Background Time Tracking Tool
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Time Tracking Tool
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being neglected.
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 program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked to the system in a little while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found 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 begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated 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 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 how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the application. Remember: Consumers do not need to send time through for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Time Tracking Tool
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring 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 plan includes all you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (which is a fairly solid deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We’ll be analyzing 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 shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who is functioning, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can even put in a question for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the questions at the close of each shift or they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions 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 particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Time Tracking Tool
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Time Tracking Tool