As our collective attention span keeps decreasing, our overall productivity has also taken a hit. Most of it is due to the distractions we face in our daily life. Among these distractions, the internet is the biggest one. Just a simple review of the latest movie can lead you down a rabbit hole of various issues ranging from song choice to mental illness. 

Nowadays, the internet is easily available on our mobile phones. Even if we’re not online, the device still contains numerous offline apps that can easily divert our attention for hours. Basically, we carry around a pocket-sized distraction with us at all times. Every minute or so, we get the urge to take a peek at it and once we see something interesting, half an hour can easily pass by. 

To counter this issue, companies are starting to monitor their employees. There are lots of ways to monitor an employee. One can easily get confused by all the terminologies being used. In this article, we’re going to talk about the differences between real-time monitoring and user tracking. 

Real-time monitoring

Real-time is a phrase that refers to the ability to respond to something so quickly that the response takes place almost as the event is occurring. 

Just imagine a scenario where an employer is skeptical about their employees’ work and want to see how they really accomplish their task. Employers could go to an employee’s desk and observe how he/she really performs but they most probably won’t be able to see the real picture. Wouldn’t it be better to see their screens from a different location and see how they work in real-time? 

Real-time monitoring does just that. Some employee time tracking apps have this feature. They give insight into an employee’s productivity and help managers ensure that workers make better use of time. They also allow employers to give feedback in real-time, improve employee productivity and easily correct their course. Real-time feedback not only motivates team members but also reinforces positive contributions towards the end goal. 

See Also: How to Use Trello For Project Management

User tracking

The literal definition of tracking is to perform the act or process of following something or someone. Many websites track their users so that they can discover what attracted them to their pages in the first place. 

How do they do it? Technically, a user visits their web page(s) for the first time. Depending on the site and the user’s preferences, a JavaScript or code snippet is generated and sent to the user’s browser to collect the data required. This is all within the law. The user’s permission will be asked when a cookie is generated and stored on their personal device.  

Employers can also track their employees and see what websites they are using at the workplace. This way they can tell if they’re visiting productive or non-productive sites. After that, employers, if they are not satisfied with the results, can ban those specific webpages.  

Use employee time tracking apps

As the name suggests, an employee time tracking app helps employers effectively track their workers.  

Effective time management apps can help people make deadlines, avoid getting stressed, improve their productivity & efficiency, and above all else, make extra time for themselves. They will also be able to maintain a work-life balance by keeping track of their time.

Make a list of features that you would like in your monitoring software and then search the market accordingly. Look into apps that can improve business operations by providing time tracking and automatic time capture. They allow you to keep track of daily employee engagement activities and send feedback through audio clips. 


From our examples, you may have guessed the main difference between real-time monitoring and user tracking. One lets you see what your employees are doing right now and the other uses data to determine what activities they might be doing. Real time monitoring is obviously better than user tracking but it all depends on what the employer requires.