Introduction Use Time
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things such as 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 begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Use Time
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves lots of room on 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 summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You will also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, 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 focus projects which are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build 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 your hours as you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to 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 force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time if they haven’t clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element can be found within the confines of your web browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab elements 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of just how much movement was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for employees to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, project, and penis view reports as well as a”custom” report that lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees manage 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 funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as their associated pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Remember: Users don’t need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right concerning the number of hours that they worked. There is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to manual. Use Time
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this program lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll find 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 bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the added monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 base fee monthly for teams with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 users (which is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. For example, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking company 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 a empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, that you can’t use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six additional customizable advanced monitoring fields. You might also 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 close of each shift or else 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 employees can say they’re working from the workplace but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell 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 require users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a phone call, which is 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 Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop program not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a useful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Use Time
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular information entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. In addition, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for monitoring time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. Use Time