Intro Software Developer Productivity Tips
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Developer Productivity Tips
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component 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 select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor 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 elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real-time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to their related 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 need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Software Developer Productivity Tips
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you need to cover them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled 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 keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental plan, 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 capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly 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 these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you need 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 overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We are going to be analyzing these features 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business 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 can add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are working, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not 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 monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Software Developer Productivity Tips
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Software Developer Productivity Tips