Background Software Productivity And Quality
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Productivity And Quality
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pen and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to 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 need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen 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 find a way to bring 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 programs is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Software Productivity And Quality
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them when the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred 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 will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a fairly good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $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 update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, 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 tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. 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 manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to create 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.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered 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 track and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Software Productivity And Quality
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Software Productivity And Quality