When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Expenses
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created 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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. 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 procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start 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 intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add 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 program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Expenses
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover 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 bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want 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 monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. 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 doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn 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 option, it provides 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.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the close of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with 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 Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app 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 connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One 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 website activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Expenses
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’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Expenses