Introduction A Time Logger
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. A Time Logger
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also screengrab components to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real-time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. A Time Logger
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. This means that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. A Time Logger
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. A Time Logger