The COVID-19 outbreak forced a lot of companies to experiment with remote work. Now, the idea of working from home or having a hybrid schedule is becoming more common in the workplace. However, companies are in need of better project management tools to provide visibility into daily tasks.
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Hubstaff is a platform that helps business owners manage their employees’ time, productivity, and pay. It can be customized for both large and small businesses. The application can also handle payroll management by automatically calculating it from data and directly depositing money without you even thinking about it.
This work management platform, which was created in 2012 by David Nevogt and Jared Brown, can also be integrated into other systems to completely manage your business. Ready to learn more? Here’s a review of Hubstaff.
What is Hubstaff?
Hubstaff is an application that is used for managing your workforce and projects. It is available on desktop, tablet, web, and mobile devices (It works on both iOS and android), so you can manage your staff from anywhere. It is an in-depth platform providing proof of work and team management as well as the ability to track time.
Hubstaff also provides information from those in the field, including GPS location tracking. It helps to provide flexible management of projects for both small and large teams.
Hubstaff Talent is a part of Hubstaff that helps business leaders easily find talent to work remotely globally for free.
Check out our roundup of the Best Time Tracking Software
What are the pros and cons of Hubstaff?
Hubstaff has some advantageous aspects of its application that help many business owners and leaders in dealing with data, employees, and other aspects of their work. It also has some disadvantages that appear to be common among users. Both are listed below.
- User-friendly interface
Users of this platform love the interface. The interface is simple and has a user-friendly design. Features are easily found and it’s easy to get to reports and quick insights from the interface.
The interface also offers new information daily on the best ways to manage workflow and improve functionality.
Users can customize the platform to meet their specific needs with reports on each team’s efficiency and tracking productivity. It can be set up to offer insights into performance, as well as sending invoices, creating real-time reports, dealing with payroll, and it can even take screen captures.
- Reduces workload
Business owners all said this platform ultimately reduces their workload in dealing with daily tasks like reports, payroll, and performance tracking. One of the key pluses for those using this program is the HubTalent side, where it monitors work done by remote employees, saving both time and money in overall business operations.
- Limited integrations
Some of the integrations are difficult to put into the system. Some are hard to drag and drop because the platform requires attachments or discussions that aren’t truly necessary or available.
Users say some features, like payroll, are challenging to integrate because of the numerous protocols, steps, and questions that must be answered before they can be implemented.
- No live chat
This is the number one complaint among users. They said they need live chat either to talk to employees about projects or to talk to customer support.
- Bad service
Bad customer service is another common complaint from those with a Hubstaff account. Users said representatives were not educated on their platform and the response time was far too long.
What are the best features of Hubstaff?
Hubstaff has some excellent features for anyone running a business, whether it is a small business or a large corporation. The features help promote productivity, make sure payroll is correct, and keeps data organized. Some of Hubstaff’s best features include:
Work time can be tracked through a Hubstaff desktop app. It isn’t a complete surveillance tool as employees can choose when they want to record their work hours, but payroll depends on their time so they are motivated to use the app to get paid.
The app, when in use, monitors how your team is spending their time. This includes screen activity, how much time it took to finish a project. It can use the data to automate invoices for your clients too.
Many companies are using remote workers, but companies want to ensure that workers are actually working while they’re at home. As a result, platforms like Hubstaff take periodic screenshots to ensure employees or freelancers are being productive.
This tool can take screenshots every 10 minutes and allows you to view all of your team’s screens on one page so it is easy to figure out from one glance if there’s any idle time.
Project status monitoring
Hubstaff.com produces reports automatically that put an employee’s workweek into perspective. Each team has a dashboard that shows each team member’s working hours. It also lists tasks and completed projects over the week.
It also shows who is online and shows their activity levels over the past seven days so you will know who is operating most effectively.
Your clients can also take a peek at how their project is going through the “members” tab. They can’t interject opinions into your platform but can view progress, which will give them confidence without consistently calling you for updates.
How much does Hubstaff cost?
Hubstaff isn’t as pricey as you would think for the amount of monitoring, reports, payroll, and other features it offers. Here’s a look at pricing:
- Desk Free: There is a desk-free version. However, it’s for one user only and is basically there for you to give the app a test run. You can use the time tracking software, create timesheets, and monitor activity levels.
- There are limited screenshots, reports, and payments.
- Desk Starter: This is typically $14 a month and includes two users but you can get it for $7 a month by paying for a year upfront. Beyond the features offered, it allows one integration, has 24-hour support and per-user settings.
