Introduction Open Source Time Management
When picking a time monitoring 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 tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Open Source Time Management
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working using 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 worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Open Source Time Management
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you need to pay them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental 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 has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you’ll 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 shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You might even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the close of each shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace 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 does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers 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, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker 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 activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Open Source Time Management
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Open Source Time Management