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 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 conventional, remote, 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 prohibited activity. Aside from monitoring behaviour, it can also be used to manage any type of workplace and make it more productive.
HubStaff includes the features that you would expect from an employee monitoring 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 networking app is going to end up consuming hours of our time, even at work. Assessing on important notifications from time to time is acceptable, but it is helpful if managers 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 sites (and even the url of the specific page) that employees 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 them is also listed.
The data is displayed neatly, and supervisors can see the page title of the visited webpages, the url, and the time spent, all in a single glance. They can also go to the links displayed to verify if workers really are allowing time slide on websites unrelated to work.
Tracking individual displays is too much of a hassle and can be very awkward if done personally. But then, it is crucial 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 option. If this sounds too much of an invasion of privacy, then it can be set to have the screenshots be partly blurred. This way, managers can determine if workers are working on their desks instead of playing games or watching movies, without exposing possible sensitive information.
It must be noted that employees would understand that this feature is activated on their screens. Employees would also be able to look at the screenshots taken from their displays just so they’ll be assured that this feature is implemented only for reasons related to work.
With that said, this still has an influence on the behavior of employees as knowing that their displays 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 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 busy to the overall time spent working. HubStaff believes a productivity rate of at least 60% as a great sign. Productivity rates of less than 60% can mean that an employee is taking too much time on the desk doing nothing, or if an employee is doing too slowly.
The dashboard for this tool shows the productivity rate of each member of the team. This way, the tool may also be used to see how many members of the team are working on a project at a given time.
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 finish their tasks early, catch up on projects, and some are only workaholics who want to be running as much as possible.
However, it’s been proven that too much work could be detrimental as creativity and productivity declines without enough rest. There’s a good reason why there’s a standard 8 hours of work every day.
HubStaff can help managers track if workers are working a lot of hours each week. They could set the maximum time every week that employees can stay logged on for work. After the maximum time has been reached, then the time monitoring tool stops. This way, workaholic tendencies are curbed, and that employees 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 tough to communicate and coordinate the team. Some employees may be leaping from place to place for work, and also be working from cafes or other workstations.
Setting up unplanned meetings can be difficult 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 utilized. With this, supervisors 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 much time is spent on each location. From these data, managers can determine the best time to do rapid meetings.
As this requires employees to install HubStaff on 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 places are being tracked.
Project Progress Monitoring
HubStaff lets the whole group report on the progress of their tasks. HubStaff can then use this to offer a report on the status of each job on a weekly basis. On the staff dashboard, managers can see each individual employee’s working hours and a summary of the completed and uncompleted tasks. The dashboard also displays whether employees are online.
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 be 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 very 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 wages 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 simple. Money transfers for payroll can even be automatically set to weekly, monthly, or on a set interval.
Becoming transparent to customers is key for establishing trust for your company. HubStaff makes it effortless to communicate with clients, as well as assure them that things are moving as agreed upon.
HubStaff makes it easy for clients to take a peek into the progress of projects. This can be simply done 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 Software Integration
HubStaff can integrate nicely with other project tracking tools including but not limited to Asana and Trello. This is good news for business owners that are already using other project management software.
You may be asking yourself if using HubStaff to handle employees can be counterproductive as it might make a feeling of distrust between managers and staff members. To ease your mind, you can be sure that HubStaff lets the whole team know of the whole monitoring system. Employees can make certain that their actions are monitored only during work hours, and exactly how they’re being tracked.
However, as a company owner or manager, it’s your responsibility 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 tracking system.
To put it simply, HubStaff is a tracking system and not a surveillance system. Employees can be certain 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 just what their employees are typing.
HubStaff has three paid programs 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 associated with payroll management. The enterprise feature comprises fleet tracking 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 the paid programs will be slashed down to $5, 8$, and $16, respectively.
You can be sure that HubStaff can flawlessly perform the job that it claims to do. The user interface is intuitive and clean, and is not in any way confusing, requiring only minimal orientation for employees not familiar with the software.
However, it must be said that not all businesses might benefit fully from utilizing HubStaff. HubStaff is specially suited to contemporary desk tasks, and for projects where staff members use computers for most of their time. Take jobs that require a whole 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 at the top of a reading assignment in reality
Business owners should also not completely rely on the data that HubStaff collects to ascertain if their employees are being productive or not. HubStaff is merely a project management software with tools and features that will help you gauge the performance of workers 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.
Q: Where do the screenshots go?
A: HubStaff shops the screenshots and other data using Amazon AWS.
Q: Is there a maximum number of team members that can use HubStaff?
A: The paid plans 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 are available on their website. 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 end HubStaff monitoring and have it run in the background. HubStaff does not collect any data once monitoring ends.