Background Hubstaff Google Chrome Extension
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger 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 change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Google Chrome Extension
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many 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 each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for 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 really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 programs is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if 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 have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Google Chrome Extension
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you need to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings 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 allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, 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’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also comes with 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 create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring 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 solid deal if you need 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 original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll 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 oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of each shift or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not 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’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Google Chrome Extension
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Google Chrome Extension