Intro Help Desk Time Tracking
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring 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’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift 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 tool for time tracking. Help Desk Time Tracking
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on 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 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 will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which 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 can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not record sensitive information on every grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is really 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 discover 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 apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Remember: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Help Desk Time Tracking
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you 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 job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you will 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 changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they’re producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the end of every change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor 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 website activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Help Desk Time Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Help Desk Time Tracking