We have updated this article with the 2019 comparison of best employee scheduling software solutions for streamlining your employee management and scheduling process.
Cloud and mobile technologies make it possible now to extend on-demand and real-time employee scheduling to remote workforce, further allowing you to optimize staff productivity wherever your team is. These technologies also result in the proliferation of employee scheduling software solutions that make it easy to manage staff assignments and juggle their availability for multiple events or projects. By doing so you increase workforce efficiency.
Likewise, these solutions can be empowering to employees when they are given the option to plot their work schedule. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management cited that scheduling optimization reinforces work-life balance, which increases employee retention rate.
That’s how employee scheduling software solutions have transformed from mere organizational tools to drivers of profitability today.
If you’re in the hunt for this type of software, we have collated here the best employee scheduling software solutions for this year. This guide doesn’t give the full details of each app’s specs; but it is a good reference to give direction to your product research. We tested numerous solutions based on features and ease of use, which are critical to user adoption (PJM Consulting calls ease of use the most important feature in the software business).
Which one should you consider? In most cases, opting for the top software is the easiest and best choice. For unique processes though, you need to test the app if it does meet your workflows. For example, Aladtec is our number 7 choice, but if you are an EMS provider it should fit you best. Other than the unique features, generally, an employee scheduling software should allow for the following functions:
When I Work is a top choice when it comes to top scheduling software apps on the market today. For starters, it’s free. Businesses with 75 employees or less can use it with no fees attached. This makes it a bargain for small events or projects. While we expect a free app to be limited, When I Work has quite a robust feature set. It provides a schedule builder, availability/time-off management, shift trading, group messaging and chat and Android/iOS apps. Barring the cap on users, this app gives paid apps tough competition.
With its tools, addressing staff availability is easy via quick access to employee time-off and shift change requests. You can approve or decline requests immediately based on your upcoming events or projects. Conversely, employees have a clear view of their reporting dates, leaving no room for miscommunication. Scheduling is faster with its simple user interface and employees get notified instantly via push alerts whenever a new schedule is available.
You can easily try the app’s premium features at no cost when you sign up for When I Work free trial here.
When I Work also has a mobile check-in function that allows employees to log in for work through their mobile devices. This tool is ideal for businesses with field employees like in the catering and service industries. By integrating with third-party apps, When I Work allows for timesheets to be easily exported and payroll prepared without the need to shuffling through different systems.
The app isn’t limited to small projects, though. You can upgrade to its paid plans and enjoy unlimited users, unlimited locations and other more advanced tools including time and attendance tracking. It’s a cost-effective way to free your time without compromising employee schedules, even as you focus on sales and marketing.
Speed, ease, and expanded customization tools make Jobber one of the top choices when it comes to employee scheduling software currently available in the market. Its robust set of intuitive tools guide users every step of the way and ensures improved productivity through features that promote transparency.
Its drag and drop calendar makes scheduling conflict-free. This supports the smooth automation of schedules may it be weekly, monthly, yearly; recurring jobs included. With customization tools that allow for a personalized calendar, tasks can be filtered and organized. This makes assigning of schedules, tasks, and shifts easy. Users have access to labeling tools that streamlines assignment of shifts with status tags —- upcoming, unscheduled, completed or overdue. Through it, users always have a view of the bigger picture when it comes to scheduling. Shifts, tasks, and schedules that require more manpower are easily seen and attended to.
It’s easy to give its features a test and at no cost when you sign up for Jobber free trial here.
Jobber has a native app that allows its users to complete the entire scheduling process and update all team members in just minutes. The mobile app also allows for convenient clock-ins through mobile devices. It also has tools for tracking and monitoring employees. With its robust mobile tools that promote transparency, users can track the progress and status of tasks, jobs, and shifts in just a click.
An extra nifty feature is its time clock integration with timesheets. Through it, payroll can be done in just a click as all clock-ins instantly register in individual timesheets.
Deputy is one of the more popular employee scheduling solutions this year, used in small events and large operations alike to manage the workforce. It has a comprehensive tool set for employee scheduling, including attendance record-keeping, performance tracker and workplace communication.
Deputy allows for one-click notification for sudden shift changes. If you have simultaneous or multiple events, this feature ensures that staffing is adaptive on on-the-ground developments, so no even is overstaffed or undermanned.
One of the features we like about Deputy is that you can integrate its timesheets with invoicing and accounting apps. You free yourself up from time-consuming payroll or billing processes. Likewise, it’s one of the few employee scheduling software solutions that features dynamic reporting for schedule budgets, sales transactions and employee performance using metrics that impact on staffing.
Deputy has Android and iOS apps and is accessible from any device via a browser. The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for Deputy free trial here.
