Intro Productivity Software Tasks
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Software Tasks
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked into the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need 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 no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Tasks
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to pay them when the work is finished. 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 may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic 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 bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. 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 monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of every change or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit 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 boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and 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 monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers 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 per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Tasks
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re 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, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity Software Tasks