Introduction Best Productivity Software For Windows
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Best Productivity Software For Windows
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around 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 this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods 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. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo 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 partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex 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 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working with 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 based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors 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 Software For Windows
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (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 plan includes everything you’ll discover 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 shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application 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 nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want 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 first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even put in 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 close of each shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Best Productivity Software For Windows
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Productivity Software For Windows