Introduction Productivity Tools Wikipedia
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Productivity Tools Wikipedia
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous 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 likely did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was done 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. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with 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 his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Remember: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Productivity Tools Wikipedia
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to cover them when the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest 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 major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be analyzing 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 supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. 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 manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the close of each shift or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (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 let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program 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 most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not 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 thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Productivity Tools Wikipedia
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Productivity Tools Wikipedia