Intro Productive Solutions
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as 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 as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productive Solutions
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find 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 gives you an overview of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on 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’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. 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 citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Productive Solutions
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 when the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, 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 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 package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared 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 fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring 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 major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. 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 monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For 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 handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display 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 retail, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productive Solutions
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not 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 tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productive Solutions