When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Clicktime
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first 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 that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past 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 during the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if 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 allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to 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 have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Clicktime
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring 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 program includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is 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 gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a query for every 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 every change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make 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 worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 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 website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Clicktime
Hubstaff is a 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, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Clicktime