How is Time Tracked and Calculated in Hubstaff?

How is time tracked and calculated in Hubstaff?

There are various factors that go into consideration when time is tracked and activity is calculated in Hubstaff. Our time tracking apps do not assume a worker is active at their computer for the entire interval where they track time.

  1. Hubstaff only records activity when the Start and Stop buttons are pressed on the tracking client.
  2. If any time during their work session was considered “idle” (periods of inactivity/no keyboard and/or mouse movement based on the idle timeout setting).
  3. The frequency at which they are using their keyboard and mouse.

From this information, we calculate an activity percentage which you can use as a baseline metric to assess how active your team are during their work sessions.

Let’s go through an example to demonstrate how this can be applied to your organization:

Example 1

Notice that the time stamped for this worker reads as 9am – 9:40am. However, for each block of time tracked, the total does not add up to 10 minutes. Instead, there are two blocks of 3 minutes and 9 minutes respectively:

  • On the first time block from 9:00 to 9:10 the user tracked 3 minutes, this could mean the user started tracking time at 9:07, or any 3 minute period between the time slot. The same logic applies to the 4th time block

One might assume that the worker had tracked time for a total of 40 minutes, however Hubstaff was able to detect that the worker was in fact only active for 32 of those minutes. This is due to the fact that Hubstaff can capture time down to the minute. In many cases, these seemingly insignificant minutes, can add up to hours of unproductive time.

You will also see a percentage listed before the number of minutes tracked. This is calculated by marking each second tracked as active or inactive.

Hubstaff does not record specific keystrokes and mouse movement. A mouse movement or keyboard stroke = active. No keyboard and no mouse movement = inactive.

We add these numbers up and give a total percentage of activity for each 10-minute segment. You will see that this user’s work time was productive, averaging roughly 84% activity for the 32mins worked.

Example 2

Now consider the below example:

You will notice that the last two periods of time have a 0% activity level. This represents Idle time, which is time where the user was not using their keyboard or mouse. In Hubstaff it is possible to automatically discard this time, with our Keep Idle time setting.

Of the above 40 minute period, the worker was not using their keyboard or mouse for 20 of those minutes. Periods of 0% activity can be considered as “not working”. This time can easily be removed and omitted from the worker’s timesheets for that week, meaning you are only paying out hours which are considered productive.

The ability to change the Keep idle time setting as “Always” or “Never” is only available on the Team and Enterprise plans. To learn more about the feature sets of each plan tier, click here.

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