Intro Efficiency Apps
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, 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 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Efficiency Apps
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the right-hand 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 past seven days. You’ll 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 which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly 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 can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can 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 age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t 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’re able to force 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 monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find 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 apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Efficiency Apps
Price And Alternatives
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 need to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, 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 Basic plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also comes with 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 make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, 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 tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly 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 major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are 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 an empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even 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 shift or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered 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 location for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Efficiency Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Efficiency Apps