we have observed in our company that employees are prone to take multiple breaks during a typical 8 hours working day.

We wish to deploy a system which will keep a count of how many minutes an employee is using his terminal? If an employee is using the terminal, he will be shown online and while he is away for more than 2 minutes, he will be shown as offline.

At any point of time, the software will be able to calculate the number of hours an employees worked in the terminal. And the data will be available for both the employee and management.

We understand that using the terminal does not necessarily means productive work but its a part of a series of tasks towards improving employee productivity.

Can you suggest any appropriate software to measure the total amount of time an employee spent in front of his terminal in a day? The software will ideally log out when there is no activity in the terminal for 2 minutes.

closed as off-topic by Todd A. Jacobs, Marv Mills, Iain9688, Ashok Ramachandran, Mark C. Wallace May 14 '15 at 20:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking software recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Todd A. Jacobs, Marv Mills, Iain9688, Ashok Ramachandran, Mark C. Wallace
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    "We understand that using the terminal does not necessarily means productive work but its a part of a series of tasks towards degrading employee productivity." FTFY. Did you have a question? – David Espina May 13 '15 at 19:31
  • I am sorry. i will edit it to be specific. – chandra May 13 '15 at 19:32
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    This is off-topic. Please see the Help Center at softwarerecs.stackexchange.com to see if it would be appropriate there. – Todd A. Jacobs May 13 '15 at 20:57
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    You had better also be looking for solutions to address the employee engagement and retention issues that this kind of a system can cause – Doug B May 14 '15 at 12:38

Please try to reconsider your strategy for increasing productivity, measuring time spent in front of the computer will increase exactly that - time spent in front of computer. However studies has proven that it is really harmful from health perspective (in Hungary labor law mandates that everybody must take a 10 minutes break each hour that must not be spent in front of a workstation).

There are a lot of computer-related activities, where time spent in front of computer is not directly related to performance. It may be better to track productivity by measuring results during a given period, and manage this KPI to increase.


My recommendation is to:

  1. Think about Theory X and Theory Y, see http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_X_and_Theory_Y
  2. Define the term productivity for yourself
  3. Re-think about introducing such a system
  4. Try to find the necessary SW using Google or some HR pages. I think you'll have much better chances finding something appropriate than on a PM page.

Did you know that there is SW out there that simulates mouse movement...?


People need multiple breaks a day! Research shows that the brain cannot focus for hours straight. The pomodoro technique even suggest that 25 minutes is the most optimal duration of focus. Employee's will be more productive when they have breaks.

Do have a look at RescueTime which offers a tool to record computer, website and application usage and gives insights for both the user and the employer, but its main focus is on having a good life work balance. When you return at your computer you can also record time for meetings and phone-calls. It should give a total view of what you did on a day. It has both a free personal version and enterprise version with everything you except from tools like this.

  • I fully understand that multiple breaks are necessary and I respect it. What I am looking for is a solution which will keep track of the amount of time spent in the terminal irrespective of the breaks. And the control should be with management. Do you suggest usage of VPN solutions? – chandra May 14 '15 at 14:25

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