With the rise of internet work-from-home jobs and freelancing, our concept of a workplace is steadily changing. Today, our notion of a traditional workplace can be different from the rooms full of individual cubicles that we were used to. HubStaff, a software from a company of the same name established in the United States, offers its services for traditional, distant, or even entirely online offices.
An employee tracking software is used to track whether or not employees are keeping on with their duties, in addition to screen and be aware of unwanted or illegal activity. Aside from monitoring behavior, it may also be used to handle any sort of workplace and make it more productive.
Monitor Productivity and Improve Coordination with HubStaff Cons of Hubstaff
HubStaff includes the features that you would expect from an employee tracking software such as:
Online Activity Monitoring:
We all know full well that social media kills productivity. All too frequently, a few swipes on any social media app will end up consuming hours of our time, even at work. Checking up on important notifications from time to time is acceptable, but it’s helpful if managers know when it is becoming a problem. HubStaff can help track if employees use too much social media and other applications that hamper productivity.
HubStaff can take note of the websites (and even the url of the exact page) that employees visit during work hours, as well as the time they spend on it. Traffic from applications can also be tracked and the time spent on them is also listed.
The data is displayed neatly, and managers can see the page title of the visited pages, the url, and the time spent, all in one glance. They can also visit the links displayed to verify if workers really are letting time slide on sites unrelated to work.
Tracking individual displays is too much of a hassle and can be quite awkward if done personally. But then, it’s necessary for when a remote workplace setup is in order where it is impossible to handle employees in person.
HubStaff has a feature that could enable managers to take screenshots of their employees’ screens at a customizable time interval, with 10 minutes as the default. If this sounds too much of an invasion of privacy, then it can be set to have the screenshots be partly blurred. In this way, managers can determine if employees are working in their desks rather than playing games or watching movies, without exposing possible sensitive information.
It must be noted that employees would know that this feature is activated on their displays. Employees would also have the ability to look at the screenshots taken from their displays just so that they’ll be assured that this feature is implemented just for reasons related to work.
That said, this still has an influence on the behavior of employees as knowing that their screens are monitored is enough of a reason for them to perform their tasks.
Monitor Activity on Computer Peripheral Devices
In standard office setups, the sound of keyboard strokes and mouse clicks can be enough of a measure of worker activity. HubStaff can detect keyboard strokes and mouse interaction and discover times of inactivity where none of those instances are found.
HubStaff can then compare the overall time where the mouse or keyboard is active to the overall time spent working. HubStaff believes a productivity rate of at least 60% as a good sign. Productivity rates of less than 60% can indicate that an employee is taking too much time on the desk doing nothing, or if a worker is doing too slowly.
The dashboard for this tool displays the productivity rate of every member of the group. In this way, the tool can also be used to see how many members of the team are working on a project at a specified time.
Work Limit Monitoring Cons of Hubstaff
Working overtime is also becoming more of a standard, even so in countries such as Japan where it’s an unofficial standard. Reasons can vary from employees wanting to complete their jobs early, catch up on projects, and some are just workaholics who wish to be running as much as possible.
However, it’s been demonstrated that too much work could be harmful as productivity and creativity declines without enough rest. There is a good reason why there is a regular 8 hours of work every day.
HubStaff can help managers track if employees are working a lot of hours per week. They can set the maximum time every week that employees can stay logged on for work. After the maximum time has been reached, then the time tracking tool stops. In this manner, workaholic tendencies are curbed, and that employees won’t be given the incentive to put in too much time to work and sacrifice rest and personal time.
Monitor the Location of Workers
Managers working with remote teams may find it hard to communicate and organize the team. Some employees might be jumping from place to place for work, and also be working from cafes or other workstations.
Setting up unplanned meetings can be hard if employees are commuting from 1 place to another, or if they’re doing field work.
Members of the group can install HubStaff in their smartphones so that the employee location monitoring feature can be used. With this, managers and team leaders can monitor the location of the members during work hours.
HubStaff can display how much time employees spend on commuting between locations and how long is spent on each location. From these data, managers can determine the best time to do quick meetings.
As this needs employees to install HubStaff in their phones, this can be seen as overly intrusive of a tool. But same as the principles on iOS and Android programs, employees will know exactly when their locations are being tracked.
