Background Tracker Software
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the various kinds of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Tracker Software
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You will also find a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how busy they’ve been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce 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 tracking time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element is available within the boundaries of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will start 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 three shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each 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 complicated and convoluted means to manually track 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 elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real-time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, in addition to their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours that they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you’re concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Tracker Software
Cost And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you 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, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (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 have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the application to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review 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 choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll 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 change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you are 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 won’t be mixed into accounts. This means that you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they’re producing (other than the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You can also put in a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of every change or else 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 restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to see their screenshots connected with action data.
When it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Tracker Software
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Tracker Software