Intro Hubstaff Blog
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful 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 are paying a lot more cash 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 monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Blog
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots 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 provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app 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 employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when 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’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Remember: Users don’t need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Hubstaff Blog
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 need to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams 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 level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. 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 infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these features 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 instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they’re generating (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You might even add a question for every 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 shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor 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 generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is 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 features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app 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 connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data 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 activity data.
When it comes to program 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 can then run custom questions on vectors such as app 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.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Blog
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, 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 will not be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Blog