Introduction Which Would Not Be Considered Productivity Software
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it is important to understand the various types of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time tracking features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and shift management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Which Would Not Be Considered Productivity Software
Attributes and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room around the side of your display 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 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 find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how busy they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization which lets you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to focus projects which are becoming more than sufficient focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. With the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add the time to your own timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you 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 induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to start monitoring time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The second, and most frustrating, way of monitoring time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are expected to download a native desktop application that lives 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 sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout 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 programs is exactly the same as it’s on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break interval, and you can make it a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. When compared to the PM options in this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There’s no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Which Would Not Be Considered Productivity Software
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff was constructed to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them when the work is done. The Basic $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user settings that may be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover 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 package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Customers that pay yearly will get two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free account, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than 100 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 these hulky PM solutions, then you will need to pony up a bit more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (which is a pretty solid deal if you want all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a major update in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out coverage choices, and adding action levels and monitor tracking. We’ll be analyzing 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 an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there’s no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text area, but that data will not be blended into accounts. This means you can’t use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a question 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 about monitoring work, the application doesn’t allow for IP address restrictions, so your workers can say they are working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they’re using the mobile app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make someone take a selfie before you start recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like electronic, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not allow users clock in via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with 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 Enormous Brother-like features factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and place tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop program not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, for example three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important display but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys however, it does track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then select a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they were there. The Reports module may subsequently run custom questions on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with job and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for workers working in the field. While the depth of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a little more oversight. Which Would Not Be Considered Productivity Software
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to enable customization, atypical data entry, or a more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Which Would Not Be Considered Productivity Software