Background Productivity Software Programs
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Programs
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus 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 can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means 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 apps is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Programs
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to cover them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled in 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 as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also have 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 changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $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 these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program 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 consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be mixed into reports. This means you can’t use it to find out about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even 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 questions at the close of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is 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 can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program 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 require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors 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 does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One 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 website activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Programs
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Software Programs