Background Personal Productivity Software
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Personal Productivity Software
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 right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct 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 in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track 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 apps is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Personal Productivity Software
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will 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 monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the close of every change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data 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 little more oversight. Personal Productivity Software
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Personal Productivity Software