Intro Remote Tracker
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Remote Tracker
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created 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 first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, 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 which are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods 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 app. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery solution that’s, 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 job, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really 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 throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring 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 program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much 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 employee worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Remote Tracker
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 cover them when the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll 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 provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly 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 those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of every shift or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors 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 screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just 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 a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Remote Tracker
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Remote Tracker