Background Microsoft Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Microsoft Productivity Tools
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand 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 the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct 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 since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if 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. Unfortunately, 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 previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action 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 partially fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Microsoft Productivity Tools
Cost And Alternatives
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 want to pay them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool 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 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 fundamental 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 has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get 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 tracking 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 a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee per month for teams 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 degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of each shift 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 limitations, which means 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 program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied 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 allows you to track and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data 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 employers that want a bit more oversight. Microsoft Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program available 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 extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Microsoft Productivity Tools