Background Hubstaff Invasion Of Privacy
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger 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 management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Hubstaff Invasion Of Privacy
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the 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 summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS apps is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made 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 lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Invasion Of Privacy
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. 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 oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t 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 this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra 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 close of each shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start 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, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may then run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Invasion Of Privacy
Hubstaff is a 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’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Invasion Of Privacy