Background Good Productivity
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Good Productivity
Characteristics 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’ll 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 have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than sufficient 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 may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not 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’re able to force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much movement was done by your worker 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 put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be much 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 worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Good Productivity
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, 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 comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months 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 tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams 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 level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review 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 coverage choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of 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’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Good Productivity
Hubstaff is a 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 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 looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Good Productivity