Background Hubstaff Free Download
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, 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 discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Hubstaff Free Download
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the right-hand 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough 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 is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users do not need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Hubstaff Free Download
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything 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 bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you need all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $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 certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company 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 may add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who’s 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 gives 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 episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, which means 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’re using the cell program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees 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 tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for employees working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Hubstaff Free Download
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Hubstaff Free Download