Intro Hub Stuff
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hub Stuff
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the side of your display 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 previous seven days. You will also find 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 instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build 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 probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a 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’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex 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 components 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 movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. 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 program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage 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 funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated 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. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Hub Stuff
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes 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 discover 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 has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $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 good deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking 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 flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each 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 information will not be mixed into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program 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 module may then run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t 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 bit more oversight. Hub Stuff
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Hub Stuff