Intro Best Productivity Websites
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Productivity Websites
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around 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 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 latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative 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 select your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just 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 workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users don’t have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Best Productivity Websites
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features 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 program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 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 solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. 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 unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours each 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 information won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task 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 program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Best Productivity Websites
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Productivity Websites