Background Capers Jones Software Productivity Research
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Capers Jones Software Productivity Research
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every 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 attention projects which are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may 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 age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative 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 choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just 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 do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Capers Jones Software Productivity Research
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really need to cover them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy 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 program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift 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 fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want 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 tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that 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 significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity 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 application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Capers Jones Software Productivity Research
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Capers Jones Software Productivity Research