Review of the employee monitoring system Teramind
Teramind is one of the most multipurpose solutions on the market of monitoring employees' actions. It was developed based on modern requirements, therefore it is capable of providing the maximum level of analysis of all employees' behavior on the Internet and on their work computers. Its main feature is to reduce or remove the causes of inappropriate use of time and the problems regarding the information security inside the company.
Development of Teramind was finished in 2014, but the developers didn't stop there and kept improving the product; today Teramind isn't just total control, but it is also information security and safety of the company. Developers of the program created hundreds of templates which would allow the user to cope with possible threats and avoid them. To do that, the rule is created based on the results of basic information. In accordance with this rule, if the user violates it, the head of the department or the leader of the company gets notified. All changes are saved and accumulated in the system.
Besides its main functions the program also has a number of other – for instance, motivational and hygienic functions. So the employee who is connected to Teramind is focused on the results of his work from the beginning; that way success becomes one of his main goals. Besides, approval and recognition of his work by other employees, including executives, causes him to constantly improve his approach to business management, changes his attitude towards objectives, increases his level of responsibility. When extraordinary situations occur, there is an opportunity to shine creatively, achieve professional advancement and career development.
In terms of hygienic factors everything is very simple, the policy of the company remains balanced and equal for all employees. Wages are paid upon achievement of results or for the work that has been done; for the most active employees changes of working conditions, financial encouragement and remunerations can be made. Control of all employees' actions in the workplace isn't complete stalking – it's the process of setting up comfortable conditions and decent wage levels.
Placing high yet realistic requirements upon the employee while keeping in mind obviously unattainable goals is one of the factors that can negatively affect the results of his work. However, the Teramind program helps avoid all of that easily. To do that, one has to monitor the employee's activity during the whole day, create feedback interactions and emphasize the consistency of their actions and behavior. For that to be most effective, one can offer said employee financial and non-financial motivation.
Installation of the program of employee monitoring Teramind
Installation of the local server of the product is quite an arduous process, even for those who have expertise. We needed one full working day so that the whole department as a team could install the program and configure its functions on our virtual machines. It should be noted that the paid (not the free testing) version of the program is bought at least on 5 working PCs.
Also the free (Freemium) version is not provided in the program.
Now, about the installation process.
After registration you get three letters on your e-mail:
Mail#1 – the letter with the key that activates trial period for 14 days
Mail#2 – the letter with links to the distribution kits and instructions
Mail#3 – the letter with links to the video on the process of installation
Links from the letter Mail#2 lead to the website with distribution kits. Site#1 and Site#2 where you can download the image of the server and files of installation of the agent. You don't have to download agents, seeing how later there will be an opportunity to download them directly from the server interface.
Preparation of the virtual server:
Server#1 – we create new virtual server, set a name.
Server#2 – according to the instruction, first generation virtualization should be used
Server#3 – we select four cores for the central processing unit. In the manual we can see the necessary requirements. Since for now we will monitor only one employee, we select four cores.
Creation of the virtual server is completed; let's move on to the configuration of the server:
Server#4 – we connect downloaded virtual disk to the server.
CreateHDD#1 - #6 – we create an additional disk where screenshots and collected information will be stored.
Server#5 – we connect the disk that has been created
After that you start the server.
Server#6 – we are connected to the server; enter the login and the password for setup: setup/setup
Server#7 – we do the configuring of the network interface and select the server role; seeing how now we have only one, we use master by default
Web#1 – we connect to the server via browser. During the first connection we are asked to create the account of the administrator.
Web#2 – After creating the account we are transfered to the page where we need to enter the activation key
Web#3 – After entering the key we go to the page where we are offered three options of installation of agents on computers of employees to choose from.
After installation of the agents the program is ready to use.
Functional features of the employee monitoring program Teramind
1) Monitoring of the websites, programs and analysis of productivity
- the program doesn't have preconfigured file of productive and unproductive websites and programs. Everything needs to be configured for each employee. It is a very arduous process, but if you spend some time and configure it wisely, you can get a really good tool. How does it work? For example, the secretary doesn't need to use Photoshop, it's not part of their working process, but for the interior designer Photoshop is a working tool. Unproductive applications and websites can reduce the quality of work of personnel and thereby steal precious working hours.
