Intro Free Office Productivity Software Reviews
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature 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. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Free Office Productivity Software Reviews
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on 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 gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Free Office Productivity Software Reviews
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built 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 pay them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse 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 keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be testing 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they are working, 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 make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the end of each shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in 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 however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around 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 connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not 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 tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Free Office Productivity Software Reviews
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Free Office Productivity Software Reviews