping work according to policy.

How to Detect Time Theft With BrowseReporter

BrowseReporter includes a variety of features that will provide your business leaders with the insights they need to detect time theft. 

With these metrics readily available you can provide data-informed productivity coaching to your employees and reinforce expectations.

  • Use Today’s Insights to see who is currently active, who is idle, and who hasn’t logged in today
  • Review the activity log for your department to find out who has the greatest % of idle time
  • Use the productivity reports and dashboards for excessive unproductive internet and application usage
  • Compare your time clocks to an employee’s actual computer activity to confirm if they started work on time


In uncertain economic times, businesses are forced to cut costs wherever they can and get the most value out of the resources they have available. 

At a starting price of only $3.99 USD per license per month, BrowseReporter provides a cost-effective way for businesses to survive an unstable economy by reducing operating costs, improving productivity, and informing business processes. 

Improve Employee Productivity With BrowseReporter Employee Monitoring Software

BrowseReporter gives us exactly what we needed. I can easily see exactly what sites people are visiting, when they visit them, and how long they stay there.

Ready to get advanced insights into how your employees spend their time? Reach out to the CurrentWare team for a demo of BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s employee and computer monitoring software.

  • Improve Productivity
    Track unproductive web browsing and idle time to detect time-wasting
  • Save Time With Intuitive Reports
    User-friendly reports make it easy to understand employee computer activity
  • Enhance Visibility
    See how employees spend their time—even on Terminal Server and Remote Desktop Services!
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.