Intro Project Time Tracking
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring 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 such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Project Time Tracking
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past 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 through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking 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 previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action 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 depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at different 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 work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and budget 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 payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users don’t need to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Project Time Tracking
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to pay them as soon as the work is finished. 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 which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with 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 make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for groups 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 degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will need 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 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $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 significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to 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 monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile 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 photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring 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 has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at 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 but it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Project Time Tracking
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Project Time Tracking