Background Productivity Software Solutions
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change 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 tool for time tracking. Productivity Software Solutions
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing 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 gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to 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 pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture 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 to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add the stopwatch and 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based 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 tracked inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Software Solutions
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed 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 plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as 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 how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added 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 costs a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Solutions
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity Software Solutions