Background Best Team Productivity Apps
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Best Team Productivity Apps
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve 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 becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era 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 fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time should they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find 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 exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to 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”custom” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Best Team Productivity Apps
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking 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 plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing 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 a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they are generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even add 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 else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app 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 need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right 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 monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily 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 monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot 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.
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, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Best Team Productivity Apps
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Team Productivity Apps