Background Applied Productivity Tools
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Applied Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Applied Productivity Tools
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also get 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 changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie 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 entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Applied Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll 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 excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Applied Productivity Tools