Using the StaffCounter service

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How does StaffCounter work?

To begin using StaffCounter (registration, installation and configuration):

  1. Register at StaffCounter.net and use your e-mail address.
  2. Download and install the StaffCounter application on an employee computer, phone, or tablet.
  3. In the StaffCounter application, click on Connect to StaffCounter and enter your e-mail address. The program will automatically connect the PC to your account. Click OK or Start Monitoring.
  4. Now it’s ready. Data on your employee’s computer activities will be automatically sent to the StaffCounter server.
  5. Visit your account at StaffCounter.net to see your list of employees and information about their performance and productivity.

How can I start monitoring an employee?

In order to begin the monitoring process on the employee’s computer, you must install the StaffCounter program on the computer or smartphone. Connect the program to your account and the new device will automatically appear in your workspace.

The Employees section of the Dashboard will show the maximum number of permitted virtual employees for your account. Click on the link Add more employees to make a payment and increase the permitted number.

How accurate is StaffCounter’s time-tracking?

Down to one second for each application or other events. Tracked time is then totaled for each program with the same name. Conversations with different subscribers are counted separately.

What kind of information does StaffCounter collect?

StaffCounter Agent can collect different kinds of information depending on what has been specified in the Settings.

On Windows StaffCounter collects:

  • the beginning and end time of working with each application;
  • how long the employee has worked with each program;
  • how long the employee has used websites;
  • the duration of Skype conversations and the name of the contacts with whom the employee talked;
  • the number of Skype text messages (incoming and outgoing), as well as the name of contacts with whom the employee was communicating;
  • the amount of text entered into each program or, if typing has been done in the browser, each web resource;
  • system events: the time each user began work and ended work, time spent away from the PC, connecting or disconnecting removable media;
  • periodic screenshots at regular intervals;
  • a webcam photo of the user at the start of work.

On Mac OS X StaffCounter collects:

  • the beginning and end time of working with each application;
  • how long the employee has worked with each program;
  • how long the employee has used websites;
  • the amount of text entered into each program or, if typing has been done in the browser, each web resource;
  • system events: the time each user began work and ended work, time spent away from the PC, connecting or disconnecting removable media;
  • periodic screenshots at regular intervals;
  • a webcam photo of the user at the start of work;
  • the GPS coordinates of the device.

On Android StaffCounter collects:

  • the beginning and end time of working with each application;
  • how long the employee has worked with each program;
  • how long the employee has used websites;
  • the names or telephone numbers of all incoming and outgoing calls, as well as the time at which they were made and their duration;
  • the names or telephone numbers of all incoming and outgoing text messages, as well as the time these text messages were sent;
  • the GPS coordinates of the telephone at regular intervals.

What happens to StaffCounter if there is no internet access?

When internet access is not available, StaffCounter continues to work automatically, logging the computer or telephone’s events. As soon as a connection is made, the program sends its data to the server starting from its last transmission.

How does StaffCounter count time when the employee is away from the computer?

Time away starts from one minute after the employee has stopped all activity on the computer. This time is subsequently not counted in the total time of the working day.

How does it deal with times when multiple programs are open?

At any given time the user can in fact work with only a single program.
The StaffCounter application defines an active program and counts time in it. When the user switches from program A to program B, StaffCounter registers an end to the working session in program A and begins a new working session in program B. Each session is counted separately in the log. Thus, the time spent working in an application is totaled from all sessions logged for this application.

Which site does StaffCounter count if multiple tabs are open in the browser?

At any given time the user can in fact work with only a single tab, that is, with only a single web address. When the user switches from the tab with address A to another tab with address B, StaffCounter registers an end to the working session with address A and begins a new working session with address B. Each session is counted separately in the log. Thus, the time spent working with each web address is totaled from all sessions logged for this web address.

What should be done when an employee must use the computer for personal needs?

On Windows computers one should open StaffCounter from the system tray and click Pause for 30 min or Pause for the rest of the day. After this the user can tend to his/her personal affairs for 30 minutes or until the end of the session, respectively.

The time unaccounted for will be considered a break.

If the employee wishes to resume productive work, he/she should open the program from the system tray and click Resume.

Where is StaffCounter data physically stored?

On the computer, the log and screenshots are stored locally in the folder Logs in StaffCounter’s working directory.

On Android smartphones the log is stored in the phone’s internal memory and automatically deleted after five days.

How can I view the results of monitoring?

