Introduction Productivity Suite Software
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will 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 Suite Software
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era 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 does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the confines of your web browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex 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 programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to 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’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Suite Software
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them when the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes 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 find in the fundamental program, but you will also have 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 within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, 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 a $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 at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are 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 costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even 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 end of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the activity provided via 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 Task tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log place for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Productivity Suite Software
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Suite Software