Background Team Productivity Tools
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Team Productivity Tools
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 side of your screen 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 the number of 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 have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than enough focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods 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. Together with the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time should 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 confines of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab components 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made 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 lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Remember: Consumers don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Team Productivity Tools
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them when the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking 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 program 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 tool with other third-party applications. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even add a question for every 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 shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers 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, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This info 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 view their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered 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 allows you to track and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Team Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Team Productivity Tools