Introduction Personal Productivity
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Personal Productivity
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty 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 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 will also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied 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, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn 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’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Personal Productivity
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument 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 wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly 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 little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). 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 company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each 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 information won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the close of each shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, 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.
Tracking 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 a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Personal Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not 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 program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Personal Productivity