Background Corporate Productivity Tools
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Corporate Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Usage
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 log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate 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 app is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Corporate Productivity Tools
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, 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 mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features 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 discover in the fundamental 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 comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you want all 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 business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a 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 data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of every change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place 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 does not let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section can then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job 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 monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Corporate Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Corporate Productivity Tools