When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Minute7
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention 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 can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex 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 elements 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target 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 made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Minute7
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic 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 provides administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $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 significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in a query 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 close of each change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are 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 normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous 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 application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to see 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 apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Minute7
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Minute7