Intro Software Project Productivity Metrics
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 feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Software Project Productivity Metrics
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also 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 let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is 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 find a way to add the stopwatch and screengrab components 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 program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn 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 have attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users don’t have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is no 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 place PayPal payments to manual. Software Project Productivity Metrics
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them as soon as the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find 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 software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll 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 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 each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might even put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app 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 require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock via a phone call, which is a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Software Project Productivity Metrics
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a much 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 needing them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Software Project Productivity Metrics