When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking 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 are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Timesheet
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand 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 overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own 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 for a shift planner. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your web browserevery solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was done by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much 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 made depending on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Users don’t need to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There is not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Timesheet
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to pay them as soon as the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing 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 level of insight into how 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 about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental 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 package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will receive two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee per month for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you will need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring 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 need all the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to 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 supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many 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 area, but that information will not be mixed into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to reply to the questions at the end of each shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as 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 but it does monitor the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module can then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log location for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful choice of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Timesheet
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Timesheet