Intro Time Logger
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Time Logger
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on 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 provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 tracking. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets 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 according to if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Time Logger
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed 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 cover them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all 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 package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both price 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 account, in addition to 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 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you will want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (that is a pretty solid deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who’s working, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the close of every shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the office 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 standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which is 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 Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action 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 in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any connected monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Time Logger
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Time Logger