Background Microsoft Office Productivity Tools
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Microsoft Office Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will 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 have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy 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 attention projects which are getting more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t 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 need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display 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 discover a way to bring 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 programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’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 allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly 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’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t need to send time through for approval, 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 each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Microsoft Office Productivity Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them when the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, 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 fundamental plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 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 company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will 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. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking 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 monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active 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 from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Microsoft Office Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Microsoft Office Productivity Tools