When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking 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. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Facetune
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the right-hand 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 gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to 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 induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal 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 partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find 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 programs 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 just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Facetune
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount 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 about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should 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 screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a 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 data will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they are working, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working 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 almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will 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 on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. 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 tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track 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 such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Facetune
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not 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 app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Facetune