Background Productivity Suite
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Suite
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in 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 attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a picture 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 to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed 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 work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Suite
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes 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 all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be 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 attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, 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 require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on 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 connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for employees working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Suite
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 will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Productivity Suite