Intro Online Productivity Software
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Online Productivity Software
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created 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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Online Productivity Software
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring 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 fairly good deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run 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 manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of every shift or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This info 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 activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects 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 catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Online Productivity Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right 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–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Online Productivity Software