Intro Web Based Productivity Tools
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Web Based Productivity Tools
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing 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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also find a list of every member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your change, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to ensure they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the system in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app is going to take a picture at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of the screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to add 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 movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which allows you filter information from the above reports. When compared to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn 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 once they’ve reached weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Users do not have to send time through 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 supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Web Based Productivity Tools
Price And Options
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user preferences which can be handled in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work as well as monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen 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 Basic plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third-party applications. The Premium bundle also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign shifts and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium customers may also use the application to make invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee a month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for groups with over 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more costly than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking 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 pretty good deal if you need all of the excess PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We are going to be analyzing these attributes shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke monitoring, Hubstaff doesn’t do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re producing (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 can even put in a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to respond to the queries at the end of every shift or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, 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’re using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate someone take a selfie 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 monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a phone call, which can be a component TSheets along with other service providers make available for workers who do not 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 has 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 activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the worker is. This info all winds up on 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 correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to see what sites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff incorporates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can’t 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 depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a little more oversight. Web Based Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or even a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary program for tracking time–especially when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Web Based Productivity Tools