Background Internet Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more cash 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 tool for time tracking. Internet Productivity Tools
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 screen for data entry and analysis. When you first 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 that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways 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 feature, you log in your hours since you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method 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 let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that’s, 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 job, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent 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 often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab components 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 apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides 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 do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. 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 payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Users don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Internet Productivity Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to cover them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift 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 Basic plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $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 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate 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 that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who’s working, how they are working, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of each shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software 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 Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program 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 most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how active the worker 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 see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied 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 monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Internet Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Internet Productivity Tools