7Shifts is a well-known scheduling software solution for hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants. The platform is ideal for managers that want to invest larger portions of their time in improving customer service rather than taking care of scheduling processes. That’s because it’s designed to easily and effectively distribute workload among the workers available at hand. Labor costs, in turn, get significant decrease and employee attendance are improved.
The system provides a variety of benefits to employees as well, including easy access to their schedules through their mobile devices. They can also submit requests for time offs and trade shifts easily. This way, they no longer have to send them in written format. Moreover, notifications are sent instantly after approval or rejection.
Aside from those, 7Shifts has a built-in communication tool in the form of chat. Private one-on-one message and group chat are both available. Furthermore, the management has access to budget forecast and analysis. This is useful for operating efficiently while staying on budget because the platform provides insight into the business’ projected expenses and budget analysis.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for 7Shifts free trial here.
Homebase ensures all your schedules are covered and all your employees are accurately paid. Aside from employee scheduling it also features time tracking, making it ideal for restaurants and bars and retail. Furthermore, it integrates with a payroll system that makes it efficient to compute wages by worked hours including overtime or under-time. This eliminates the need to log in/out on separate systems.
Homebase also has mobile apps for Android and iOS, enabling employees to access the system from their phone and get notified in case of urgent shift changes. Conversely, managers can easily create schedules on the go and in real time and quickly notify their staff for changes or latest information.
Notable features include custom schedule templates, shift management, labor/sales/weather forecast and pin-based entry.
Planday helps you manage employee schedule faster and with greater visibility by consolidating all related tasks to staff availability. In this crowded software category, Planday stands out for its rich feature set laid out in a simple, intuitive interface for teams of any size. After testing the best employee scheduling software solutions on our list, we concluded that Planday has the most flexibility to scale. This is important for businesses that work around various project sizes requiring staffing to be fluid. Whether you’re managing 30 or 300 staff, Planday helps you see the big picture of your operation and ensure communication is smooth between office and the field team.
Organizing staff schedule is simple; just drag and drop shifts across the calendar. Similarly, you already have schedule templates ready that fit most operations. You can tweak them to match your unique needs per project.
You can also plot your employees’ vacations and the system makes it easy to check approved, pending or declined leaves. Staff availability is synced with vacations, so you can anticipate your manpower months ahead.
Furthermore, Planday features Android and iOS apps, giving you more on-the-ground flexibility to stay on top of staff communication, schedule, and management. What’s more, Planday is arguably one of the few vendors in this category to offer unlimited customer support. While you’re expected to have a smooth experience with the software, having tech backup is practical and critical even to avoid disruptions during your events.
HotSchedules targets retail, restaurant and hospitality industries with an extensive suite that goes beyond employee scheduling. It also provides features for training, recruitment, business intelligence, labor and inventory management to service the unique needs of its market niche. It has served the demands of managers in charge of line cooks, bartenders and servers. As a comprehensive solution, HotSchedules is used by franchise networks, but is simple enough for mom-and-pop shops.
Likewise, its integration with POS enable you to view employee clock in/out in real time and with greater working time accuracy. On the other hand, a separate module called Train enables managers to train staff with a streamlined structure and track-based progress. We thought the inclusion of training in employee scheduling is practical for operations that demand specialized skills like bartending and cooking. If constant training is a business prerequisite, this app should be one of your top choices.
Acuity Scheduling eliminates schedule mix-ups with a synchronized calendar system that alerts users of booked appointments. The software integrates with popular calendar apps like iCalendar, Google Calendar, Outlook and Office 365. Small businesses with limited budget but want an efficient cloud scheduling app will find Acuity Scheduling most useful.
Among others, the software allows for custom or branded reminders, follow-ups and confirmations. With permission rules you can also compartmentalize calendars to control who have access to which schedule. This helps you focus on each team’s schedule when you’re faced with multiple events or projects.
Likewise, the calendar can be shared on your social network via this app or embedded on your website. It has an open API for further customizing processes, an activity tracking that shows you the overall picture and email/SMS reminders for quick notifications on urgent changes.
Shiftboard is an ideal app for small and mid-sized businesses to help them organize and distribute work schedules in minutes. Employees take the initiative to indicate their availability and the manager can quickly approve or decline time-off requests based on workload requirements. The app is flexible to adapt to various processes, for example, part-time or contractual vs. full-time, or by-the-hour vs. fixed pay rate. A small team can easily expand its manpower using outsourced help, without complicating processes from employee scheduling to payroll.
Like HotSchedules, Shiftboard also offers features for tracking employee skills and performance rating and certification for specialized positions like cooking and bartending. Even when managing dozens of employees, the app helps you to easily monitor the individual skills set and enables you to match tasks with the right staff. Other key features to note are: online job application portal, employee account profiles and centralized reporting and analytics.
