Background Virtual Time Tracker
When picking a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring 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 discussion, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Virtual Time Tracker
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a solid PM data visualization which allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with past 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 probably did with pen and paper through the analog age of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard method of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to require a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they have not clocked to the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate 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 sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but enough of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and complicated means to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through 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 is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This provides you an overview of how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports in addition to a”habit” report which lets you filter data from the above reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to understand and evolve according to when and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the application. Remember: Consumers don’t have to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers 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 go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to manual. Virtual Time Tracker
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really want to cover them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by letting you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially 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 costs a $16 base fee a month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for teams with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll want 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 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding activity levels and screen monitoring. 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 does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run 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 this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text area, but that information will not be mixed into reports. This means that you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You can even add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the queries at the close of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument 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 generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and tracking 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, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what websites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module can subsequently run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of features for companies that want a little more oversight. Virtual Time Tracker
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track 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 data entry, or a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for monitoring time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Virtual Time Tracker