- 1. Connecteam — Best employee scheduling app for planning, distributing & swapping shifts
- 2. Homebase — Best scheduling tool for contract, freelance, and hourly workers
- 3. TimeClock Plus — Best for its flexible approach to shift scheduling
- 4. Zoho Shifts — Best for letting employees swap and pick up shifts
- 5. Justworks — Best for time tracking with 24/7 HR support
- 6. QuickBooks Time — Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work
- 7. When I Work — Best employee shift scheduling software with time tracking
- 8. Zoho People — Best free employee shift scheduling software
- 9. Skedulo — Best employee shift scheduling software for concurrent scheduling
- 10. Shiftboard — Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry
Employee shift scheduling is one of the hardest tasks for resource managers and business owners to tackle. It can be time-consuming and challenging to plan out who should work and when. This is especially true if you have many staff with various scheduling needs, or a complex schedule set-up (like 24-hour work cycles).
In this article, I'll cover the 10 best employee shift scheduling software on the market today. This article will help you save time by comparing the top employee scheduling software so you can select one that suits your business needs.
What Is Employee Shift Scheduling Software?
Employee shift scheduling software is used to create digital work schedules for hourly workers. They track personal work preferences and availability, helping managers create schedules that work for all. They also provide other benefits like direct links to payroll and time-off management systems. Many employee scheduling tools are also part of larger HRIS or HRMS systems, which consolidate other core HR functionalities all in one place.
Connecteam is an employee shift scheduling system, designed for deskless employees, HR teams, employee managers, and business owners, to create and distribute shift schedules, communicate, operate, and train non-desk employees, wherever they might be in real-time.
Connecteam lets you simplify shift scheduling from planning to distribution through features for assigning shifts in a click, duplicate, drag & drop, use templates, and bulk actions. You will also be able to oversee execution with shift tasks and shift status updates. Employees can also get push notifications and all the information they need in real-time. It also includes scheduling conflict and overtime alerts.
Available on mobile, desktop, or as a kiosk app for tablets, Connecteam was made for organizations where employees don’t spend their working time in the office. From retail and restaurants to manufacturing, construction, field services, and healthcare — Connecteam is being used by thousands of businesses across dozens of industries, to communicate with and manage their mobile workforce.
Manage your deskless employees within a single app and for no extra cost, including a dedicated employee communication channel with targeted updates, team engagement features, surveys, polls, suggestion box to collect employees feedback, searchable company directory, organizational chat, training and onboarding capabilities, a company library, time management, digital forms and checklists, and quick tasks.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
Homebase is employee shift scheduling software that simplifies managing employee availability, time-off requests, and shift swapping. Businesses can import schedules from previous weeks, set employee wage rates, and comply with labor laws. The cloud-based platform synchronizes employee scheduling and time-tracking, making schedule creation and management easier for managers. It allows businesses to manage multiple locations through an easy-to-use dashboard, enabling users to add employees, edit schedules, and communicate with employees if necessary.
The software has a mobile app available for IOS and Android devices. The software integrates with other workforce management apps like payroll, POS, and applicant tracking systems to offer businesses an all-inclusive solution. With its POS integration, users can automatically view labor costs per shift, reducing overhead expenses. It also lets managers view sales data and discover which employees drive sales.
Homebase’s two-way communication system allows employees to message each other, pick up shifts for other employees, or suggest swapping their shifts. It also enables real-time updates to help avoid schedules with missing employees. Its time clock feature allows employees to clock in and out, keeping track of the hours worked. The feature also tracks employee breaks and calculates overtime. Managers can then ensure that employees adhere to their scheduled hours and avoid labor law violations.
The platform offers a labor cost management tool that helps businesses control labor costs by tracking employee labor expenses. Users can set up labor budgets for their business or department and then compare the actual labor costs to the budget in real time. They can identify cost-saving opportunities, optimize labor expenses, and increase profitability. Homebase's reporting functionality provides valuable insights into sales and labor data. Users can generate custom reports on labor expenses, payroll data, and employee performance. These insights make informed decisions, identify trends, and forecast future labor needs.
