Background Time Boss
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Time Boss
Attributes and Utilization
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 display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this 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 tasks, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add 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 since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 apps is exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to 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 software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, 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’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee 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: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Time Boss
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them when the work is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover 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 software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses 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 features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to find out about who’s working, how they’re functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the questions at the close of each change or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is a component 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 attributes 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 tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies 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 pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like 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 mobile app can’t 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 data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Time Boss
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain 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. Time Boss