Background What Is Hubstaff
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, 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 cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. What Is Hubstaff
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which 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 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 see 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 immediately calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in 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 since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a fairly standard method of tracking time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff doesn’t allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a motive to guarantee they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of tracking 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 solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, along with your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program is going to take a photo at random intervals of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to record sensitive information on every grab, but enough of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much movement was performed by your worker by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for workers to do the job. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report that allows you filter information from the above reports. In comparison to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s coverage is utterly embarrassing so, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you’d be much better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the application. Keep in mind: Consumers do not need to send time for acceptance, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the amount of hours they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re worried about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. What Is Hubstaff
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they’re doing while they operate, and what you really want to pay them when the job is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they function as well as monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that offered this level of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more about this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the Basic plan, but you’ll also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its nearest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for teams with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s cheapest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be analyzing 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text area, but that data will not be mixed into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to learn about who is working, how they’re working, and what they are generating (other than the number 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 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 queries at the close of every change or else they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they are working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to set this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done out of a computer, such as electronic, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Once you set your customers and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not just to the user’s main screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it will monitor the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports section can subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log location for employees working in the field. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not step up to a powerhouse tool such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a little more oversight. What Is Hubstaff
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS tracking.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, irregular data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be right for you. In addition, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary program for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the confines of their web-based UI. What Is Hubstaff