Background Employee Task Tracking
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include 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 larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Employee Task Tracking
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your display 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and projects 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 can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. 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 that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal 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 once they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created 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 lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Employee Task Tracking
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them when the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, 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 get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over 100 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 will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $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 good deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will 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 change supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many 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 field, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of every shift or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat 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 tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s 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 necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity 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 module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Employee Task Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software 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 excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Employee Task Tracking