Background Toggl Time Tracker
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger 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 administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Toggl Time Tracker
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room on the right-hand 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 the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked to the system in a 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 boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track 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 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Users do not need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to guide. Toggl Time Tracker
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring 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 major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. 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 may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the end of each change or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees 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 mobile app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with 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 tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does monitor the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how active the employee is. This info all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom queries on vectors like app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it lets you monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can not step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Toggl Time Tracker
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Toggl Time Tracker