Background Time Management Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things such as 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 like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Time Management Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the side of your screen 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 this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your internet 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 timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred to not capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much movement was done by your worker by capturing location information 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 duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” 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 so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users do not have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Time Management Productivity Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff was constructed 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 as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user settings which may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit 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 infinite number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should 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 weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding activity levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. This means you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You might even put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the close of every change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to generate 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, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, building, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers 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 an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Time Management Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, in case you choose another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Time Management Productivity Tools