Enter your account at data.staffcounter.net. In the Employees page you will see a list of connected devices and the preliminary results of productivity tracking for them. Click on the name of any device and you will be taken to the page Reports by time, where you can view a report of the employee’s activity today, yesterday, this week, last week, or over the last month.

ANALYTICS

How can I determine what sites the staff has used?

Information on all visited websites can be found in two places:

  • The total list of all visited sites for all employees can be found in the section Reports > Reports by time.
  • An individual list of an employee’s most-visited sites can be found by going to the Dashboard, clicking on the employee’s name and then clicking on the Web analytics icon.

How can I see employees’ web searches?

To see a list of all websites which the employee has visited, go to the Dashboard, click on the name of the employee, and then click on the Web analytics icon. In the Web search column the employees’ web searches are shown in descending order of frequency.

How can I determine the productivity of Skype use?

From the Dashboard, click on the name of an employee and then click on the Messages analytics icon.

Here the amount of Skype conversations will be shown. The names of subscribers are shown in descending order by frequency of conversations.

PRODUCTIVITY

How can I set up receiving reports by e-mail?

On the StaffCounter site, specify in the Categories section what kinds of activities should be considered productive, unproductive, or neutral for your business. With the help of reports by category you can assess what your staff are doing and how productively they are working.

Note that the productivity values will take effect from the time you assigned a property to each program. Until then, all programs and websites used will be considered neutral.

What employee violations can StaffCounter determine automatically?

In the Settings choose the option “Automatic alerts”

When this option is active, at the end of each working day StaffCounter will check the data of all employees and search for violations:

  • an employee has spent more than 1 hour (and more than 30% of total working time) on entertainment or unproductive sites;
  • the same for unknown sites, which means that it may be necessary to assign these sites to productivity categories;
  • StaffCounter Agent is not functioning correctly on the computer (perhaps the employee has turned it off);
  • an employee hasn’t worked at his/her PC, i.e. the computer has not been turned on all day;
  • An employee has spent more than 5 hours a week on entertainment content, or on previously unknown content.

How can I set productivity values for various activities?

On the StaffCounter site, specify in the Categories section what kinds of activities should be considered productive, unproductive, or neutral for your business. With the help of reports by category you can assess what your staff are doing and how productively they are working.

Note that the productivity values will take effect from the time you assigned a property to each program. Until then, all programs and websites used will be considered neutral.

What is productive, neutral, and unproductive time?

Productive time consists of all activities that benefit your business, according to the employee’s function. It is calculated as the total amount of time working in applications and web resources that you have assigned to productive categories.

Unproductive time consists of all time that the user has spend on leisure and personal interests. These are applications and web addresses that you have assigned to unproductive categories.

Neutral time is time spent in websites and programs that belong to the neutral category. By default all new activities belong to the neutral category. As manager, you can then assign them to one of the other categories.

Idle time is not counted as time spent at the computer. In the Daily usage analytics and the Working hours table (Report by categories) this time is not counted as working time.

How do I use categories?

Before assessing the productivity of an employee at work, you should set a productivity value for each kind of activity. Enter your account, open the page Categories > Table Categories, and in the column Custom Productivity specify how productive each kind of activity is for your business.

After this, when you encounter any particular application or web address in an employee’s log, you can associate it with any category. From that time on, that application or internet address will be considered a productive or unproductive activity. All entries for these programs that the system received before setting a productivity value will be assigned to the neutral category.

Can I create my own categories?

At the present time it is not possible to create one’s own categories.

Managing devices and monitoring

How can monitoring be turned off on an employee computer?

There are several ways to stop monitoring of an employee computer:

  • Delete the name of the employee from the My Office page.
    On the Employees  page you’ll find a list of connected devices. Click Edit (accompanied by a pencil icon) next to the employee name and then click on Delete. Note that once you’ve deleted a device, it is not possible to restore it.
  • Uninstall the StaffCounter program from the employee’s computer.
  • An employee can temporarily disable monitoring of his/her PC from the StaffCounter program if settings allow. Double click the StaffCounter icon in system tray and click Pause.

For how many days are logs stored in the service?

  • The log is stored on the server for 2 months in the form of gathered analytics.
  • The log is deleted automatically according to priority by the FIFO method (first in, first out).

How can I delete my account if I don’t need it any more?

To delete your account at data.staffcounter.net, enter the site, click on the name of your profile in the upper-right corner, and in the next page click Delete profile. On the next page select a reason for deleting your account; your feedback is important to us.

It helps you learn what drives the performance of your key employees.

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