Five best apps for employee smartphone surveillance in 2020

Many companies have their employees working out in the field or at home, so they need some secure ways to keep tabs on them. Lots of companies provide their workers with the company's laptops or smartphones. It makes managing the work easy for both the employers and employees as well. Employees may be wasting their valuable work hours, playing online games, or surfing through the internet. You could lose your company's information by less careful employees, too. So to protect your valuable data and increase employee productivity, you must have a strategy. 

One good solution for all that is to improve the surveillance. You might be monitoring on their computer but full-fledged monitoring goes beyond time tracking (number of hours worked, check-ins and check-outs.) But with a smartphone surveillance app, you can see the apps installed on their work phones, the most frequently-browsed websites, the text messages and emails they receive, and so much more. With some more advanced apps, you can have access to everything, from every keystroke to their GPS location to make sure they are where they should be during the office hours. These apps help you keep tabs on your employee's activities in a real manner. These apps not only help you handle your employees but also improve the company's overall performance. With the monitoring results, you can save your company from any potential damages. 

Monitoring your employees, digitally or physically, has always helped the company grow and increase the performance. How does an employer monitor the employees at work? Well, here are a few points that employers usually keep in mind.

  • Keep records of the phone calls
  • Monitor their emails
  • Verify the use of emails and websites
  • Check their activity on social apps
  • Track internet activities

Many companies do not allow employees to use social media apps or phones for personal activities to keep work productivity on track. Some employers offer limited access to emails or the internet. But, monitoring can help both the employers and the employees to work in a healthy atmosphere. 

Even if you are monitoring employees’ company phones, you would still require their legal consent. Tell them why you are applying this and how is it going to work. If any of the employees don't follow the monitoring rules, tell them how it will affect their performance.

The year 2020 has made a visible change in remote working, which has increased the use of employee monitoring apps. Many companies all around the world have faced issues due to the COVID-19 this year. Remote working has been one of the ways to ensure business continuity and survival in this pandemic for many companies. The distributed workforce and scattered team are always hard to handle. However, to ensure the productivity of the employees working from home, the monitoring app has played a prominent role.  

Benefits of monitoring employees

Most of you know that monitoring your staff could increase productivity and help them stay focused. Well, it may have some other benefits for your business as well. Let's take a quick look at the benefits of employee surveillance.

  • Insights of staff's performance 

If you are monitoring your employees, it will not just help them stay focused, but also punctual. Smartphone monitoring apps provide a lot more information that wasn't available before. You can have access to the daily work report of every employee individually. Many apps provide a daily, weekly, monthly description of the activities. These reports can help you identify the potential damages, workplace productivity, and the performances of every worker individually. With these reports, you can also assist the weakest of your employees to improve their performance. 

  • Say goodbye to constant micro-managing 

Even if you are an employer or an employee, nobody likes unnecessary micromanaging. The constant supervision may demoralize the staff, which can result in low performance. So with employee monitoring software, you and your workers can be relaxed and work within their comfort zone. Monitoring them will make them work to their fullest while you complete your other tasks. You can use the extra time on different things that could be beneficial for your company, like training weak employees or making future project plans. 

  • Have more transparency  

If you try to look into details, without the help of monitoring apps, you might have a hard time finding some answers? With a phone surveillance app, employers can have organized records of all the activities of employees individually. So the staff will not have to prove that they were working the whole time and explain why some tasks took so long. 

  • Reduce unproductivity

Employees could make a habit of checking their devices during work hours. They could use their social media apps or surf the internet to pass the time and not work. A smartphone could be a real distraction during work. Being busy with your activities during work hours is not acceptable. Moreover, this can affect the productivity of your business. However, if your employees know the company is monitoring them, they won't waste any of their time. They will try to be as productive as possible. This way, you will have to pay them only for the work they have done, and also increase the productivity of your company. 

Now that we know the benefits of monitoring. Let's talk about the five best apps for employee smartphone surveillance. 

  1.  XNSPY

XNSPY is a leading mobile monitoring app. It offers a set of advanced features that make it a reliable monitoring app. The features help you get your hands on all the data collected by this software from the targeted device. Along with the set of best features, it is famous for the affordability and its wide device compatibility. It is compatible with both Android as well as iOS devices.

Offered Features

View Social Media

You can track all the messages on instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and check social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tinder.


It gives you a record of all the keystrokes made on the targeted device. You can see if the keystrokes are on productive apps or unproductive ones. 

