Introduction Best Work Productivity Tools
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful 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’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Work Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, 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 immediately calls to focus projects which are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
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 program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on every grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much movement was performed 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 work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with 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 employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can 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 have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Best Work Productivity Tools
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all 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 applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you need all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor 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 supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of each change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, 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 are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring 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 a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in 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 however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Best Work Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Best Work Productivity Tools