Background Hubstaff Solo Lite
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, 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 like 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 tool for time tracking. Hubstaff Solo Lite
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the right-hand 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 how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, 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’re able to induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the confines of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a 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 action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot 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 is an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, 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 with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Hubstaff Solo Lite
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package 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 make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. 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 an $80 foundation fee per month 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’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. 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 users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). 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 company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing 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 change supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as 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 mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Hubstaff Solo Lite
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Hubstaff Solo Lite