Background Best Office Productivity Software
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Best Office Productivity Software
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you instantly 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 neglected.
There are two methods 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 app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and screengrab components 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’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Best Office Productivity Software
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly 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 bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, 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 place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Best Office Productivity Software
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Office Productivity Software