How does the Idle/Inactivity Warning Work?

Unlike other apps that can only track work time in ten- of fifteen-minute chunks, Hubstaff was designed to track time as precisely as possible so you could focus on your work. It is easy to start and stop the timer when you initiate or finish your work, but to prevent users from forgetting to start or stop it Hubstaff has ways to prompt members in place. In this article, you will learn about one of the prompts – the Idle/inactivity timeout, its purpose, and how to use it to track your work time precisely.

Inactivity Warning in Hubstaff

The Hubstaff timer or desktop client is built to detect inactivity. The Idle timeout feature will always (if not set to “Never”) prompt the user and ask them if they want to keep idle time or remove it from their work log. This happens every 20 minutes by default, however, you may change this setting at any time. The available intervals are every 5, 10, 20 minutes, or never. Click here to learn how to access those settings. Below is an example of how the idle timeout feature works.

Once the user stops interacting with the computer and goes idle, Hubstaff asks the user two questions:

1) If the user would like to include the inactive time in their line reports (phone call, offline work, etc.) or if they would like to remove the time (break, bathroom, etc.).
2) If they would like to continue or stop work.

Here is what the inactivity warning looks like.


If the user decides to keep the time, then the work gets added to their time log and the inactive time is tracked in the Activity and Timesheets sections. The user can also choose to keep and reassign the idle time to a different project. Doing so brings up a new screen that looks like the picture below.


If the user decides to NOT include the time (default choice), then the time is removed from their time log and the reports. The user could also choose to simply stop the timer from the idle window.

So, for example, you have a worker that got on the phone and the company has the idle timeout setting at 20 min. If they are moving their mouse, etc., while on the phone, they will not be hit with an inactive warning. If they don’t move their mouse or type on their keyboard for 20 min, then, when they interact with their computer again, the inactivity pop up will show up and say “You have been idle for X minutes”. In other words, the idle timeout will not show up until 20 min of inactivity occurs – based on the company’s idle timeout setting in this example.

You may identify idle time on two pages: your Activity -> Screenshots page or on the Timesheets -> View & edit page.

The easiest way to do it is to use the Idle option from the Time Type filters on both the pages as shown below:

You should be able to remove periods with idle time from the Timesheets -> View & edit page or from the Activity -> Screenshots page, just enable the option to modify time in your organization settings. This option can be enabled for the entire organization or users individually. Once you enable that option, you should be able to edit time or remove blocks of activity from the Activity page.

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