Background Productivity Software
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things like 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 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that 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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy 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 instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring 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 app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated 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: Users don’t have 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’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Software
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (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 plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. 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 groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $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 choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered 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 location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step 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 little more oversight. Productivity Software
Hubstaff is an 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’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Productivity Software