Intro Best Productivity Software 2018
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Productivity Software 2018
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots 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 gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
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 in your hours since you likely 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 pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates 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 change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage 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 with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding 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 payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Best Productivity Software 2018
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic 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 changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features 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 supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a 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. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application 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 are using the cell program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Best Productivity Software 2018
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Best Productivity Software 2018