With the rise of online work-from-home jobs and freelancing, our concept of a workplace is steadily changing. Now, our notion of a conventional workplace can be different from the rooms filled with individual cubicles that we were used to. HubStaff, a software from a firm of the same name based in the United States, offers its services for traditional, remote, or even entirely online workplaces.
An employee monitoring software is used to monitor whether or not employees are keeping on with their responsibilities, as well as screen and be aware of unwanted or illegal activity. Aside from monitoring behavior, it may also be used to manage any type of workplace and make it more productive.
Monitor Productivity and Improve Coordination with HubStaff Disadvantages 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 often, a few swipes on any social media app will end up consuming hours of our time, even in the workplace. Assessing 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 workers use an excessive amount of social media and other programs that hamper productivity.
HubStaff can pay attention to the sites (and even the url of the specific page) that workers see during work hours, as well as the time they spend on it. Traffic from applications can also be monitored and the time spent on these is also listed.
The data is displayed neatly, and supervisors can see the page name of the visited webpages, the url, and the time spent, all in a single glance. They can also visit the links displayed to verify if employees really are letting time slide on websites 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 manage employees in person.
HubStaff has a quality that can enable managers to take screenshots of their employees’ screens at a customizable time period, with 10 minutes as the default. If it sounds too much of an invasion of privacy, then it can be set to have the screenshots be partially blurred. This way, managers can determine if employees are working on 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 screens. Employees would also have the ability to view 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 effect on the behaviour of employees as knowing that their displays are monitored is enough of a reason for them to execute 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 employee activity. HubStaff can detect keyboard strokes and mouse interaction and detect times of inactivity where none of those instances are found.
HubStaff can then compare the total time in which the mouse or keyboard is active to the total 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 each member of the team. This way, the tool can also be used to see how many members of this team are working on a project at a specified time.
Work Limit Monitoring Disadvantages of Hubstaff
Working overtime is also becoming more of a norm, even so in countries such as Japan where it is an unofficial standard. Reasons can vary from employees wanting to finish their jobs early, catch up on jobs, and some are just workaholics who want to be running as much as possible.
However, it has been proven that too much work can be detrimental as productivity and creativity declines without enough rest. There’s a good reason why there’s a regular 8 hours of work every day.
HubStaff can help managers track if employees are working a lot of hours each week. They could set the maximum time every week which employees can stay logged on for work. Following the maximum time has been reached, then the time tracking tool stops. This way, workaholic tendencies are curbed, and that workers won’t be given the incentive to put in too much time to work and sacrifice personal and rest time.
Monitor the Location of Workers
Managers working with remote teams might find it hard to communicate and organize the team. Some employees may be jumping from place to place for work, and also be operating from cafes or other workstations.
Setting up unplanned meetings can be hard if employees are commuting from 1 place to another, or if they are doing field work.
Members of the team can install HubStaff in their smartphones so that the employee place monitoring feature can be used. With this, supervisors and team leaders can track the location of the members during work hours.
HubStaff can display how much time employees spend on commuting between locations and how much time is spent on each location. From these data, managers can determine the best time to do rapid meetings.
As this needs employees to install HubStaff in their phones, this may be seen as overly intrusive of a tool. However, same as the principles on iOS and Android programs, employees will know precisely when their locations are being monitored.
Project Progress Monitoring
HubStaff lets the whole team report on the progress of their tasks. HubStaff can then use this to offer a report on the status of every job on a weekly basis. On the staff dashboard, managers can view each individual employee’s working hours and a summary of their completed and uncompleted tasks. The dashboard also shows whether employees are online.
Payroll, Timesheets, and other Miscellaneous Features Disadvantages of Hubstaff
Besides monitoring employee productivity, HubStaff can also make it easier for managers and admins to manage 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 conventional systems where timesheets can be cheated, the HubStaff timesheet tool can capture the first keyboard stroke or mouse activity of the day for each worker.
Managers can also pause the system manually for breaks.
With HubStaff, keeping a record of working hours and salaries is also made simpler. HubStaff’s citizenship handling tool can determine each employee’s payout based on the hours logged for them. By linking their paypal accounts with HubStaff, then payment transfers are made easy. Money transfers for payroll can even be automatically set to weekly, monthly, or on a set interval.
Project Tracking for Customers Disadvantages of Hubstaff
Becoming transparent to clients is key for establishing trust for your business. HubStaff makes it easy to communicate with clients, in addition to assure them that things are going as agreed upon.
HubStaff makes it simple for clients to have a peek into the progress of jobs. This can be simply accomplished by adding clients into the members tab. From there, they can see the phases of the project, in addition to the completed and pending tasks.
Third party Applications Integration
HubStaff can integrate nicely with other project tracking tools including but not limited to Asana and Trello. This is great news for business owners who are already using other project management software.
You might be wondering if using HubStaff to handle employees can be counterproductive since it might make an atmosphere of distrust between managers and staff members. To ease your mind, you can be sure that HubStaff lets the entire team know of the whole monitoring system. Employees can be sure that their activities are monitored only during work hours, and exactly how they are being monitored.
However, as a company owner or manager, it is 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 tracking system rather than a surveillance system. Employees can be sure that only the instances of their keystrokes and mouse activity are recorded, and not the actual keystroke that they register. HubStaff won’t let managers and admins know what exactly their employees are typing.
HubStaff has three paid programs that charge a fixed price per user per month. The Basic plan costs $7, while the Premium and Enterprise plans cost $10 and $20 respectively.
Just the Premium and Enterprise plans unlock features related to payroll management. The enterprise feature includes fleet monitoring and even a concierge account.
For those people who are ready to pay on an annual basis, then the cost per person per month of the paid programs will be slashed down to $5, 8$, and $16, respectively.
Verdict Disadvantages of Hubstaff
You can be certain that HubStaff can flawlessly do the job that it claims to do. The user interface is clean and intuitive, and isn’t in any way confusing, requiring only minimal orientation for workers not knowledgeable about the software.
However, it has to be said that not all businesses might benefit fully from utilizing HubStaff. HubStaff is specially suited to modern desk jobs, and for projects where team members use computers for the majority of their time. Take jobs that take a whole lot of reading for example, where employees might seem to be inactive based on computer interaction. The software might say that they are inactive, but they just might be at the top of a reading assignment in reality
Business owners should also not completely depend on the information that HubStaff collects to ascertain whether their employees are being productive or not. HubStaff is merely a project management software using tools and features that will allow you to gauge the performance of employees and other members of the group. This is in no way 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 Disadvantages of Hubstaff
Q: Where do the screenshots go?
A: HubStaff stores the screenshots and other data using Amazon AWS.
Q: Is there a maximum number of group members who may use HubStaff?
A: The paid plans have a minimum of 2 users and cap of 350 users.
Q: Is implementing HubStaff in companies completely legal?
A: HubStaff has complete legal permissions for use, and resources regarding them can be found on their site. However, these are just based on United States laws. It is best to consult with a lawyer for international users.
Q: Can employees choose when they are being monitored?
A: Yes, employees can manually start and finish HubStaff monitoring and have it run in the background. HubStaff does not collect any data once monitoring ends.