Intro Productivity Improvement Tools
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Improvement Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first 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 that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add 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 attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find 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 programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage 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 created depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Improvement Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition 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 a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $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 good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in 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 however, it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Improvement Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Improvement Tools