Background Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have 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 sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features 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 discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with 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 marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a little 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 unlimited number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking 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 major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of each shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle