Background Open Source Attendance Tracking
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Open Source Attendance Tracking
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that 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 how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
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 app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you 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 not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture 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 complex and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 programs is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at different 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’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand 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 when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Open Source Attendance Tracking
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how 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 desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the fundamental 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 package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll 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 tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the close of each change or else 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, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers 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 tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Open Source Attendance Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Open Source Attendance Tracking