Background Online Tracking Software
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Online Tracking Software
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last 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 that are getting more than enough 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 may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add 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 allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is 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 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information 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 operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Online Tracking Software
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (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 find in the Basic 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 package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred 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 alternatives, then you’ll want 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 monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major 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 monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Online Tracking Software
Hubstaff is an 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 program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Online Tracking Software