Intro Free Tracking Software
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Free Tracking Software
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around 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 gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly 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 methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Free Tracking Software
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are 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 monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to 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 flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. This means that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they’re generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even add a question 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 end of each change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Free Tracking Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Free Tracking Software