Introduction Business Productivity Apps
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking 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. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Business Productivity Apps
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on 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 provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient 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 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 pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking 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’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 apps is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made 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 inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Business Productivity Apps
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, 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 an $80 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, 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 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest 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 update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll 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 shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. 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 a empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of each shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking 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 retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display 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 just how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Business Productivity Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then 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.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Business Productivity Apps