Intro Toggle It
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Toggle It
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides 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 see a list of every member, their latest jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods 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 app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring 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 programs let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”custom” report which lets you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees handle time, you would be much 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 made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are worried about making false payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Toggle It
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed 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 work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $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 specific feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information won’t be mixed into accounts. This means that you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they are generating (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of every change or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the cell program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does 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 on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can then run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job 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 monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to track and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring data and surveillance features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Toggle It
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Toggle It