Intro Employee Productivity
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 robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Employee Productivity
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active 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 that are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and 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 picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also screengrab elements 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on 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 when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her related 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. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Employee Productivity
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all 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 software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll 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 shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. 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 is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of each shift or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks 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 screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Employee Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not 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 program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Employee Productivity