Background Measure Software Developer Productivity
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Measure Software Developer Productivity
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the right-hand 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 gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to 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 begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add 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 exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made 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 enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Measure Software Developer Productivity
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll 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 provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per 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 marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking 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 pretty good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company 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 can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (other than 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 can even add 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 questions at the end of each change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor 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 guess it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Measure Software Developer Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Measure Software Developer Productivity