Background Hubstaff Projects
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Projects
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve 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 attention projects which are getting more than enough focus 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 your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start tracking time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview 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 employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to 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 budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s 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 set PayPal payments to guide. Hubstaff Projects
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 really need to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, 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 Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application 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 customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you need all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be mixed into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as 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 however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in 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.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track 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 capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Projects
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring 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 online UI. Hubstaff Projects