Introduction Hubstaff Freelancer
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash 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 begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Freelancer
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which 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’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides 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’ll also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve 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 that are getting more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not 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 they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location information at different 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 can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software 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 in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Users don’t have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Freelancer
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really need to pay them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly 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 per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee per month 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 degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you want all of the excess 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 overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be testing these features 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 change supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office 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 almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow 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.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Hubstaff Freelancer
Hubstaff is a 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 accessible 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 that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different 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 instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Freelancer