Introduction Software Productivity Models
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds 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 as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change 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 instrument for time tracking. Software Productivity Models
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room around the side of your display 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’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add 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. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to start tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 exactly the same as it is on the desktop app. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target 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 have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t have to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers 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 guide. Software Productivity Models
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features 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 all you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the excess PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including 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 does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not 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’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that information will not be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking 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 questions at the end of every shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your employees can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working 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 almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and activity 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 require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity Models
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Software Productivity Models