How to Use the Scheduling Feature to Reflect Employee Working Hours

The default schedule in ActivTrak is 24x7, however, Admins can set Agent schedules to limit tracking to specific hours for each user.  To make adjustments, navigate to Settings > Scheduling.

Important Notes:

  • The schedule dictates when the Agent gathers user activity and when it does not, so changes to schedules are not retroactive and data can not later be generated to account for scheduling changes.
  • The tracking schedule for each user will be based on their computer's local time zone and not the Account Time Zone. For this reason, it is critical to understand a computer's local time zone and the impact of daylight saving time (DST) if deviating from the default 24x7 schedule, or tracking may occur at incorrect hours and data may be incomplete.
  • The Account Time Zone does not affect scheduling, only how data is displayed in reports and dashboards.

Learn more about:

Using the Scheduling feature

There are 3 sections on the Scheduling page (Settings > Scheduling):

1. The left side of the Scheduling page displays a list of all schedules in the account. New accounts begin with the 24x7 “Default Schedule (Auto)”. All users are assigned to the Default Schedule when they first report to the account. The green ‘Create Schedule’ button at the top of this section allows for the creation of new, custom schedules.

2. The right top half of the page shows a list of all users on the specific schedule selected on the left side. If All Schedules is selected, it will list all users along with which schedule applies to each. From this section, users can be moved from one schedule to another.

3. The bottom right half of the page will show a preview of the tracking hours set for the specific schedule selected on the left side. A yellow rectangle indicates the current time in the Account Time Zone.

Important note: If users are working in a different time zone than the Account Time Zone, the yellow rectangle may indicate it is outside of tracking hours when it is really within tracking hours, or vice versa. A selected schedule can be deleted with the red button, duplicated, or edited with the blue buttons. The default schedule cannot be deleted or renamed, but it can be duplicated or edited. If installing Agents outside the default schedule hours, it may not be immediately apparent whether the installation was successful, which is why we recommend leaving the default of 24x7 as-is.

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Creating and editing schedules

Clicking the green ‘Create Schedule’ button or the blue ‘Edit Schedule’ button will bring up a new editable page with a default 24x7 schedule. Name the Schedule and click ‘CUSTOM’. Or, click the ‘Regular Working Hours’ button for a pre-filled Monday through Friday schedule spanning from 8 am to 5 pm with a 12-1 pm lunch break.

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  • Click and drag the edges of a segment to modify the start and end times.
  • Click and drag within the middle of a segment to shift it.
  • Double-click a segment to delete it.
  • Add a new segment by hovering over the desired start time and clicking the blue plus sign. Then drag to adjust as usual.
  • The ‘Clear All’ button can be used to start from scratch.

Schedules can be created without assigning users and can be left empty for later use.

Utilizing a blank schedule to stop / “pause” tracking users while Out of Office

Sometimes you may need to “pause” the Agent or stop tracking a certain user for a period of time, for example, if an employee is going on vacation but will be taking their computer with them. Instead of uninstalling ActivTrak (requiring a reinstall when they return), you can create a blank schedule and move the user to that schedule. When they return, you can move them back to their original schedule.

To create a blank schedule:

1. Click the green ‘Create Schedule’ button.

2. Name the schedule “Blank Schedule”, “Vacation” or similar.

3. Click ‘Clear All’ to remove all blue tracking segments.

4. Click the green ‘Save’ button.

Once saved, users moved to this schedule will not be tracked until they are moved to a different non-blank schedule. Read the next section to learn how to move users between schedules.

Moving users between schedules

To move a user from one schedule to another, locate them on the Scheduling page (Settings > Scheduling).

  • Select their existing Schedule or select All Schedules.
  • The ‘User’, ‘Domain’, and ‘User Alias’ columns are searchable using the white rectangles at the top.
  • Click the checkbox next to the user(s) and choose the desired schedule from the ‘Select Schedule’ dropdown menu.
  • Click the Move Selected Users button, which appears green when at least one user is selected.

In the example below, the user is currently on the Support Team Schedule. To move them to the Default Schedule, the checkbox is clicked, the Default Schedule is selected, and the Move Selected Users is green and ready to be clicked.

