Intro Software Productivity Improvement Techniques
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such 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 chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Productivity Improvement Techniques
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past 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 probably did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your web browserevery solution 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, and your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 programs is precisely the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the number of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Software Productivity Improvement Techniques
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. 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 helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll discover in the Basic plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring 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 want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business 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 activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing 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 doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that information will not be blended into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with 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 about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address restrictions, which means your employees 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 track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, construction, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited 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 project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t 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 thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity Improvement Techniques
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we examined makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Software Productivity Improvement Techniques