- Desk Pro: This typically starts at $20 monthly but it is $10 with a year payment. It includes two users. It offers several features beyond the starter plan including invoices, payroll, client and project budgets, and expense tracking.
This package starts at $40 a month but is $20 monthly with the advance subscription payment. It includes two users. This package includes VIP support, concierge set up, and unlimited job sites, among other special features.
There is a 14-day free trial for any of the paid programs and the company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
What kind of customer support can users expect?
Unfortunately, customer service at Hubstaff isn’t the best. Users said the support team wasn’t helpful because they didn’t appear to understand the platform enough themselves to be able to answer questions. Also, the response time was really slow.
One of the problems is that users said they have to restart their whole narrative of problems every time they talk to a representative and they feel like they are going around in circles without solving the problem.
Hubstaff suggests that most questions and concerns be submitted by email at [email protected].
What are the benefits of Hubstaff?
One of the overall benefits of using Hubstaff is you can control employee costs and monitor work hours to make sure you are truly paying for work. That can help reduce costs and improve efficiency. Below are some specific benefits of using the application
Hubstaff has a scheduling tab where you can assign your employee’s dates and times for work. It also allows you to set a minimum and maximum for hours and even a lunch break.
It can be set up where invoices are generated automatically based on the work hours of each employee and paid out with or without your approval. Automated payroll can be set up through PayPal.
This is helpful for businesses with employees working outside the office, like those at construction sites, residences, or other businesses, or doing surveying.
GPS location tracking through the mobile app allows a business to log employees’ locations. It doesn’t go as far as to monitor activity or do live recordings but the app ensures you of where your employees are when they are in the field.
There is also a feature that tells you when someone arrives at a job site or leaves.
Hubstaff can be used to monitor keystrokes of employees to assess their productivity. The system doesn’t record what they type or their exact activity but does note they are working. This is shown on the dashboard and can be used to see how many are working on a project at a specific time. This can help managers get a better idea of a project’s progress.
What are the disadvantages of Hubstaff?
There are always disadvantages to every system and below are some from using Hubstaff.
Some express concern about using a tracking system like Hubstaff because it could build distrust between managers and employees. This can be overcome by letting them become familiar with the ins and outs of the platform and showing them how using it will ensure they are paid for all hours they work.
While Hubstaff does have geotracking for those working outside the office, it doesn’t have productivity tracking for those employees as some other systems do. Hubstaff is best suited for those who use computers for the majority of their work.
Because it is computer-based, it doesn’t always show the work happening beyond the computer. For instance, it can’t detect meeting with a client, reading from a physical book or documents, organizing a project with folders and documents on a desk, or holding a phone conversation.
What if I don’t want my boss to see all my screenshots?
Hubstaff randomly takes screenshots while you are on the app. However, there is an option to blur screenshots so their progress can be tracked without invading privacy or possibly disclosing sensitive information.
This aspect works like an employee monitoring software, but it can be turned off if a manager chooses to do so.
Are audio and video recorded with Hubstaff?
No, Hubstaff does not record audio and video. It is classified as a task management tool and not a surveillance tool. The company pledges to never record sounds from microphones or videos from your screen or webcams.
Can Hubstaff monitor me when I’m not working?
No, you must be signed into the application for the platform to monitor productivity, location, and to do screenshots. It stops tracking work when the timer is stopped or you log out of the app.
Does Hubstaff track IP addresses?
No, Hubstaff doesn’t track any IP address on any device. IP addresses are not necessary for how the monitoring system is used.
How is privacy addressed?
Employees are made aware of the Hubstaff application and must sign up for it to be included in its use. They have control over when they want time tracked. Employees receive a notification when time tracking begins and when the screenshots are taken.
Employees also have access to all their data. They can delete tracking that was done for non-work tasks without requiring permission from a manager and those will not be included in work hours.
How does the time tracking work?
The employee starts tracking the time as they begin a task. Hubstaff runs in the background. You can switch tasks or stop tracking at any time. It completely stops all activity once you stop tracking and doesn’t record anything that you do when you aren’t allowing tracking.
How does Hubstaff track activity?
Hubstaff can track things like websites and other applications an employee uses while the app is running. It also looks at keyboard and mouse activity to determine activity rates. After a time using the app, the platform sets a baseline for the remote team’s average productivity and then compares future activity to that baseline.
Who are Hubstaff’s competitors?
Hubstaff isn’t the only project management tool on the market. Competing platforms include Asana, Basecamp, and Trello. However, many of these platforms only manage projects and aren’t the all-in-one solution that Hubstaff offers.