Intro Lit Hub Staff
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much 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 monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Lit Hub Staff
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, 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 becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time should they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually track time, particularly 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 apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location data 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 operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to when 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 have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Lit Hub Staff
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you need all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many 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 you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are 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 create six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You can even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes 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 application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Lit Hub Staff
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Lit Hub Staff