Intro Software Productivity Research
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Software Productivity Research
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means 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 also 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’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. You can set 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 applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as 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: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Software Productivity Research
Cost And Options
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 really want to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program 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 level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring 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 everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also have 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 within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base 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 these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a little 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 consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not 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’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Software Productivity Research
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Software Productivity Research