Introduction Best Productivity Programs
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Productivity Programs
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which 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 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’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen 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 pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. You can put 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, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Best Productivity Programs
Price And Alternatives
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 need to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want 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 monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you need all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $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 significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of each change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with 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 offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, 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 just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as 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.
One 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 monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Best Productivity Programs
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another 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 possible within the confines of their online UI. Best Productivity Programs