Background Productivity Software Suites Typically Include Software
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. 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 much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Software Suites Typically Include Software
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve 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 allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t 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 force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 apps is exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different 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 work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Software Suites Typically Include Software
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want 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 preferences that can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features 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 everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a fairly good deal if you need all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of each change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees 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 tracking. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving 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 pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions 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 particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Suites Typically Include Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different 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 reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Software Suites Typically Include Software