Introduction Free Productivity Software
When picking a time monitoring 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. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find 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. Free Productivity Software
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty 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 this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Free Productivity Software
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 cover them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, 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 fundamental plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly 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 more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t 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’ll want to pony up a little more cash. 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 unlimited number of users (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many 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 won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of each shift or else they won’t 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 can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, 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 just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered 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 monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Free Productivity Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Free Productivity Software