RescueTime Reviews 2021 – Pros & Cons, Analysis and …January 5, 2021
How many hours does your remote team need to spend?
Do they take too long to complete the projects?
Will they be distracted by social media?
Internet surfing related to non-work causes a loss of up to 40% in the productivity of American companies.
As a result, 63% of companies use various time tracking software to monitor their employees’ Internet usage. Collect and analyze this data to find out which activities are hurting productivity.
Although there is various time tracking tools on the market, in this article, I will review RescueTime.
What is RescueTime?
RescueTime is a monitoring tool that tracks the websites and applications that employees use during work.
This tool applies to Peter Drucker’s motto, which is “what gets measured, gets managed”.
RescueTime runs in the background and collects valuable Internet usage data while your employees are working online.
It provides a dashboard where you can organize all the data into useful charts to help you manage your time and your team’s time.
It reports how much your employees spend on productive websites (such as Google Docs, Wikipedia, company websites, etc.).
RescueTime also shows how much time your employees spend on distracting websites (such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc.).
Of course, unless they work on social media! More information will be provided in one minute.
At the end of the week, RescueTime will send you a detailed summary of the activities your employees are engaged in based on your website usage.
For example, if your employees spend two hours on Wikipedia, the software will classify the time spent as “research.”
Remember, since trust is an important factor in controlling the employer-employee relationship, it is always wise to let your workers know how and why to monitor their computers.
RescueTime has poor functionality
Let us learn more about some features of RescueTime. We also look at how easy or difficult it is to use these features.
1. Classification of website usage
Most time tracking software only lists the websites that employees use at work. You don’t know if these sites help or harm employee productivity.
How can RescueTime help in this situation?
After setting up your RescueTime account, the software will ask you which preset activities you find will have an effect. For example, research, business, design, and composition.
It will also ask about activities you find distracting, such as entertainment, social media, shopping.
The RescueTime system accurately groups websites based on activities. The time spent on the company website is recorded under the “Business” category.
Unless you manually categorize YouTube as a work-related activity in your settings, the time spent on YouTube is recorded under “Entertainment.”
You can manually link certain websites to events from the “Apps and Websites” menu.
You can also choose to find productive or distracting activities from the “Categories” page.
For example, the tool might set email as a distracting activity by default. However, if replying to emails is a core part of the team member’s work, you may need to change the category.
This tool gives you complete control over the productivity level of everything that RescueTime tracks.
Based on this classification, the RescueTime summary dashboard will show how much time your employees spend on useful activities/sites, and how much time they spend on distracting sites.
It even displays the productivity score of your employees based on these statistics.
This tool categorizes all applications and websites visited from “very scattered” to “very efficient” (not including “neutral”). The ruler is color-coded.
The “very distracting” behavior is the color red, while the “very effective” behavior is the color blue.
The productivity pulse can be used for gamification purposes. Based on this score, you can reward the most productive employee that month.
This can help increase competition within the company. Gamification has increased the productivity of 90% of workers in most companies.
2. Target customization
The monitoring application only checks the time your employees spend on the job site. They also ensure that your team does not waste time on distracting websites.
However, spending time on work sites just to be “productive” does not reduce costs. Production time does not necessarily lead to any progress.
Your employees don’t know what they are going to do. If there is no goal, there will be no positive emotions. Even with time tracking software, your team will feel underpowered.
So how does RescueTime handle this problem?
RescueTime allows you to set daily goals.
You can set goals from the “Your goals” page. These goals are related to the time you spend on various preset work activities.
RescueTime links these activities to their corresponding websites/apps. For example, you can choose to set a goal of writing 5 hours a day.
The app runs in the background and tracks the time spent on Google Docs, Microsoft Word or any other word processor.
Track the progress of the goal by clicking Reports> Goals or viewing the dashboard. You will also receive a regular summary report that shows all the goals you achieved during the week/month.
Small companies have a limited number of employees, and they can only handle a large number of tasks within a specified time. Customizable goals help employees focus on the most important activities to increase the company’s productivity.
3. Distracting sites
It is easy to get distracted when you are online. You may want to spend some time on social media instead of completing a report. As a result, you cannot complete the task on time!
Don’t worry about blocking websites manually.
The advanced function of RescueTime “Concentrate” will automatically block well-known time-wasting websites within a specified period of time, such as Reddit, Facebook, Twitter.
When your team members need to complete priority tasks or complex tasks, you can choose the “focused attention” option.
This feature is easy to use and completely prevents them from entering distracting websites.
4. Track offline time
When managing a remote team, how do you know whether your employees work online or offline during the day?
More importantly, how do you track the formal work performed by employees offline?
RescueTime allows your employees to manually record off-duty time. This function will pop up when returning to the PC after a period of inactivity.
Then, your employees can calculate the time spent on lunch, phone calls, personal errands, and other options.
This feature allows employees to correctly report the total time spent working online and offline to the manager.
5. Weekly productivity report
If you do not use monitoring software, you must manually track and analyze the productivity and goals of each employee.
Based on this information, you need to have a discussion with your employees once a week.
Progress meetings and productivity meetings can be counterproductive because they take up a lot of time.
Use RescueTime reports to replace productivity meetings.
With RescueTime, your employees will automatically receive weekly reports on how many hours they have logged in.
The report also shows a detailed breakdown of their activities most of the time.
Employees can view the goals achieved last week and the goals to be achieved. The email also provides other productivity tidbits to stimulate your employee productivity next week.
The reports can reduce the time spent on productivity meetings and even eliminate the need for them.
Employees can understand where they waste most of their time and where they are most efficient.
