Intro Increase Productivity
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Increase Productivity
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides 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’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are getting more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. 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 they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially 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 programs is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Increase Productivity
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to cover them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all 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 applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a bit 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 users (that is a pretty good deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of 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 will not be mixed into accounts. This means that you can not use it to find out about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of each change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so 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 cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t 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 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 electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking 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 many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Increase Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Increase Productivity