Introduction Software Office Productivity Tools
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Office Productivity Tools
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive 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 first 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 this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows 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 neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution 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 choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal 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 employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Software Office Productivity Tools
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built 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 cover them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll 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 provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest 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 account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program 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 (which is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to 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 flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these features 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 tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are 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 will not be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might even put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of each change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees 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 almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring 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 electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just 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 from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log place for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Office Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Software Office Productivity Tools