Project Progress Monitoring
HubStaff lets the entire team report on the progress of their tasks. HubStaff can then use this to provide a report on the status of every job on a weekly basis. On the team dashboard, managers can see each individual employee’s working hours and a summary of the completed and uncompleted tasks. The dashboard also shows whether employees are online.
Payroll, Timesheets, and other Miscellaneous Features Cons of Hubstaff
Besides monitoring employee productivity, HubStaff can also make it easier for managers and admins to handle payrolls and manage accounts.
Timesheet and Payroll Management
HubStaff can function as a virtual check-in and check-out mechanism for businesses. And, better than traditional systems where timesheets can be cheated, the HubStaff timesheet tool can record the first keyboard stroke or mouse activity of the day for each worker.
Managers can also pause the machine manually for breaks.
With HubStaff, maintaining a record of working hours and salaries is also made easier. HubStaff’s payroll managing tool can determine each employee’s payout depending on the hours logged for them. By linking their paypal accounts with HubStaff, then payment transfers are made simple. Cash transfers for payroll can even be automatically set to weekly, monthly, or on a set period.
Job Tracking for Clients Cons of Hubstaff
Being transparent to customers is key for establishing trust for your business. HubStaff makes it effortless to communicate with clients, in addition to assure them that things are moving as agreed upon.
HubStaff makes it simple for clients to have a peek into the progress of projects. This can be simply done by adding clients into the members tab. From there, they could see the phases of the project, in addition to the completed and pending tasks.
Third party Software Integration
HubStaff can integrate well with other project monitoring tools such as but not limited to Asana and Trello. This is great news for business owners that are already using other project management applications.
You might be wondering if using HubStaff to handle employees can be counterproductive since it may make a feeling of distrust between managers and staff members. To ease your mind, you can be certain that HubStaff lets the whole team know of the entire monitoring system. Employees can make certain that their actions are monitored only during work hours, and precisely how they are being monitored.
However, as a business owner or manager, it’s your duty to let your workers know beforehand that your office will be implementing HubStaff. Additionally, HubStaff should only be installed on the devices necessary for work where it would make sense to have implement a monitoring system.
To put it simply, HubStaff is a monitoring system rather than a surveillance system. Employees can be certain that only the cases of the keystrokes and mouse activity are listed, and not the actual keystroke that they register. HubStaff won’t let managers and admins know what exactly their workers are typing.
HubStaff has three paid plans that charge a fixed price per user per month. The Basic plan costs $10, while the Premium and Enterprise plans cost $10 and $20 respectively.
Only the Premium and Enterprise plans unlock features related to payroll administration. The enterprise feature includes fleet tracking and even a concierge account.
For those people who are willing to pay on an annual basis, then the price per person per month of their paid plans will be slashed down to $5, 8$, and $16, respectively.
Verdict Cons of Hubstaff
You can be sure that HubStaff can flawlessly do the job that it promises to do. The user interface is clean and intuitive, and is not in any way confusing, requiring only minimal orientation for workers not knowledgeable about the software.
However, it must be stated that not all businesses might benefit fully from using HubStaff. HubStaff is especially suited to contemporary desk jobs, and for projects where team members use computers for most of their time. Take jobs that take a lot of reading for instance, where employees might appear to be inactive based on computer interaction. The software might say that they are inactive, but they just might be on top of a reading assignment in reality
Business owners should also not completely depend on the information that HubStaff collects to determine whether their employees are being productive or not. HubStaff is simply a project management software using tools and features that can allow you to gauge the performance of employees and other members of the group. This is certainly not a virtual or artificial intelligence office manager.
All the same, HubStaff collects data seamlessly, and we all know that data helps you run your business effectively.
FAQ Cons of Hubstaff
Q: Where do the screenshots go?
A: HubStaff stores the screenshots and other information using Amazon AWS.
Q: Is there a maximum number of team members that can use HubStaff?
A: The paid programs have a minimum of two users and cap of 350 users.
Q: Is implementing HubStaff in businesses completely legal?
A: HubStaff has complete legal permissions for use, and resources regarding them are available on their site. But these are just based on United States laws. It is best to check with a lawyer for international users.
Q: Can employees choose when they’re being monitored?
A: Yes, employees can manually start and end HubStaff tracking and have it run in the background. HubStaff does not collect any data once tracking ends.