Background Hubstaff Monitor
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is 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. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Monitor
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will 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’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, 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 periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Hubstaff Monitor
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees 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 program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly good deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are 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 a empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of each shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at 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 doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Hubstaff Monitor
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Hubstaff Monitor