Background Software Engineer Productivity
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Engineer Productivity
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build 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 since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated 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 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 apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was performed 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 can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would 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 created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Users don’t have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Software Engineer Productivity
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really need to pay them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (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 fundamental 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 package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the application to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. 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 teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $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 the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who’s working, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can also put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the end of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not let users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker 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 set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Software Engineer Productivity
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, 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 monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the confines of their online UI. Software Engineer Productivity