Background Software Productivity Formula
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Productivity Formula
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient 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 in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly 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 apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary of just how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Software Productivity Formula
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking 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 fairly solid deal if you need all 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 original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We are going to 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 monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the close of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the activity provided through the mouse and 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 a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied 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 lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Software Productivity Formula
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Software Productivity Formula