With the rise of internet work-from-home jobs and freelancing, our notion of a workplace is steadily changing. Today, our notion of a traditional workplace can differ from the rooms filled with individual cubicles that we were used to. HubStaff, a software from a firm of the same name established in the United States, offers its services for conventional, distant, or even completely online workplaces.
An employee monitoring software is used to track whether or not employees are keeping on with their duties, in addition to screen and look out for unwanted or illegal activity. Aside from monitoring behavior, it may also be used to handle any type of workplace and make it more productive.
Monitor Productivity and Improve Coordination with HubStaff Hubstaff Disadvantages
HubStaff includes the features that you would expect from an employee tracking software such as:
Online Activity Monitoring:
All of us know full well that social media kills productivity. All too frequently, a few swipes on any social networking app is going to wind up consuming hours of our time, even in the workplace. Checking up on important notifications from time to time is acceptable, but it’s helpful if supervisors know when it is becoming a problem. HubStaff can help monitor if workers use too much social media and other programs that hamper productivity.
HubStaff can pay attention to the websites (and even the url of the exact page) that workers see during work hours, as well as the time they spend on it. Traffic from applications may also be monitored and the time spent on them can also be listed.
The information is displayed neatly, and managers can see the page name of the visited webpages, the url, and the time spent, all in one glance. They can also go to the links displayed to verify if employees really are allowing time slide on sites unrelated to work.
Tracking individual screens is too much of a hassle and can be very awkward if done personally. But then, it is necessary for when a remote workplace setup is in order where it’s impossible to handle employees in person.
HubStaff has a quality that could enable managers to take screenshots of their employees’ screens at a customizable time period, 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 partially blurred. In this way, managers can determine if workers are working on their desks instead of playing games or watching movies, without exposing potential sensitive information.
It should be noted that employees would understand that this feature is activated on their screens. Employees would also be able to view the screenshots taken from their screens just so they’ll be ensured that this feature is implemented just for reasons related to work.
With that said, this still has an effect on the behavior 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 step of employee activity. HubStaff can detect keyboard strokes and mouse interaction and detect times of inactivity where none of those instances are present.
HubStaff can then compare the overall time where 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 mean that a worker 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 Hubstaff Disadvantages
Working overtime is also becoming more of a norm, even so in countries like Japan where it is an unofficial standard. Reasons can vary from employees wanting to finish their tasks early, catch up on projects, and some are only workaholics who wish to be running as much as possible.
However, it’s been proven that too much work can be harmful as productivity and creativity declines without enough rest. There is a great reason why there’s a standard 8 hours of work every day.
HubStaff can help managers monitor if employees are working a lot of hours per week. They could set the maximum time each week that workers can stay logged on for work. Following the maximum time has been reached, then the time tracking tool stops. In this manner, workaholic tendencies are curbed, and that employees will not be given the incentive to put in too much time to work and sacrifice rest and personal time.
Monitor the Location of Employees
Managers working with remote teams might find it hard to communicate and organize the team. Some employees might be jumping from place to place for work, and also be operating from cafes or other workstations.
Setting up unplanned meetings can be difficult if employees are commuting from one place to another, or if they are doing field work.
Members of the team can install HubStaff in their smartphones so that the employee location monitoring feature can be used. With this, managers and team leaders can track the location of the members during work hours.
HubStaff can display how much time employees spend on commuting between places and how long 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 on their phones, this may be seen as too intrusive of a tool. However, same as the principles on iOS and Android applications, employees will know precisely when their places are being tracked.
Project Progress Monitoring
HubStaff lets the entire team report on the progress of their tasks. HubStaff can then use this to offer a report on the status of each project 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 displays whether workers are online.
Payroll, Timesheets, and other Miscellaneous Features Hubstaff Disadvantages
Aside from tracking employee productivity, HubStaff can also make it easier for managers and admins to handle payrolls and manage accounts.
Timesheet and Payroll Management
HubStaff can be 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 action of the day for each employee.
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 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 easy. Money transfers for payroll can even be automatically set to weekly, monthly, or on a set interval.
Project Tracking for Clients Hubstaff Disadvantages
Being transparent to customers is key for establishing trust for your business. HubStaff makes it effortless to communicate with clients, as well as assure them that things are going 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 pending and completed 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 that are already using other project management applications.
You may be asking yourself if using HubStaff to manage employees can be counterproductive since it may make a feeling of distrust between managers and team members. To ease your mind, you can be sure that HubStaff lets the entire team know of the entire monitoring system. Employees can make certain that their activities are monitored only during work hours, and precisely how they are being monitored.
However, as a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to let your employees know beforehand that your workplace 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 tracking system.
To put it simply, HubStaff is a tracking system and not a surveillance system. Employees can be sure that only the cases of their keystrokes and mouse activity are recorded, rather than the actual keystroke that they register. HubStaff won’t let managers and admins know what exactly their employees are typing.
HubStaff has three paid plans 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 administration. The enterprise feature includes fleet monitoring and even a concierge account.
For those people who are willing to pay on an annual basis, then the cost per person per month of their paid plans will be slashed down to $5, 8$, and $16, respectively.
Verdict Hubstaff Disadvantages
You can be certain that HubStaff can flawlessly perform the job that it claims to do. The user interface is intuitive and clean, and is not at all confusing, requiring only minimal orientation for workers not knowledgeable about the software.
However, it must be said that not all companies might benefit fully from utilizing HubStaff. HubStaff is specially suited to modern desk jobs, and for projects where staff members use computers for the majority of their time. Take jobs that take a lot of reading for instance, where employees might seem 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 ascertain whether their employees are being productive or not. HubStaff is merely a project management software using tools and features that can help you 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 Hubstaff Disadvantages
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 who can use HubStaff?
A: The paid programs have a minimum of two users and limit of 350 users.
Q: Is implementing HubStaff in businesses completely legal?
A: HubStaff has complete legal permissions for use, and resources regarding them can be found 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 are being monitored?
A: Yes, employees can manually start and end HubStaff monitoring and have it run in the background. HubStaff does not collect any data once monitoring ends.