Intro Top Productivity Apps 2016
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Top Productivity Apps 2016
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around 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 summary of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and the number of hours they have 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 strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you also 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 not use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, and your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native program will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on every catch, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring shift. The program’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d 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 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 tool. Remember: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Top Productivity Apps 2016
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you need to cover them when the work 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 may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover 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 applications. The Premium bundle also has 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 make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 base fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly 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 little more money. 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 unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, such as adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. 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 tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. 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 manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they are functioning, and what they are generating (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, which means 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 are using the cell program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also does not allow users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you set your customers 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, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and programs a worker 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 project and job 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 program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Top Productivity Apps 2016
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Top Productivity Apps 2016