Intro Office Productivity Apps
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Office Productivity Apps
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your screen 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to 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 tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Office Productivity Apps
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially 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 costs a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you want 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 first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of every change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Office Productivity Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements 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 advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Office Productivity Apps