Passive Time Frequently Asked Questions

Why did we change passive time?

To provide deeper control into how you classify the time when employees are passively participating in common work activities like attending a video conference or reading a document.

How did passive time change?  

We’ve updated how the platform captures, records, configures and displays passive time. These enhancements reflect the activities/behaviors of users prior to going passive.

  • Passive time is now classified as Productive Passive’, Unproductive Passive’, or ‘Undefined Passive’ based on the last activity the user was engaged in before going passive.
  • Passive time recording continues to default to 2 minutes, but users can now adjust it to start anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes.
  • Passive time now defaults to stop after 5 minutes, but users can adjust it to stop from 0 to 30 minutes or choose to keep recording indefinitely or until the computer goes to sleep, is locked, or turned off. 

When did passive time change?

Effective Wednesday, January 20, 2021, passive time stops after 5 minutes per episode. 

To change this setting go to Settings > Passive

What may be confusing with this new change?

  • The passive time yellow bar is no longer present in the Dashboards and Reports. Passive time now is allocated into productive, unproductive, or undefined at the summary level (Dashboard and Summary View for the Top Users and Productivity reports).
  • Commonly used metrics are affected:
    • Passive times will be lower because we are now clipping it per the new setting (vs. waiting for the computer to become locked or go to sleep)
    • Productive time, unproductive time, and undefined time will be higher as they will now contain passive time.
    • The productivity ratios in Team Pulse will be higher due to the higher metric values and the overall smaller passive times.
  • There is now a different color schema across the application UI.

Where can I find the legacy values for different metrics?

  • Legacy values for Productive, Unproductive, or Undefined: Go to Top Users report or Productivity report and select the Detailed View toggle. Productive Active, Unproductive Active or Undefined Active are the new names for these metrics.
  • Legacy Productivity ratios in Team Pulse: Change the toggle to “Use Active Time”. This will calculate the Productivity ratio using the legacy formula (Productive Active / Total Time)
  • Legacy Productivity ratios in Top Users: Select the “Detailed View” toggle where you can see the ratio for Productive Active (Productive Active / Total Time).
  • Legacy Passive Time: You can increase the clipping setting or set it to capture passive time indefinitely, which is how it worked previously. We don’t recommend this but that will give them the prior behavior.

The productivity ratio changed and everyone is much higher. How do I see the productivity ratio as it was before?

Productivity ratios appear higher now because employees' total times are no longer including superfluous passive time thanks to clipping passive time at 5 minutes. Prior to this release, productivity ratios were calculated using productive time divided by total time.


Within Summary Views (including the Dashboard and Team Pulse), productivity ratios are now calculated with the productive active and productive passive time over the total time.


Within Detailed Views, productivity ratios are now calculated with the productive active over the total time.


To see the productivity ratio using active time only as you saw before, you can use the Detailed view within the Top Users and Groups report:

 Summary View:


Detailed View:


To view Team Pulse using active time click on the settings cog and select “Use Active Time”


Which versions of the agents support the new passive time classification?

WinAgents 8.1.15 and MacAgents 8.1.4 and newer will send in the new passive time. 

Chromebook agents have not been updated

See here for how to upgrade to the latest version.

What happens if legacy agents aren’t updated? 

Legacy agents will send in passive time without previous activities and passive time will be shown as Undefined Passive (gray color). 

Summary and Detailed Views

What’s the difference between the summary and detailed views?

Summary views include active and passive duration. 

Detailed views break down active and passive time explicitly.

Passive Time Configuration

What are the default times for when passive time starts and stops?

Passive time start defaults to 2 minutes. Admins can adjust from 1-10 minutes.

Passive time stop defaults to 5 minutes. Admins can adjust from 0-30 minutes.

What is the recommended passive time configuration? 

We recommend passive time configurations be between 5 and 10 minutes given that most passive time episodes are less than 10 minutes and that will allow you to classify the most common cases (e.g. going passive on a video conference).  However, you can also set it to 0 to completely exclude passive time.

If an admin adjusts the passive start/stop, does this change historical data?

No, modifying when passive starts/stops will inform the agents associated with your account to track data differently and will not update historical data. It will only affect data moving forward.

If an admin accidentally changes the passive time start/stop, can ActivTrak adjust the historical data?

No, we cannot recover the data or adjust it.

How do I know if the passive time starting/stopping has been adjusted?

Check the security audit log

See more details in this KB article

ActivConnect Impact

Will the new passive data break the ActivConnect templates?

No, this release will be adding new data elements but not changing existing data so that templates or any customer queries and ETL scripts will continue to work without disruption. We are adding a new version of database views to the ActivConnect data so that customers can adjust any reports they rely on themselves.

When will ActivConnect be updated with classified passive time?
The classified passive data will be made available with the Premium Early Access release. 

Weekly Digest

Will the weekly digest be updated with the new passive time classification and color scheme?

The Weekly Digest will be updated to show the classified passive time summary view and the new color schema starting on 1/25. 



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