Introduction Software Productivity Group
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger 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 shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Productivity Group
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the side of your screen 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 how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog age 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 fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. You can 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 terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage 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 funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Software Productivity Group
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will 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 capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $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 upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the close of every change or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile 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 require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors like 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.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity Group
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’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their web-based UI. Software Productivity Group