You can now set Weekly Limit for your projects and users

hourglassWhen you work with remote contractors, many things might catch you by surprises. For example, your contractor lose her internet connection and cannot get online. This does happen more often than you think in some countries where home internet connection is spotty at best. And she cannot simply go out to nearby Starbucks or McDonald’s to work with free WiFi because they simply don’t have Starbucks or McDonald’s around. Not to say that remote contractors usually do a bad job, it is just the inherent nature of remote work that could more likely result in such surprises. At Worksnaps, we always keep this in mind. Therefore we design our product to control such surprises and make remote work more accountable which is to the benefits of both the employer and the contractor side.

One of the most common requirements from our customers is to be able to set a limit on how much time a contractor can work each week. This allows them to allocate the workload and control the budget. Now Worksnaps has provided flexible ways for you to do that. You can now set a weekly limit in number of hours for a project and/or a weekly limit for a user. Let’s call them Project Weekly Limit and User Weekly Limit respectively. A Project Weekly Limit controls how many hours your users in a specific project can altogether work in each week. A User Weekly Limit caps the number of hours a user can log in all your projects. These two settings give you convenient ways to budget your time allocation based on your organizational structure.

8985So what will happen if weekly limit is reached? Let’s use an example to illustrate. You have a project in which 3 users are working and you set a weekly limit of 120 hours for it. Once a week starts (usually Sunday), the users can start logging time against this limit. Let’s say when Friday comes along, and the three users have logged 45 hours, 40 hours, 35 hours respectively. The weekly limit of the project has been reached. Then the users will receive a message in their Worksnaps client telling them that the project’s weekly has been reached and they cannot log time to the project anymore. They have to switch to another project (if any) or they have to stop working. They won’t be able to start logging to the project until the upcoming Sunday when the weekly limit is reset.

Weekly limit for a user works in a similar way. Say you have a user who is working in three different projects owned by you, and you have a budget of 40 hours a week for the user. Once the user has reached 40 hours of logged time in your three projects, she will be presented a message telling her that she cannot log time to your projects anymore. She has to stop working until the next weekly cycle starts.

You can use User Weekly Limit in junction with Project Weekly Limit to achieve finer control if you feel it is necessary. If both Project Weekly Limit and User Weekly Limit are set, whichever has been reached first will take affect.

This feature looks quite straight forward from outside, but there are a lot of things happening under the hood to make it happen. The intelligence needs to be built into the client and the back-end to support this feature. We have been working on this for quite a while and we are happy to make it available for use now.

There are a couple of articles in our knowledge base that can help you to get started with this feature:
Please feel free to give it a spin and let us know what you think. As always, we would like to hear any comment, feedback and opinion from you.
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Group Chat and Collaborative Work: The Future of Online Job Interactions

collaboration_group_chatThe Internet has made many things possible across the world. People from the opposite hemispheres can chat in real time consistently and constantly. However, the real revolution is how the Internet makes it easier for people to work together. Companies can hire global freelancers and even set up whole businesses based online. Of course, a company can still live with using different silo tools to handle their collaboration, such as using Skype for text and voice chat, join.me for screen sharing, gotomymeeting.com for full-blown team meetings,  Asana for project and task management, Google docs for document sharing. The list goes on. The more technologies a company employs, the more pressing it has become to maintain, search and collaborate on the dispersed information in an effective way. A new breed of application has emerged to take on such challenges presented by trend of dispersed work locations, variety of devices and wide range of SaaS tools used. These products almost all started with the cornerstone capability, Group Chat. But as things evolve, there have become much more advanced than group chat and now encompass a spectrum of functionality ranging from video conference to interconnectedness of all relevant apps. The grand vision is to provide everything you need to get your work done. For businesses that need to bring their collaboration to a whole new level, here are some of the best such collaboration suites. Continue reading

5 Million Hours Tracked

5million_hours

We are happy to announce the milestone of 5 million hours logged on Worksnaps. It is a nice round number, but we understand that it is the result of lot of trust and support given by our customers to use Worksnaps to manage their work, time and teams. We have heard a lot of excellent feedback from our users. We will continue to prioritize them, translate them into product features and enhancements, and make our product better. In addition to addressing customer requests, we have many exciting features in our pipeline to be released, such as

  • Project Weekly limit — Manager can budget weekly hours allowed for all the users in a project
  • User Weekly Limit — Manager can budget weekly hours allowed for a user to log in all the projects
  • Auto-clicker Detection — A comprehensive mechanism to fend off fraud by using auto-clicker programs
  • Time Approval Workflow — A light weight work flow for submitting offline time by users and approve offline time by managers

We will write separate blog articles to introduce these features in the near future.

We are also actively working on upgrading back-end infrastructure to provide higher scalability and performance. We believe all these will give better overall user experience to our customers.

We would like to thank our users for your support. Your inputs are invaluable and we believe you are also our partners to drive our product better. Therefore, we look forward to hearing any idea, comment and feedback from you.