Introduction Automatic Time Tracking
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find 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. Automatic Time Tracking
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the side of your screen 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 how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Users don’t have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is 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 you can place PayPal payments to manual. Automatic Time Tracking
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental 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 has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not allow 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 are using the cell program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing 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 pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Automatic Time Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Automatic Time Tracking