Introduction Open Source Time Tracking
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Open Source Time Tracking
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means 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 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee 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 operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Open Source Time Tracking
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to pay them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to 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 action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also get 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 power 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 months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra 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 charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not 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 need to pony up a little 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 infinite number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you need all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of every shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start 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, such as retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Open Source Time Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Open Source Time Tracking