Introduction Best Work Productivity Apps
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of larger 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 management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will 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 Work Productivity Apps
Attributes 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 display 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 have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy 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 focus projects that are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in 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 feature, you log in your hours since 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 fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the confines of your web browser–every alternative 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 select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Users don’t need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Best Work Productivity Apps
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). 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 company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into accounts. This means you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the end of each change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track 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 make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t 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.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Best Work Productivity Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Best Work Productivity Apps