I recently sent out a survey to Hubstaff customers and asked them what problem they were solving with our time tracker. About 10% of the respondents said they needed an alternative to Upwork hourly time tracker.

Some of the actual responses included:

  • “We need a solution cheaper than Upwork”
  • “We need an alternative to Upwork”
  • “We need an Upwork-like experience for our long term staff”

These responses revealed that Upwork, although effective as a time tracking solution, can be quite costly. It also revealed that people were irritated about how you can’t hire a freelancer outside of Upwork and then use its time tracker.

With this information, we didn’t have to guess anymore if Hubstaff was a good alternative to Upwork. Our customers were telling us that it was.

In addition to cost, one of the things that came up a number of times was time tracking. Upwork offers its own time tracking, but a number of respondents wanted another option.

Upwork is a great online platform for finding talented freelancers worldwide. However, there are some setbacks when it comes to the system’s timer, which is why we compiled a list of the best alternatives to help you track your team’s and freelancers’ hours more accurately.

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The problem with the Upwork time tracker

Not all employers are satisfied with the Upwork time tracker. Companies may feel as if the tracker doesn’t give them complete control over the activities and working hours of their employees and freelancers. One common problem is the impression that workers track more time than what they actually spend working. There are also situations where people complain that their work has not been tracked due to network connection problems or other internet-related issues.

Plus there are fees. If, for instance, you allocate $30,000 per year to projects, you’re handing $1,500 to Upwork just for the sake of using the platform.

Close-up Of A Businessman's Hand Protecting Stack Of Coins

This list of the best Upwork time tracking alternatives will help you remain in charge of your business-related projects and activities—without the extra costs.

Increase productivity for your team



As a great alternative to Upwork time tracking, Hubstaff offers all-in-one time and productivity tracking for your teams of freelancers, contractors and full-time employees.

By choosing Hubstaff Time, you are investing in software that will streamline how you find, manage, and pay team members without costing you a fortune (which cannot be said for many other time tracking alternatives).

For more robust team management, you can get Hubstaff Desk at the same price. Hubstaff Desk includes proof of work features like activity scores and the ability to see which apps and URLs your team uses. This creates more visibility and trust when you’re working with people at a distance.

Hubstaff offers a plethora of features that make time tracking and project management a breeze:

  • Apps built for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as iOS and Android devices
  • Client and project budgets to keep your team from going over
  • Automated payroll based on set pay rates and time tracked
  • Timesheet approvals to ensure accurate payments
  • Online timesheets
  • Accurate information on activity levels, GPS and locations
  • Detailed reports
  • Simple client invoicing
  • Integrations with other time/project management software
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support

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Save a ton of time and money by tracking time and paying freelancers with Hubstaff.

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You can try out the full range of Hubstaff Time or Desk with a 14-day free trial. Afterward, you can choose between the Starter plan at $7/user per month or the Pro plan, which is $10/user per month.

Our time tracking software also has integrations with popular project management solutions like Asana, QuickBooks, and Trello. This way, you can see which sites and apps your team is using most.

In addition, you can use the directory of freelancers and agencies, called Hubstaff Talent, to find some great people to work with. This is a 100% free service offered by the team behind Hubstaff.

Hubstaff vs. Upwork: the short version

Hubstaff Upwork
Takes commissions X
Hiring restrictions X
Screenshots X X
Activity monitoring X X
Automatic payments X X
Weekly budgets X X
App and URL tracking X
GPS location tracking X
Built-in timesheet approvals X
Time off tracking X

Better time tracking for desk teams



HiveDesk is another good Upwork time tracker alternative for your business because it offers some of the same features:

  • Simple project management – create projects and tasks for you and your team
  • Visual productivity data – monitor the efficiency of each work session
  • Simple check-in/check-out – easily switch between projects

In addition to monitoring how long your employees have been working on a project, HiveDesk shows when they were last online. Like Hubstaff, HiveDesk takes screenshots of the employees’ work so you may find out if certain members of your team are not dedicated to the task at hand.

However, HiveDesk lacks the time-saving features like automatic payments and timesheet approvals that Hubstaff offers. If you’re looking for a simple solution just for time tracking, you can try HiveDesk for 14 days. Pricing starts at $15/month for up to three users, with plans depending on how large your team is.

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Screenshot Monitor

Screenshot Monitor

Time tracking doesn’t get much simpler than Screenshot Monitor. Beyond all the standard characteristics, Screenshot Monitor has an “Auto-start option”. This enables tracking to start automatically, as soon as the user turns on his computer. If for some reason the activity stops, so does time tracking. This is quite useful for employees on employer-owned devices, where full-time tracking is needed.

Similar to other simple time trackers, you won’t have the option to send payments, automate timesheet reviews or dig into detailed reports for your business with Screenshot Monitor.

There is a free plan available, which permits you to monitor 2 users while taking 3 screenshots per hour. The Standard plan costs $4.99 and offers monitoring of an unlimited number of users at the rate of 6 screenshots per hour. The Professional plan offers an unlimited number of users, as well as a rate of 12 screenshots per hour.



Paymo has a wide range of functionalities that make it a great alternative to Upwork. Some of the features Paymo offers are:

  • Goal calendar – set priorities to your projects
  • Desktop monitoring – keep track of the programs your employees use
  • Client portal – allow your clients to access their invoices

Paymo is available on all devices running Windows or Mac, and it’s very easy to use. It also allows employees to work offline by downloading the desktop app. You can use the basic features for free if you’re a solo freelancer. Prices for teams start at $11/user per month.

Try the top Upwork time tracker alternative

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Klok is a time-tracking app that can be used on Windows or Mac devices. Its main features include:

  • Calendar view – visual representations of the time you worked so you know exactly what you have accomplished and how much time you spent
  • Team connector – synchronize projects, tasks, and clients across your organization
  • Team console – allow several users to track/monitor the same projects

With Klok, project management is relatively simple. You can save a project as soon as it’s finished and reopen it whenever you like. Klok has a free version with limited features. The full version for a single user is a one-time purchase worth $19.99, with plans for up to 30 users.

Over to you

Did we miss any good alternatives for the Upwork timer? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out how one company saved 30% on contractor fees by switching away from Upwork and payment platform options for your freelancers.

This post was originally published February 12, 2016, and updated February 2019.