Introduction Hubstaff Idle
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover 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 Idle
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than sufficient focus 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 may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will begin 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 depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense 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 find a way to add 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based 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 application. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, so 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 supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Idle
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was 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 done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record 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 the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients 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 extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 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’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will 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 tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $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 update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll 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 shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of each change 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 restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program 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 attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Idle
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Hubstaff Idle