Introduction Hubstaff Desktop App
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Desktop App
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the 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 provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous 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 likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle 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 limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Desktop App
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into the way that workers 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 on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, 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 has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with over 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’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to 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 weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll 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 doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the end of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could 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 doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Hubstaff Desktop App
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Desktop App