Background Windows Productivity Tools
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to comprehend the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature powerful time monitoring features for professional services companies. On the other hand, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more money for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Windows Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room on the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects that are becoming more than enough attention and projects 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 attribute, you log your hours since you likely did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can’t use the platform for a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can induce users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to let users to begin monitoring time if they haven’t clocked into the system in a while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element is available within the confines of your internet browser–every solution that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are 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 are done, your activity and your screenshots will be transmitted to the principal hub. The native app 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 employees. Screenshots can be partially fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each catch, but enough of the screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of if the display is on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually monitor time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover 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 precisely the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This provides you an summary 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 employees to work. It is possible to set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you can make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter information from the above 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 would be much better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each employee worked, as well as his or her associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside 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 is not any reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet before automatic payments go out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Windows Productivity Tools
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to pay them as soon as the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time monitoring tools, a worker payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan enables you to keep tabs on whether or not your employees are working by letting you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which offered this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although keyboard and screen tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a change screen, 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 program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium clients can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared 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 supplies a basic free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee a month for teams with fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee monthly for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more costly than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in these hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a fairly good deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the business 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 tracking. 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 does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced monitoring. If you operate a trucking business and you’re less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text area, but that data will not be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they are working, and what they are producing (other than the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it gives you the ability to make six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You might also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the close of every shift or they will not be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, so your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell program to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I guess it is overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, especially if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, construction, or amusement work). The program also does not let users clock via a telephone call, which can be a component TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Tracking Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like features factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
Once you place your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the action provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how busy the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to program and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps a worker visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile program. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log place for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for employers that want a bit more oversight. Windows Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the excess mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a much more sophisticated reporting structure, then Hubstaff won’t be perfect for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the confines of their online UI. Windows Productivity Tools