2) Smart Rules & Automated Alerts
The executive can configure individual rules for each employee. According to that, specific alerts will be send to him and sanctions will be applied against certain employees. It can even come down to blocking. It can be talking in messengers, using USB flash drives, transfering files, pressing certain keys, loading data into cloud, etc. However all these alerts have to be configured manually for each employee. The list of default alerts isn't provided. A truly smart program that's able to clrealy define wrongful actions of an employee hasn't been invented yet.
3) Automatic control of working hours
- using the program of employee control Teramind you can easily find out when an employee began or stopped working and how often he left the workplace. Teramind will count how much time the employee had at his disposal and how much time he spent in total to achieve objectives and execute tasks.
4) History Playback feature
- you can remove or keep this function, either way if employee's actions will be deemed suspicious or questionable, then the program will help answer any questions by showing the history of employee's actions, where you can select a separate session on interactions with a website or program. The program records videos of the employee's actions, but the difference from, let's say Kickidler, is that it isn't integrated with the keylogger and doesn't have the filter on interaction with programs and websites.
The recording is made with reduction of quality of the picture. When loading, the video displays recording for the whole day. If you choose to display video from reports, then the loading from the specified time takes place. When viewing the video online, you can make screenshots and block input.
- There is no sound. We used IP telephony, but there is a claim for functionality of sound interception.
- The video is stored for half a year in the cloud version.
5) Prompt notifications
- it's easier to control in real time using mobile devices, receive instant reports and control the work of personnel with the help of Teramind. Seeing how 24-hour control of the employee is impossible, such option is quite a good alternative, a substitute for the executive for the period of his or her departure.
6) Different access levels
- if you are the head of the department, then you can get access to the report on work of all subordinates in your department. For an accountant, for example, access simply to the section “Payment” will suffice. Everyone will mind their own business, not interfering with others and not crossing the line or overstepping.
7) Personal statistics aren't closed from employees
- if the employee wants to see his results, the time he spent on tasks, the hours or days he dedicated to the project, the hours when his concentration was high and the hours when he allowed himself to relax and focus on other assets, the bonus he'll be able to get if he applies himself more and the exact time he'll get paid – all that is kept in the accessible place and is configured separately for everyone.
8) Individual settings
- the program allows to set the work schedule (fixed and flexible), create the list of available resources, type of online and offline control, registration of telephone negotiations.
9) Apparent and hidden control
- if the Teramind program is working in the test mode, you don't have to configure all the metrics; in the test mode it's enough to limit the time of control, after which the analysis of the employees’ work will come to the server. The program has hidden and public modes of operation, which means it can be either visible for the employees or completely invisible. However, all that is completely useless if you are monitoring a tech-savvy employee.
10) Interception of e-mail
- Diagram shows information on the number of incoming and sent letters. User-friendly filters.
- You can download outgoing attachments from the report; the incoming attachments are not intercepted.
- The functionality of viewing the recording of incoming letters is not clear; the time the letter was received is recorded, but the user can open the letter much later.
Overall impression of the Teramind program
The monitoring program Teramind isn't a means of punishment unproductive employees; it is a really efficient tool for analysis of their productivity and examination of the information.
Admittedly, besides opportunities and advantages the program also has weaknesses. To monitor and configure all metrics, a big company will have to bring in one more employee, and of course, optimization of working hours of other employees will allow to reduce costs of his maintaining, but at the same time the cost of purchasing the software and renewing the license will be consistent. Consistently high, that is. And, clearly, such tool will be quite hard to get for small companies that aren't planning to grow in the nearest future. But if that's not the case, then such thing as cost shouldn't interfere with the purchase.
Lastly, we should note that any program for tracking of working hours and actions of employees is simply an assistant, a supplement for complex, regular review and monitoring of work process. Thus, before using Teramind you should familiarize everyone with all the features og the program, its strengths and weaknesses, give time for its implementation, perhaps even dispel myths about the program and hear employees' responses in the future.
Naturally, considering high cost of the software, it doesn't seem reasonable to use it in isolated projects; it will be more effective for large companies and organizations. But at the same time, if you want to control your employees' actions, avoid their undesirable behavior and increase productivity and you are ready to introduce additional entity into your staff for this purpose, feel free to buy Teramind, and you'll see that you've made the right choice.