Introduction Productivity Metrics
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, 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 cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Metrics
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention 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 past 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 as you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record 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 complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand 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 once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Users don’t have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Metrics
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 operate, and what you need to pay them when the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly good deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant 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 features 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 a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can even add 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 questions at the end of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to track 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 photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Metrics
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Productivity Metrics