Intro Software Productivity And Tools
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Productivity And Tools
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you 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 that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which 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 app. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through 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 pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program will take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means 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 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 program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Software Productivity And Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic 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, along with an $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the excess 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 review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced 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 questions at the close of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity And Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Software Productivity And Tools