This will serve as a quick guide to help you onboard Hubstaff the most easy and efficient way possible. There are several tricks and techniques that will enable you to get the most out of Hubstaff and this guide will help you discover them.
Hubstaff is a software tool that will help your team become more efficient and provide management valuable data about how your team works. In order to get the best data from Hubstaff it’s very important to have your projects set up correctly and optimized. We cover this in the second section, but first here is some more in-depth training for you and your team.
When implementing Hubstaff throughout your company, there are a few guides and posts that will help your team get started.
As mentioned earlier, in order to get the best data from Hubstaff across your organization it’s important to set up your projects accurately and then train your staff to use the structure that you’ve designed.
Here’s an example:
A young company has hired a developer but they also have that developer doubling up to do some technical support. A few months go by and their development projects are not moving as fast as they would like. The manager logs into Hubstaff to investigate what’s going on, and learns at a glance that the developer has been working 4 hours a day on tech support and 4 hours a day on development. Now, that’s a management issue, not a contractor issue. The contractor is doing what they were told, but the decision to have the developer doing tech support is not only holding up development, but also costing the company much more than needed because a support person can be hired for much less per hour than a developer would cost. Hubstaff helps companies see this kind of data across all functions of business.
In order to get this kind of data, projects have to be set up correctly. The way to do this is to set up your projects as close to reality as possible. So for a typical virtual organization, a good setup could be by functional area like this (you are allowed unlimited projects so use as many as you want).
- Customer Support
You can see how this would give you valuable insight into the daily activities of your team. You can filter by project in the reporting setting to see who worked specific hours on each functional area in your business.
Or you could get a view on an individual employee on your team. That would look like this.
In order to see these two different views I simply changed the “group by” drop-down from project to member.
This is all in our reporting screen, but you can see that it starts with setting up your projects correctly. You could setup your organization more tightly than by functional area if you choose. You could use specific PO numbers, client IDs, or anything that you want to track by. It’s just a matter of what works best for your business.
One of the reasons that we built Hubstaff (and are so passionate about what we do) is to reduce the time that managers spend following up with their employees. It’s about helping companies run more efficiently, getting better teams in place, spending more time on the things that matter in your business (the ROI on follow-up is quite small, but the stress is high).
That’s what the activities page is all about. Helping you see at a glance who’s doing what, and how active they are.
Here’s what the activities page looks like:
You’ll see screenshots and “activity bars”. In each hour (60 min segment) roughly 6 screenshots are taken and uploaded to our servers. These screens are randomly taken in every 10 minute segment.
Hubstaff DOES support multiple monitors. If your employee has multiple monitors Hubstaff will take one screenshot of each monitor. Then when you are in full screen mode an image of all monitors will be shown to you. Clicking on any screenshot will bring up full screen mode. It looks like this:
One of the most important aspects of Hubstaff is activity level tracking. This is simply a measure of how often your employee is moving their mouse or typing on the keyboard. Hubstaff measures each second, and assigns it a true or false. We then calculate the totals for the 10 minute segment and label it as a percentage. So an activity % of 50 literally means that the employee was typing on the keyboard or moving the mouse 50% of the seconds in that 10 minute segment.
You can learn more about how Hubstaff tracks time here
Benchmark Activity Levels
Regarding activity levels it’s also important to realize that not all employees are equal, and not all work is equal. The activity percentage can be widely different based on who is doing the work and what tasks they are performing. Design or technical writing for example would, by nature, have a much lower activity percentage than data entry.
Remember, Hubstaff takes every second into account and assigned a 0 or a 1, and then calculates the percentage of the complete ten minute segment. You can get the exact details on how these percentages are calculated here
Below is a very quick guide that you can use to evaluate your staff:
NOTE: these percentages are referring to ‘trends” that you can recognize over days or weeks. Do NOT evaluate an employee based on a specific segment or by a period of only a few hours.
● 95% – 100% – This activity level is not sustainable over a period of more than 30 minutes or so for most employees.
● 90% – 94% – Only the most active employees can reach this. It is reachable, but as an employer you should not expect it.
● 75% – 89% – This is the activity that you could expect from an extremely active employee. If they reach these percentages on a consistent basis, they are working at a very good pace.
● 60% – 74% – This is still a very acceptable activity level for a good employee. If they are working at these levels consistently across the day.
● 50% – 64% – This activity level is becoming questionable. These employees are not as fast as the other employees for sure. They may take longer to make decisions, or they are slower typers, or they are distracted by other things.
● 35% – 49% – There is something else going on with this employee. They are simply trying to do just enough to get by.
● 0% – 34% – It may be time to look for someone else.
Here is an example from one of our best and most consistent employees. You can see that the work varies from anywhere between 61 – 94%, with most being in the 80’s.
But there is something just as important going on here, and that is consistency. Here’s an image of this same employee scaled out a little more.
Now, you can see how consistent this work is. Here’s an example of a different employee.
This employee’s work ranges from 46% – 84%. It’s a much wider range and it’s not as consistent. However, I’m still ok with this, because this particular employee has to read more, make different decisions, and he is much newer and still learning the job.
Finally here is another example of an employee that I would probably have a discussion with if this trend continued. These are activity levels of 17% – 73% with most of the segments being between 20-35%.
If you have any questions on how to use Hubstaff to it’s full potential, we’d love to answer them. You can email us here anytime and we look forward to speaking. We’ve also made the full Best Practices Guide available to download in PDF format click the link to access your own copy of Hubstaff’s Best Practices Guide.
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