Introduction Dave Nevogt With Hubstaff
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Dave Nevogt With Hubstaff
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus 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. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t 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 reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you’d be 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 based on the time each worker worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Dave Nevogt With Hubstaff
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these features 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 oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not 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 get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take 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 too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as 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 not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Dave Nevogt With Hubstaff
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Dave Nevogt With Hubstaff