Background Increased Productivity Definition
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Increased Productivity Definition
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the right-hand 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 how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, 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 previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find 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 apps is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Increased Productivity Definition
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you want all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking 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 specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing these features 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app 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 display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Increased Productivity Definition
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Increased Productivity Definition