Background Desktop Tracking Software
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Desktop Tracking Software
Characteristics and Utilization
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 summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution 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 choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab components to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real-time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, 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 within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using 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 based on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users don’t have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Desktop Tracking Software
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to cover them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, 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 mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you’ll 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 delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will 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 unlimited number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess 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 original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you will 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 change supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not 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 handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You can even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the end of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring 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 location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Desktop Tracking Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Desktop Tracking Software