Introduction Software Developer Productivity
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Developer Productivity
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around 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 gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to 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 attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Software Developer Productivity
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program 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 working by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also get 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 provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring 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 certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the close of every shift or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it’s 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 necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes 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 machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data 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 activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not 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 tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Developer Productivity
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Software Developer Productivity