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When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. 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 tool for time tracking. Free Black Hub
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first 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 that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, 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 tracking time. Unfortunately, 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 formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery 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 select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the display 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 complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Free Black Hub
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking 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 per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you need all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of each change or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating 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 analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some 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 monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log place for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Free Black Hub
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Free Black Hub