Employee monitoring software is often used for ensuring employees aren't misusing their devices during company time or violating company policies. However, it can also be a useful tool for improving productivity and managing projects and tasks. Hubstaff focuses heavily on the latter, giving your admins and managers time-keeping tools and project management functionality in addition to insight into the typical employee monitoring features.
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Hubstaff offers two different subscription plans depending on your level of need. The first plan, which starts at $5 per user, per month, is the Basic tier. This tier includes time tracking, screenshots, keyboard and mouse activity, employee payments, 24/7 support, per user settings and one third-party software integration.
The second tier, the Premium plan, starts at $10 per user, per month. This plan includes all the features of the basic tier plus unlimited third-party software integrations, software and website monitoring, weekly limits, auto payroll, mobile GPS tracking, a scheduling monitor and custom invoices.
For our review, we evaluated the premium plan. The cost of this plan – $10 per user, per month – is more expensive than some of the other applications we evaluated, but it is still far from the priciest. If you pay annually, Hubstaff will give you two months for free, which brings the total cost of the Premium plan down to $100 per user, per year.
Hubstaff offers the core employee monitoring features you would expect as well as some additional tools that monitor employee productivity and help business owners and manager oversee projects more efficiently. While it lacks some of the advanced activity monitoring tools that other employee monitoring software solutions offer, it has one of the most robust sets of productivity features we saw among the applications we evaluated.
Here's more about Hubstaff’s features:
- Active/Inactive time: Hubstaff monitors employee active and inactive time during sessions, monitoring who is staying busy and who is getting sidetracked or is simply not working. Activity levels are determined primarily by keyboard and mouse usage, and can be combined with other data to determine whether an employee has been on task or not.
- Time tracking: Hubstaff's emphasis on productivity is most evident in its time-tracking feature, which allows managers to view not only the amount of time an employee has worked but also to which task or project their time was allocated. By assigning employees tasks and having them track their time for each task separately, Hubstaff serves as both an employee monitoring tool and a project management aid.
- Screenshots: Hubstaff captures random screenshots to show what employees are up to during work. These screenshots are logged for later review by admins. Admins can schedule when screenshots are captured.
- Web activity: Web activity monitoring is one of the most critical functions of an employee monitoring software solution. Hubstaff tracks which websites employees access, how long they spend on those webpages, how active they are when visiting those pages and any search queries they enter. Web activity monitoring works across multiple browsers.
- Productivity levels: Hubstaff includes a productivity monitoring suite, which allows you to review which employees are the most productive. It enables managers to prioritize specific tasks and then track employee progress through screenshots and productivity estimates. It also flags the biggest time-wasting tasks, making it easier to streamline employee activity or correct unproductive behaviors.
- Automatic timeout: Hubstaff automatically stops tracking time if an employee stops working, avoiding timekeeping issues when there is no activity from the user. Admins can adjust the amount of time that triggers the inactivity setting.
Ease of Use
Hubstaff's user interface is aesthetically pleasing and well-organized, making navigation relatively simple. While Hubstaff can sometimes require more hunting to find specific tools and features versus other employee monitoring applications we reviewed (mainly due to its incorporation of dropdown menus), it is still fairly intuitive and easy to familiarize oneself with.
Hubstaff does a good job bringing together all the data points it captures, making it very easy for managers and admins to review employee activity and assess productivity levels. Reporting can be easily filtered by user, dates or the type of activity and all are affixed with a percentage that identifies how active an employee was during their work hours.
Hubstaff's biggest limitation relates to employee activity monitoring, which is not as emphasized nearly as much as its time-tracking and productivity monitoring tools. For example, Hubstaff does not store the keystrokes of a user or their mouse clicks, both of which are relatively common features with other employee monitoring software solutions.
Hubstaff is more focused on measuring employee productivity versus monitoring behavior and communications. However, if you're looking for a surveillance program to monitor employees' behaviors and the content of their communications, Hubstaff is likely not the employee monitoring application you are seeking.