Findmyshift allows for creating staff rosters and managing shift request in one platform, ensuring employee schedules are coordinated and in synced. This eliminates instances of schedule conflicts or miscommunication between admin and staff. The use of drag-and-drop tool makes organizing schedules visually appealing. Likewise, sorting data is easy with filtering that matches your specific metric, for example, by employee, event or schedule.
The app features a built-in time clock integrated with automated reporting that shows actual worked hours. A payroll calculator automates wage processing utilizing data on timesheets, schedules, pay scale and overtime policy.
Moreover, payroll can be configured in different ways, such as, by the day, week or monthly disbursement. Key features include real-time reporting, templates and employee noticeboard.
Aladtec facilitates both simple and complex workforce management tasks by automating or streamlining processes. It is primarily designed for EMS dynamics in field like fire and rescue, law enforcement and health care, but can fit any business’ employee scheduling tasks. The software handles 24/7 shift rotations, multiple staff schedules and allows for quick and smooth communication with employees.
It fits the requirements of organizations with daily and complex employee time management needs that involve moving shifts or re-assignments to respond to urgent situations. Likewise, it can automate recurring shifts and tasks, while providing managers or supervisors with an overall visibility to track potential schedule conflicts or issues.
The software’s major features are its scheduling tool, rotational shift feature, absence management and an add-on time clock for EMS. It also integrates payroll reporting, making it an end-to-end suite for workforce management.
Quinyx features an extensive workforce management feature set, highlighted by its capability to organize schedules based on budget forecasts. It also features task assignment, time management and communication tools. The app targets a diverse market such as restaurants, logistics, healthcare, call centers, retail and fitness.
Moreover, it helps you maximize your manpower by assigning your highly skilled staff on the most important tasks, while enabling you to shift their schedules on the fly when sudden developments occur. The result is less operational loss and better returns per event, project or operation.
Quinyx also provides Android and iOS apps, so on-location employees can access the system and their schedules in real time, while you as the manager is kept in the loop of field development. This eliminates miscommunication and ensures team members are in synced and attuned to their task schedule.
TrackSmart is an appealing employee scheduling software if you have recurring schedules but still need to juggle staff for various reasons, among which, if you have a high employee turnaround or require continuous skills development training. It fits businesses of any size, but is particularly targeted and scalable to the needs of small and mid-sized companies. It actually features two major components: Attendance and Scheduling.
The attendance management features a dashboard that provides you the big picture with information on staff attendance, tasks, employee time-off and availability and important dates. Meanwhile, the scheduling tool allows for employees to submit their time-off requests in a centralized location, making it easy for managers to approve or decline requests based on upcoming manpower needs and schedule conflicts.
Likewise, the app provides managers access to reporting tools to highlight or track employee performance, attendance and other related insights that can be used for business decisions. You can also preset the software with labor regulations so your policies and schedules are in tune with local laws, especially as pertains to overtime work and paid leaves.
Ximble is ideal for managing recurring employee schedules, but is also versatile for special projects or events. A notable feature is its web-based time clock, enabling employees to clock in/out via SMS or mobile app (Android and iOS available). Likewise, it is accessible on any device via a web browser. If you frequently hold field events, having employees to check in via their phones is a big convenience and assures time accuracy.
Ximble has an intuitive interface that makes shift planning easy, using toggle to view multiple calendars quickly. It shows you the important details, such as, working hours, job roles and time-offs. Furthermore, you can sort the schedule by employee, role or department to match your management perspective. For example, if you have a high-value specialist employee, knowing his or her availability is as easy as sorting schedule based on his or her name.
Other key features we like about Ximble are: email notification, overtime limits, payroll export and fingerprint scanner support.
NimbleSchedule is adaptive to small and large team operations. It is specifically designed to automate repetitive tasks and free you up to do strategic work instead. With clear visibility of staff schedules and activities, event or project disruptions are minimized if not altogether eliminated.
The app enables remote workforce management with GPS stamping and mobile accessibility. If you have multiple or simultaneous events the software helps you manage all operations in the confines of a central hub such as the office or allows you to jump from one event to another while keeping in touch with all your staff. What’s more, you can easily juggle manpower based on on-the-ground requirements of your various events. This helps you optimize shared services and keep operations costs within budget.
NimbleSchedule also features communication tools for admin-employee collaboration. The whole team communicates on the same channel, keeping everyone updated with the latest information, especially on sudden schedule changes. The app also allows employees to clock in/out using their phones for greater accuracy in calculating worked hours and payroll.
We hope that our analysis of the top employee scheduling solutions above will help you fast track your product research. Setting up the apps above is quite easy and most of them have a friendly starting price. Still, the best way to pick that ideal app for you is to try the solution itself. For example, you can sign up for a When I Work free trial here to try its premium features at no cost.
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