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A successful move will generate a green banner:

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Time zones, daylight saving time and example scenarios

The rule of thumb to remember about schedules in ActivTrak is that schedules always follow the time set on each local computer, not the Account Time Zone.

In most cases, computers automatically adjust if daylight saving time (DST) applies, and therefore schedules do not need to be modified. One exception is when the times someone works change as a result of daylight saving time.

Examples of Differing Time Zones
A team is based in the United States with employees in Texas (US Central Time Zone) and California (US Pacific Time Zone; -2 hours from Central). The ActivTrak Account Time Zone is set to US Central Time Zone. The company wishes to track the Support team only during their working hours.

A - California team members work 8 am-5 pm in the US Pacific Time Zone
If the team members in California work 8 am-5 pm in their local time zone, the ActivTrak schedules should be set from 8 am - 5 pm. In the Activity Log, Account Date/Time timestamps will show that the team members in California work from 10 am to 7 pm since the ActivTrak account is converting their schedule to US Central Time Zone. However, Activity Date/Time timestamps (if set to display) will reflect their 8 am to 5 pm schedule.

B - California team members work 8 am-5 pm US Central Time Zone hours
If the team members in California work from 8 am-5 pm in US Central Time Zone hours, the ActivTrak schedules should be set from 6 am - 3 pm (the hours in their local time zone). In the Activity Log, Account Date/Time timestamps will show that the team members in California work from 8 am to 5 pm since the ActivTrak account is converting to US Central, but Activity Date/Time timestamps (if set to display) will reflect their 6 am to 3 pm schedule.

Differing Time Zones + Daylight Saving Time (DST) Examples
A company is based in the United States and the Support Team works 8 am-5 pm US Central time. Most of the team is located within the US Central time zone, and the ActivTrak Account Time Zone is set to US Central time, but part of the team works out of Jamaica. Since most of the US observes daylight saving time (DST), for half of the year it is the same time for the entire team, and for half of the year, the Jamaican team members are +1 hour. The company wishes to track the Support team only during their working hours. There are 2 ways the company may choose to handle daylight saving time (DST):

A - Working hours stay the same regardless of US DST
Everyone follows an 8 am-5 pm work schedule in their local time zone all year long. Between November and March, the Jamaican employees are allowed to keep working 8 am-5 pm in their local time zone but their American coworkers are starting an hour later and ending an hour later. In this scenario, the ActivTrak schedules for everyone are set for 8 am -5 pm all year long and never need to change for DST because everyone works the hours when their local time zone is 8 am - 5 pm.

In the Activity Log, Activity Date/Time timestamps (if set to display) will reflect 8 am-5 pm for all employees for the entire year. Since the ActivTrak account is set to US Central, Account Date/Time timestamps in the Activity Log will reflect 8 am to 5 pm for all employees for half the year but show that the Jamaican employees are working between 7 am and 4 pm for the other half.

B - Working hours shift due to US DST
Everyone follows an 8 am - 5 pm work schedule aligning with the US Central time zone. Between March and November when US Central and Jamaica are the same time, all employees work 8 am-5 pm in their local time zone and ActivTrak schedules are set 8 am-5 pm. Between November and March, when US Central “falls back”, Jamaican employees start working from 9 am - 6 pm so everyone is working between the same hours no matter where they are located. The ActivTrak schedules for the Jamaican employees must be shifted from 9 am-6 pm, then shifted back to 8 am - 5 pm between March and November.

In the Activity Log, Account Date/Time timestamps will reflect an 8 am - 5 pm schedule for all employees for the entire year. Since the ActivTrak account is set to US Central, Activity Date/Time timestamps (if set to display) in the Activity Log will reflect an 8 am to 5 pm schedule for all employees for half the year, but show that the Jamaican employees are working between 9 am and 6 pm for the other half.

Productivity report start and end times

The Single-Day Report in the bottom half of the Productivity Report includes customizable start and end times. These only adjust the hours displayed on the graph and do not affect user tracking schedules. This graph shows data converted into the Account Time Zone, so if users work across multiple time zones, try “zooming out” or even setting Start: 12:00 AM and End: 12:00 AM to show the full 24 hours and display all data captured by the schedules.

Scheduling FAQ

When does a week start and end in ActivTrak? Is that customizable?

In ActivTrak reports and dashboards, a week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. Week start and end days are not customizable.

 

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