When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot 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 find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Expenseanywhere
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may 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 through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own 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’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the machine 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 can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly 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 screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and also 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based 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 lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Expenseanywhere
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need 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 infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into reports. This means that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working 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 tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing 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 action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch 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’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Expenseanywhere
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you choose a different 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 tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Expenseanywhere