Background Productivity Software Technology
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring 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 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’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Software Technology
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your display 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 how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways 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. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. 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 change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to 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 reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Users don’t need to send time through for acceptance, so 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 each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Software Technology
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed 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 as soon as the work 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 which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into the way that employees 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 about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, 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 comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a fairly good deal if you want all 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 company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll 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 change supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also add a question 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 every shift or else they won’t be able 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 working 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 instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, 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 connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Software Technology
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Productivity Software Technology