Introduction Productivity Monitoring Software
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different 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 larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Monitoring Software
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 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 summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era 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 procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines 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 another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives 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 workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Monitoring Software
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. 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 consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company 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 tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many 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 field, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies 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 pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Monitoring Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Monitoring Software