Introduction Not Productivity Software
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash 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 such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Not Productivity Software
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods 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 program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Not Productivity Software
Cost And Options
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 pay them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price 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 resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly 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 tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing 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 change supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of each shift or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see 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 a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Not Productivity Software
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Not Productivity Software