Intro Software Engineering Productivity Metrics
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Engineering Productivity Metrics
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 summary of the number of 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 every member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways 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 as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start monitoring time should they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring 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’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information 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 work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly 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 aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Software Engineering Productivity Metrics
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, 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 get 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 capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a pretty good deal if you want all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We’ll be testing 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 a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced 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 user to reply to the queries at the end of each change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. 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 includes a helpful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Software Engineering Productivity Metrics
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for 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 instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Software Engineering Productivity Metrics