Background Employer Apps
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. 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. As a result, you are paying much more money for things such as 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 like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Employer Apps
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find 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 that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than enough attention and projects 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 program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, 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 does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as 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 really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated 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 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. 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’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Employer Apps
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation 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 at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little 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 infinite number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in 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 questions at the close of every change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument 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 make someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking 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, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees 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 tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One 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 track and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Employer Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Employer Apps