Intro Software Developer Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Developer Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that 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 construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected 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 are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the display 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 complicated and complicated way 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 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 program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Software Developer Productivity Tools
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want to pay them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard 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 program 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 applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create 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 reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all of 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 major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond 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 does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise boat 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 tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Software Developer Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Software Developer Productivity Tools