When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools like 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 within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Upwork
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on the right-hand side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many 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 every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the past 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 that are becoming more than sufficient attention and projects that are being neglected.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you likely did with pencil and paper through the analog age of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce 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 begin monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your web browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your job, 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 app is going to take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling 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, 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 apps is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an overview of just how much motion was done 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 put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve based on if and how your employees manage time, you would be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to their related pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored within the tool. Keep in mind: Consumers don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Upwork
Price And Options
Hubstaff was 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 cover them as soon as the job is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan provides you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program enables you to keep tabs on whether your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this level of insight into how workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change 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 discover in the fundamental program, but you will also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. 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 customers may also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (which is a pretty good deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest 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 significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. 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 does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change supervision. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data won’t be blended into reports. This means you can’t use it to learn about who is working, how they are functioning, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You might even put in a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of each change or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your workers can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock in via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. However, the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can’t measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of attributes for companies that want a bit more oversight. Upwork
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you opt for a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Upwork