Intro Productivity Software Disadvantages
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring 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 discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Disadvantages
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the right-hand side of your display 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 this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid 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 sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Disadvantages
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift 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 find in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll 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 tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring 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 major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of every change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when 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 set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have 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 worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Disadvantages
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, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity Software Disadvantages