Intro Productivity Tools 2016
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Tools 2016
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your display 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 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 each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may 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 pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with 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 photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on every grab, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly 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 programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based 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 tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Tools 2016
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting 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.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information will not be blended into reports. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can even add a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the close of every change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could 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 almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place 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, such as 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 action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn 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 such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Tools 2016
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Productivity Tools 2016