When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature 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. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Anuko
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add the stopwatch and screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Anuko
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll 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 change supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Anuko
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Anuko