Background Office Productivity Software In The Cloud
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover 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 Software In The Cloud
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that 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 overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display 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 complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be much 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 created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Office Productivity Software In The Cloud
Cost 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 need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We’ll 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the close of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program 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 need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see 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 such as program usage mapped against time and action. 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 supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Office Productivity Software In The Cloud
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Office Productivity Software In The Cloud