Background Top Productivity Websites
When choosing a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying much 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 find pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Top Productivity Websites
Attributes and Usage
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 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 this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization that lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than enough attention and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods 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 app. With the timesheet feature, you log in your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re actually 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 little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides 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 sent 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 frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of just how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times 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 applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report that allows you filter data from the above reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, as well as his or her related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers do not have to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out thus, if you’re worried about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. Top Productivity Websites
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you want to cover them as soon as the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes all you’ll find in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee monthly for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program 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 consumers (which 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 original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are working, and what they’re generating (aside from the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also put in a question 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 close of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool doesn’t allow for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be operating 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 virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their display 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, like retail, building, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the action provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of how active the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a helpful selection of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Top Productivity Websites
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or even a more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose another system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Top Productivity Websites