How to Track Active/Idle Time on Employee Computers

According to a research conducted by Harvard Business School, around 78.1% of workers in the USA spend far too much idle time at work, which costs their companies $100 billion annually. So when employees are not working actively, it has severe implications for business owners and the organizations they work for. Hence, business owners need to monitor:

● Employee Idle Time: This generally refers to the time spent away from one’s computer.
● Employee Active Time: The time employee spends actively using their computer.

Thus, it is good for businesses always to know and calculate how long their employees spent idle during their working hours. This also gives an idea of how much time employees waste doing non-work related activities. Keep reading to know how to calculate the idle time at work.

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How is Active/Idle Time Tracked?

A timekeeping software keeps records of employee work activity and changes from Active to Idle after a certain assigned period of inactivity. Most time tracker software measures idle time to show how long users are away from their computers based on work activity. Activity levels are measured based on inputs from the employee on how they work, and other metrics are also considered for this calculation, which differs from software to software. This threshold can also be customized to fit better each organization’s spending on the type of their workforce. The time-tracking process for call centers and software development companies is never the same.

When tracking employee computer usage, idle time refers to when employees are supposed to work, but the employee’s computer is not being actively used. The software captures all of the activities leading up to the meeting or webinar. The result is that a manager receives accurate and error-free information.

What are the benefits of using Idle/Active time monitoring software?


  1. Boost overall employee productivity: Using time tracking software, managers and employees can gain insights into high-and-low performance trends based on work activities and help to identify top performance time and areas that need improvement.
  2. Monitor in real-time: Being an automated system, the software tracks and measures work activity in real time. The software monitors flawlessly without relying on human input, so there is no chance of any manipulation of time capturing from both employers and employees.
  3. Keeps you updated: The software also helps to track the work progress on every task. Managers can check how many hours employees spend on individual tasks and how efficiently they work. Seeing the pattern, managers can also understand whether employees take unnecessary time to finish a task or not. The report also works as a benchmark to better plan and allocate workload to teams to keep them productive.
  4. Efficiently supervise employee activity levels: Time tracking software lets managers inspect and supervise employee performance and productivity and address those who are being idle or lagging.
  5. Get detailed reports on activity: The software gives detailed reports on how actively employees spend their working hours and the exact number of hours employees were idle. With productivity metrics, time tracking of hours, and other reports like screenshots and web/app usage, you get a complete summary report of how an employee performed during his assigned working hours.

Measuring employees’ active/idle time provides greater insights into the efficiency of employees. With the use of this software, you can find out when your employees are actively using their computers, address periods of inactivity, and verify the causes of idle times.
If you want to track employee computer activity, including other features such as software usage, web activity, and screenshots, you can use time-tracking software such as CloudDesk. The software processes report in real-time, and the analysis’s outcome is available in reports in minutes/hours. Time-tracking data analysis is instrumental in achieving various business goals, and to help you grow your business, you should implement it in your business. Try the Free Trial option of CloudDesk and see how it works for your business.

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