Introduction Productivity Software Tracker
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as 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 within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find 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 Tracker
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will 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 which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with 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 picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy 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 is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at different 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 work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to when and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you 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 right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Software Tracker
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built 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 pay them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether 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 tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major 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 tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of every shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone 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 tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Software Tracker
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Software Tracker