Introduction Productivity Software Startups
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash 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 such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Startups
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the 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 overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce 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 tracking time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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 programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Startups
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all 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 applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly good deal if you need all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $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, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the close of each change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not allow for IP address limitations, 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 cell program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve 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 worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity 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, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section may then run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied 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 lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Productivity Software Startups
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible 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 information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, 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 app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Productivity Software Startups