Background Hubstaff Productivity
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust 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 much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Productivity
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots 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 gives 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’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper during 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. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action 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 based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct 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 operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn 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 when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Productivity
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 work, and what you really want to pay them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also have 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 provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll 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 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking 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 options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will 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 oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are 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 data won’t be mixed into accounts. This means that you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of every change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not 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 has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once 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 at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t 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 tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Productivity
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Productivity