Introduction Productivity System
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as 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 like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity System
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around 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 the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be much 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 depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Productivity System
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to cover them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on 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 applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental 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 base fee monthly for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 consumers (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade 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 screen tracking. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the end of every shift or they won’t 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 employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action 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 take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity System
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior 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 tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different program, 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 reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity System