Background Software Productivity Efficiency
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things such as 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 starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Productivity Efficiency
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. 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 change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really 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 throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached 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 payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Software Productivity Efficiency
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want to pay them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, 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 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of every shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes 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 program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data 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 connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and programs an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring 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 location for employees working in the field. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity Efficiency
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour 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 movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program 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 Productivity Efficiency