Background Productivity Sites
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Sites
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that 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 overview of how many 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 each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve 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 which are getting more than sufficient 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 may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not 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 can induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app is going to 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 partially fuzzy not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add 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 apps is precisely 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 how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Sites
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to pay them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring 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 everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over 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 are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the end of each shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means 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 mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up around 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 program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Sites
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Productivity Sites