6. All-in-one dashboard
Tracking and managing the data of all your employees may run out and even reduce your own work efficiency. Managers need to spend less time managing employees and more time to advance company processes.
The team dashboard provides detailed information about team productivity and how they spend time during working hours.
Does your marketing team spend more time on Excel worksheets than emails? You can gain insight into where team members use their time inefficiently and what workflows are not needed.
You can understand when your employees are most productive. This can help you find the best time to schedule a meeting.
Does RescueTime reduce interference with employee privacy?
Most employees are not satisfied with time tracking and monitoring tools, which secretly collect information from the browser.
They worry that accessing browser data may pose a threat to their security. Not to mention, these tools collect website usage information without their consent!
Recognizing this fact, RescueTime designed its system to make it less intrusive and safe for employees.
RescueTime is not hidden on employees’ computers, and restricted installation is allowed.
RescueTime collects the following data:
- Application Name
- start time-end time
- Operating system username
- Computer name
You can choose to limit the content collected by RescueTime by turning off window title collection and turning off complete URL collection.
For example, you can choose whether the software collects www.website.com/moredata or www.website.com.
The collected data is stored securely in the company’s database.
The software refuses to monitor sensitive user information, such as email, password, bank account information.
RescueTime does not take screenshots of employees’ screens. It also does not monitor keystrokes to detect user activity. Instead, RescueTime idle time detection is activated to prevent inactivity.
Note: When recording time, idle detection may cause minor errors.
Employees can choose the time and date when the software can run on the system. They can also control data logging for 15 minutes, an hour, or even a day.
RescueTime encourages its users to discuss with team members before installing the application. Open discussions can increase employee trust, and your team can reap many benefits of the software.
Use RescueTime not only to identify overworked or underutilized employees but also to evaluate unmotivated employees.
You can see how changes in the workplace affect total productivity. For example, if you have a “No emails sent on Friday” policy, what will happen?
For highly trusted teams, using RescueTime “openly” allows employees to understand how they spend their time compared to ordinary colleagues.
This level of workplace transparency can have a positive impact on employee engagement.
how much does it cost?
You can use the basic version of RescueTime for free. RescueTime Lite has the following basic functions:
- Monitor website and application data
- set a goal
- Weekly email report
- 3 months report record
However, the free version lacks some key features, such as:
- Offline time tracking
- Website blocker
- detail report
- Unlimited report history
By purchasing the premium version of the software, you can get these functions and more supplementary functions.
RescueTime premium has a 14-day free trial period. After that, the price of the software is $9 per user per month. You can also choose to purchase the premium version for $72 per user per year ($6 per month).
RescueTime for your team
If you work with a small remote team, you can purchase RescueTime for the same price of $9 per user per month or $72 per year. The only difference is that when you upgrade, your team is entitled to 31 days of free onboarding time.
Rescue time limit and alternative methods
RescueTime is not as intrusive as most time tracking software, but is it still good for employees who want to control their productivity tools?
The software runs silently in the background, tracking all online user activities. Indeed, the user can pause for a short period of time.
However, the user does not have complete control over the application. The disadvantage is that the user cannot specify which activities he/she wants to monitor to increase productivity.
Cannot track task
RescueTime statistics only classify which applications are effective and which are distracting. However, it does not specify what you do for a particular application.
For example, you can see that your employee spends 3 hours on Microsoft Word to “write”, but you don’t know what article he/she is writing or which project is currently working on.
On the other hand, there are other tools such as Time Doctor that allow you to track the time your employees spend on specific tasks.
Time Doctor’s interactive system enables your employees to actively track their time. They can manually start, pause and stop any task to be monitored.
This unique feature allows you to track the time spent on specific tasks instead of just monitoring the time spent on certain applications.
Knowing which specific tasks employees complete quickly or slowly can help you improve your task plan.
You can assign your employees the most time-consuming tasks at the beginning of the day and provide them with smaller tasks at the end.
Lack of project tracking
User-related time monitoring software can be used to monitor project activities. RescueTime has very limited project tracking capabilities. Without this feature, you will not be able to track the time spent working for a client for a specific project.
Time Doctor’s project tracking feature allows you to generate payroll schedules based on collected data. You can charge customers directly at the right time.
Too much monitoring
Tracking employees’ every move (for example, viewing their screens and getting detailed statistics about the apps or websites they use) seems to be very helpful in improving productivity.
However, this will also reduce employee trust and increase workplace pressure. Too much monitoring will shut down many employees.
It seems that the website they are visiting is more important than the work they provide!
On the other hand, Time Doctor focuses on projects and tasks, not the websites people are visiting. Even though it can track your network usage, this is not the main focus.
If you track the time they spend on tasks, most people will be more comfortable.
Does not support iOS
Currently, the RescueTime application is proprietary to Android. However, 45% of Americans use devices that support iOS. This means that you will not be able to monitor the phone usage of most employees.
Other time tracking tools with iPhone and iPad apps allow you to track employees’ tasks and their app usage, even when they are not available on the desk.
There are different options out there. However, if you want to use a tool that can help you track employee productivity without losing their trust, please sign up for a free trial of Time Doctor.
What is important to you?
The fundamental problem with RescueTime is that it all involves which activities are invalid and which activities are invalid.
But even if you are at work, does which website your employees visit really affect you? Or is it more important to ensure that they complete their tasks on time?
I guess the latter.
As long as they can complete the work on time and provide high-quality work, whether your employees will spend some time watching cat videos on YouTube may not matter to you.
In addition, all the data and graphs provided to you by RescueTime will not answer this question-how much time does your staff spend on each task and project?
If you want to get the answer to this question, please sign up for a free trial of Time Doctor.