Call logs

This feature lets you track all the calls (incoming, outgoing, and missed calls). It also provides the time and duration of the call logs. 

GPS location

You can catch the live GPS location of your employee using this feature. 

Web Activities

XNSPY lets you track all of the internet activities of your employees. You can check the web browsing history as well. 

Track emails 

You can track all the emails that are sent or received on the targeted device. 

Multimedia files

This feature lets you see all the pictures and videos saved on the device. You can download and send any file to your phone as well.

  1. TrackMyFone

The second monitoring app, TrackMyFone, offers features that can track and monitor a device without any physical access. You can track your employees' location, incoming and outgoing calls, messages, email, and other internet activities using this app. You can install it on any smartphone as it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Moreover, you can install it on iPads or tablets. 

Offered Features

SMS monitoring

It lets you track all sent and received messages.

Call logs

You can track all the incoming, outgoing, and missed calls with the call duration and contact details of the caller.

GPS tracking

It lets you track your employee's real-time GSP location. You can see the place, along with the route taken by the employee.  

Instant messaging apps

You can view instant messaging apps and track messages on apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and Skype.


It lets you check all the photos in the gallery. You can download any file you want.

  1. mSpy

mSpy is one of the most famous monitoring apps in the market. It offers features that are useful for employee monitoring. However, the app requires physical access to the device for installation. 

Offered Features

Track location

It lets you monitor the current locations of the device, along with the previous one. 

Manage Apps

You can manage all the installed apps and even uninstall or block them.

Manage call

This app lets you track all the calls: incoming, outgoing, missed. 

Multimedia files

You can view multimedia files like videos and photos on the targeted device. 

Email tracking

mSpy lets you monitor all the emails that are received or sent from the phone.

Check Wi-Fi networks

You can check the Wi-Fi networks that the targeted device uses.

Web history

You can track all the URLs of the websites visited along with the number of visits.

Track messages

You can check all messages sent through instant messaging applications like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Tinder, Viber, and Instagram.

  1. Hubstaff

Another employee monitoring app for remote workers is Hubstaff. It helps you monitor your employees' activities and allows them to be more productive. You can install this app on both iOS and Android devices. You can install it on many devices like phones, laptops, tablets, and PCs. Hubstaff also helps you manage your employees. You can check the time of each task and track the GPS location of each employee. Hubstaff also allows you to have a free trial before you buy it. You can monitor different workspace apps like Basecamp, Asana, Quickbooks, GitHub, and Trello.

Offered Features

Check Productivity 

You can check productivity by viewing the screenshots while they work. You can also check the used apps and URLs. 

Project Budgeting

Hubstaff allows you to set budgets for your projects and notifies you when the end limit gets closer. 

Track Time

Hubstaff lets you track time on smartphones and desktops, as well.

GPS tracking

You can track the live location along with recordings of the spent time. 

Online invoicing

You can send invoices online and send them to your employees without any delays. 


This feature allows you to track their attendance and set schedules for them.

Online timesheets

It offers an online timesheet for the employees where you can keep count of the hours.

  1. FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy is a smartphone monitoring app that allows you to monitor your employees on their desktops as well. Just like its compatibility with Android and iOS, it is also compatible with Mac and Windows. However, most of the offered features are for smartphone monitoring. FlexiSpy uploads all the data of the targeted device on its server. That means you can view it whenever you want. Even if the device removes any data, it does not get removed from the server.

Offered Features

Internet Activities

You can track all the URL of the visited websites along with the time and date of each visit.

Check Multimedia 

It allows you to access the multimedia files like photos, videos, and audio files. You can download any files you want. 

Remote Control

You can remotely manage the targeted device. It allows you to take photos, screenshots, and videos on the targeted phone. You can even turn the phone off whenever you want. 

Email Tracking

You can track emails along with the pictures, text, timestamp, and contact details of the recipients and the sender.

App Activity

You can monitor all the activities on the installed apps. 

Environment Tracking

You can record the surroundings of the targeted phone using this feature.

Call recording

FlexiSpy lets you record calls remotely on the targeted device on messenger apps such as Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Hangout, and LINE. 

Call logs

It allows you to check the list of incoming, outgoing and missed calls on the phone.

Text messages

You can view all sent and received text messages.

Track Location

This feature lets you track the live locations along with the time and date.

Instant messaging apps

It allows you to monitor messages (received and sent) on instant messaging apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, Viber, Hike, Instagram Direct Messages, and others.

(Guest Submission by Alex Miller. Opinions are of the author.)

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