Background Productivity Through Software Limited
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift 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 tool for time tracking. Productivity Through Software Limited
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on 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 gives 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’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pen and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, 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 doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides 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 activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab elements 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 movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, 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, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when 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 attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Through Software Limited
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (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 have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest 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 a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). 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 internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. 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 does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run 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 this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they’re producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also add a query 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 each change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right 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 monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Through Software Limited
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 software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Through Software Limited