Background Work Time Counter
When picking a time monitoring tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more money for things such as file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Work Time Counter
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves lots of room around the side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the previous seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their latest jobs, and how busy they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows 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 can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you likely did with pencil and paper during the analog age of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can’t use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they can force users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins may also set the system up to remind users to start tracking time if they haven’t clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the boundaries of your internet browser–every solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that resides within a separate window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your timer will begin counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native program is going to take a picture at random periods of up to three shots per hour based on how often the admin wants to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not capture sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of the display is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and 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 exactly the same as it is on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This gives you an summary of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at distinct stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for workers to do the job. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting software is terribly basic: You’ll receive access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports as well as a”habit” report which lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions in this course, Hubstaff’s reporting is utterly embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created based on the time each worker worked, in addition to his or her related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time tracked within the application. Remember: Users do not have to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether workers were wrong or right concerning the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for managers to double-check every timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out thus, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to set PayPal payments to guide. Work Time Counter
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you need to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to easy time tracking tools, an employee payment schedule manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that may be managed on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether your employees are operating by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool which provided this amount of insight into the way that 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 on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party applications. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from inside the console. Premium customers can also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay yearly will get two weeks free (for both price tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, particularly given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets supplies a fundamental free accounts, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams with fewer than 100 users, along with an $80 foundation fee per month for teams with over a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more cash. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time monitoring plan is $25 a month for an infinite number of users (that is a fairly good deal if you want all 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 original review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant update in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity 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.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you operate a trucking company and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle that in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to an empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into reports. As a consequence, that you can not use it to find out about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this option, it provides you the ability to make six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You might also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or else they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it is overkill to make somebody take a selfie right before you start 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 retail, construction, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock via a phone call, which is an element TSheets and other service providers make available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time monitoring. But the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and location tracking, and action screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer app onto their machine, the desktop app not only monitors time but will take screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors as well. Hubstaff does not log keys but it will track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of how busy the worker is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Task tab. This is where you can then select a user in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots correlated with activity data.
When it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what websites and apps a worker opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors such as app usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff incorporates with project and task management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the field. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful selection of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Work Time Counter
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clockthen there’s no better program accessible than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform which goes the extra mile to enable customization, irregular information entry, or a much more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for a different system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for monitoring time–especially once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Work Time Counter