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When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various kinds 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. As a result, you’re paying a lot more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Team User Free Download
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build 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 as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure 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 formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity 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 wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 programs is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much movement was done by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Team User Free Download
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this level 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 everything you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, 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, along with a $80 base fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You might even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the close of every shift or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell app to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Team User Free Download
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Team User Free Download