Introduction What Is Office Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to understand the many different types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. What Is Office Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the right-hand 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 provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient attention and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two ways to add 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 in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add the time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff doesn’t let you add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to require a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we tested, this element is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you’re expected to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your job, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partially blurred not to record sensitive information on each grab, but enough of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and complicated way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real-time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign times and dates for employees to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break interval, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The program’s reporting software is horribly basic: You’ll get access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve based on when and how your employees manage time, you would 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 based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were wrong or right about the amount of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to manual. What Is Office Productivity Tools
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they’re doing while they work, and what you really need to cover them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences which may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by allowing you record screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this amount 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 about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental program, but you’ll also get 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 capability to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to make invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a fundamental free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee monthly for groups with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan 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 consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We are going to be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Aside from its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data won’t be mixed into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who is functioning, how they’re working, and what they are producing (other than the amount of hours monitored ). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can even put in a query 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 each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, which means your employees can say they are working from the office but they can actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in almost every other instrument we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to need users to snap a photograph when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie before you start 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 software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is a component TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of employee tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you place your customers and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s main display but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will track the action provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving companies a calculation of how busy the employee 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 see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section may subsequently run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific projects or tasks to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for employees working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. What Is Office Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and route movements via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. In addition, should you choose a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for monitoring time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. What Is Office Productivity Tools