Intro Open Source Office Productivity Software Suite
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of 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’ll find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Open Source Office Productivity Software Suite
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid 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 sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure 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 previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied that 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 convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker 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. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Open Source Office Productivity Software Suite
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which 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 program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams 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 those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. 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 unlimited number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess 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 first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond 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 tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. 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 features for companies that want a little more oversight. Open Source Office Productivity Software Suite
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Open Source Office Productivity Software Suite