Background Productivity Software Evaluation Rubric
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Evaluation Rubric
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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods 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 app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are 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 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached 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 within the application. Remember: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Evaluation Rubric
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, 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 have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty 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 original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into reports. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the close of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app 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 however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered 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 allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Software Evaluation Rubric
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Software Evaluation Rubric