Background Hubstaff Review
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Hubstaff Review
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re 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 begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working using 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 depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Review
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been 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 want to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives 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 automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, 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 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. 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 (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We’ll be analyzing these features 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 change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites 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 program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Hubstaff Review
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Hubstaff Review