Intro Griffin Hub Staff
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Griffin Hub Staff
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the 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 overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action 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 three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Griffin Hub Staff
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool 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 automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. 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 handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of every change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not permit for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Griffin Hub Staff
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Griffin Hub Staff