Background Productivity/Business Software Applications
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity/Business Software Applications
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 apps is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve based on when 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 have attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong 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 false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Productivity/Business Software Applications
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic program, 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 comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can also add a query 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 else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee 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 set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity/Business Software Applications
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, 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–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Productivity/Business Software Applications