Background Best Online Productivity
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Best Online Productivity
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand 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 gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age 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 doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative 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 begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn 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 when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any 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 place PayPal payments to manual. Best Online Productivity
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared 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, as well as 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 base fee per month for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will need 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 tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. This means that you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not 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 boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t 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 before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring 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 a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app 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 attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Best Online Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Online Productivity