Introduction Office Productivity
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking 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 shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Office Productivity
Characteristics 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’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects 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 attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within another 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 transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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 apps is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users don’t need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Office Productivity
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 need to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything 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 applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as 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 foundation fee per month for groups with over 100 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 those hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be blended into reports. This means you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is 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 mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily 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 attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers 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 attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving 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 select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor 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 catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Office Productivity
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Office Productivity