The Top Tracking Tools for Productivity in a Distributed Workforce

Despite evidence to the contrary, there is a prevalent misconception that remote workers are less engaged. Frequently, people hold the belief that those who work from home or remotely are not as productive, regardless of research backing the contrary. The doubt that those who work remotely just sit around all day in casual attire remains persistent, even as remote work grows increasingly popular. (source)

At Works, we strongly believe that the quality of work completed is more important than how long it takes to produce it. It is essential to consider how remote teams are achieving their goals, regardless of the methods they use. While some benefits may derive from procrastination, it is inaccurate to assume that office-based employees are working meticulously throughout their shifts. Productivity can appear artificially high in various circumstances.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge that there may still be circumstances where monitoring the productivity of a remote team can be beneficial. While numerous tools promise to monitor remote team productivity, we will not be discussing the majority of them here.

Absolutley, there are multiple reasons to avoid these tools, primarily due to the concerning features they possess. Would you wish to sneak up on your office-based colleagues ninja-style and check if they are looking up work-related information? Or continually monitor their seats to ensure they remain at their desks, and question their absences if they aren’t present? We hope that none of these overly invasive practices are being used. Nevertheless, certain tools used to monitor remote workers employ similar tactics such as taking screenshots or using a webcam to verify that your remote staff is completing their work. Such overly paranoid micromanagement is inappropriate and unsuited for adult professionals.

Our aim is to provide a selection of apps that allow you to gather valuable data on how your remote workforce utilizes their time while maintaining their privacy and dignity. That said, our previous criticism aside, here is the list of recommended applications.


Some may view this as an arrogant statement comparable to a toddler admiring their own mess. However, it is an excellent way to practice what we preach and evaluate progress by results. Utilizing this app encourages daily check-ins either through the app or email reminders for individuals who may be less connected.

A straightforward method to detect potential problems that your developers may encounter and implement solutions is by dividing your team’s work into three categories: done, in progress, and stalled. Using IDoneThis can enable you to create visually pleasing and comprehensive reports that display the efficiency of your remote team, offering a beneficial strategy to demonstrate achievements to upper management. (source)


A company’s financial standings can be severely affected by inaccurate timekeeping. Early or late clock-ins, missed deadlines, or unforeseen overtime expenditures can result in substantial financial losses each month. ZoomShift serves as an effective solution to eliminate these costly errors. Utilizing this system ensures precise time tracking and eliminates the possibility of unscheduled clock-ins.

Zoomshift is an innovative workforce management solution designed for the purpose of scheduling and tracking employee hours. The time-tracking element facilitates better customer expectation management and enhanced visibility of project progress for supervisors. The free iOS and Android applications enable both employees and supervisors to clock in and out of shifts and make real-time changes to their timesheets, making time tracking more efficient and effective. (source)

Furthermore, the app’s integrated chat tools offer an excellent means for team members to increase productivity and enhance their work.

For individuals requiring a means of preventing workflow congestion by staying updated on their team’s progress, provides an excellent solution. The tool offers a user-friendly interface, similar to other task management software like Asana and Trello, and enables you to conveniently manage all relevant tasks. features an extremely intuitive interface that offers users a sense of gratification as they complete each task. It also enables timeline displays for task information, making it easy to see what tasks are scheduled, completed, or have encountered problems. Consequently, it is considered an excellent resource for project management.


If your main concern is to validate that your remote team is working their contracted hours, particularly those with non-traditional or irregular schedules, such as those splitting work with childcare responsibilities, then Tickspot may offer the solution you need.

The app can be accessed by team members on any device, whether it’s a computer, smartphone or even a smartwatch, by just indicating the name of the project they are working on. To stop tracking their time, all they need to do is press the stop button, making it an effortless and uncomplicated experience.

Of course, Tickspot is not the sole alternative if you are searching for a straightforward time tracking solution. Other options include Toggl (which is free for up to five team members) and Harvest.


One potential negative outcome of productivity tracking is that it adds to the administrative workload. Time logging, for example, is a time-consuming process in itself. Therefore, the designers of Timely, a Norwegian company, have devised a solution to alleviate this issue.

The Timely team has developed an AI that can learn to identify work-based activities. This is achieved through the use of a tracker app. When installed, the app forms “memories” for each activity or application opened, placing them in a timeline for the day. Remote team members can then simply identify which memories correspond to their daily work by clicking on them, without including memories associated with extraneous activities like browsing social media or engaging in personal online conversations.

You need not worry about employees attempting to bypass the system by leaving development windows open, as the app solely tracks active work time. The system rapidly learns to differentiate between work tasks and other activities. Remarkably, the AI can be integrated with numerous applications such as Asana, Trello, Github, GitLab, Freshdesk, Slack, and many others. However, it’s always the employees’ decision as to which activities get recorded towards their working hours total.


For employees juggling multiple tasks simultaneously, it can be useful to keep time records for each task using a timesheet. In the past, this was a time-consuming process, requiring individuals to manually locate the relevant project codes and input them into a spreadsheet. However, with the advent of tools like TSheets, this process has become much more efficient and streamlined.

TSheets offers a single-click clock in and out feature for your personnel. If they need to take a break or shift to another task, they can do so promptly and without hassle. TSheets performs all the calculations, allowing your team to devote more time to actual productivity instead of administrating it.

With TSheets’ automation abilities, managers can easily create and execute overtime policies, organize and schedule shifts, and plan out projects with ease. Additionally, TSheets is highly compatible with a variety of payroll software, making the task of processing and paying employees significantly more straightforward.


Not technically a program, but it is a highly effective approach for enhancing remote team productivity. Remote work is preferred by individuals for various reasons, but primarily because of its flexibility. It could be due to a medical condition or family responsibilities that necessitates a specific work arrangement. As long as employees meet their deadlines and deliver quality work, does it truly matter if they work a continuous eight hours or divide their working hours into two or three sessions?

It is understandable for employers to seek reassurance by observing employees at their desks, visibly engaged in productive activities, such as using a computer. However, as we have previously established, appearances can be deceiving, and this may not always be an accurate indicator of productivity. Nevertheless, it is natural to hope for positive outcomes. Consider, for instance, the contrast between Pablo, who takes breaks by walking his dog, and Bob, who engages in the Impossible Quiz as a break activity.

Ultimately, having faith in your hiring decisions is critical. It’s essential to have taken on skilled and competent individuals who are committed to their jobs and will follow through with expectations. If you are struggling to find suitable applicants who meet your standards, we are here to assist you! If we provide you with a candidate’s CV, you can rest assured that the individual is a proficient professional capable of meeting your technical requirements and has demonstrated competence in remote work.

Instead of stressing about productivity monitoring, why not consider hiring some superstar developers and reaping the benefits? Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Contact us today to get started.

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