Introduction Productivity Software Bundle
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, 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 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Bundle
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created 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 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’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build 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 in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t 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’re able to force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Bundle
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built 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 finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, 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 fundamental plan, but you’ll also get 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 may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly good deal if you need all of the extra 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 overview 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 coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes 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 shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t 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 that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. 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 field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Bundle
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity Software Bundle