Intro Software Development Productivity
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Development Productivity
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in 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 attribute, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find 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 apps is precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn 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 limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Software Development Productivity
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them when the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides 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 plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything 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 software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $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 screen monitoring. We are going to 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not 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 handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the close of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers 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 most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity 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 were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the area. While the depth 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 little more oversight. Software Development Productivity
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Software Development Productivity