Intro Software Development Productivity Tools
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change 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 Development Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Usage
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 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 previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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 programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to 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 in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Software Development Productivity Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you want to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, 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 Basic program, 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 comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides 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. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, 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 does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate 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 handle this in Hubstaff. Users may 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’s working, how they are working, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the end of each change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are 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 track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view 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 were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Software Development Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Software Development Productivity Tools