Introduction Productivity Tools With Advanced Application Techniques
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Productivity Tools With Advanced Application Techniques
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display 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 the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a picture 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 blurred not to record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated 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 add 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 programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if 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’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Productivity Tools With Advanced Application Techniques
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees 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 Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, 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 capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred 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 will want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original 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 options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they are working, 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 extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user 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 tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness 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 helpful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Productivity Tools With Advanced Application Techniques
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Productivity Tools With Advanced Application Techniques