TimeClock Plus is a time and attendance software designed to automate the time-keeping process and scheduling so you can proactively manage your employees.
I was really impressed by the flexibility that the platform offers both admins and users. While as an admin you can configure specific rules for employees and handle multiple pay periods and overtime with multiple rates, as a user you can connect with other team members and coordinates shifts. What I mean by this is that once the shifts are out, the shift roster lets users to swap schedules, drop requests, pick up open shifts, and handle coverage without any management involvement.
On top of that, automated scheduling lets you set custom variables and employee preferences to make sure the system creates conflict-free schedules. And if you have complex scheduling needs, advanced scheduling handles coverage assurance, qualification requirements for shifts, and CBA compliance.
Finally, if you want to see detailed information on certain teams and make business decisions, you can use the reporting module. You can pull reports to the level of depth that you need, see information on graphs and tables that look like a dashboard on paper, and much more.
TimeClock Plus integrates with over a hundred payroll solutions like ADP, BAI, Ascentis, Accra, Casamba, Cayenne, Ceridian, and Epicure. Also Quickbooks, Paychex, or even payroll modules from ERP systems like SAP, Sage, and NetSuite.
Zoho Shifts is an employee shift scheduling and time tracking tool combined. You can build out your shift schedule with the drag-and-drop editor, and save your schedules as templates to use again in the future. It's user-friendly and straightforward to get up and running with quickly.
Employees have a self-serve portal where they can clock in and out of work. This can be done from a mobile device, tablet, or computer. What's nice about this platform is that employees can swap shifts with colleagues, offer up shifts, and pick up shifts. This provides a level of flexibility for hourly workers, and saves you the hassle of changing the schedule with every update.
In addition to the scheduling capabilities, time off requests can be managed in the platform. You can also connect it to your payroll system to sync up timesheets with your payroll processing. Other nice features include unlimited locations, notifications, and break management. The software does not integrate with other tools at the moment but you can export the payroll data in CSV format and use it in any payroll software.
Paid plans start from just $1 per user, per month. A 30-day free trial is also available.
Justworks is an all-inclusive HR software that offers employee time management solutions to help businesses efficiently track and manage employee work hours. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Justworks can simplify the process of scheduling and tracking time, making it a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.
The software offers an intuitive interface, which makes it easy for employers to create and manage employee shift schedules, track time, and review time logs and locations. The platform offers a range of powerful features designed to streamline time tracking and ensure accurate record-keeping. It caters to the needs of businesses across different industries and sizes, providing flexibility and scalability.
Justworks offers comprehensive time tracking capabilities, allowing employers to record and monitor employee work hours accurately. It provides various methods for time entry, such as manual input, digital clock-in/out, and integration with compatible time clocks. This feature enables employers to track employee attendance, calculate overtime, and generate accurate payroll reports.
The platform sends notifications and reminders to employers and employees, ensuring everyone is informed about time logs, time-off requests, or geo-changes. Users can also sync Justworks' scheduling data with Google Calendar, enabling users to track time off, payroll, and holidays.
Integrations include Google Calendar, QuickBooks, Greenhouse, Xero, Slack, Vanguard, Fidelity, Citi Bike, and E-Verify.
QuickBooks Time is a cloud-based SaaS time-tracking app that allows employees to clock in and out of their workspace from any device. The product helps companies to replace paper or any other form of tracking ledger with a complete electronic time data system. QuickBooks Time also simplifies payroll and invoicing. QuickBooks Time also tracks GPS points (even without internet) and syncs all the data to give you a real-time view of geofencing information.
The “who’s working” feature helps companies to see where their employees are currently located and what they are currently working on. The scheduling feature lets users drag-and-drop shifts, assign tasks, and send necessary alerts to managers if employees have not clocked in for a shift. There is also a feature for shift swapping that can be turned on and off in the payroll settings menu. The SaaS model allows free unlimited phone, email, and chat support to all customers.
QuickBooks Time integrates with Expensify, Cext Prepare, Plooto, Knowify for Contractors, Aero Workflow, Fathom, Shopify, Stripe, PayPal, Jobber, Method:CRM, Housecall Pro, Veem, Checkflo, Syft Analytics, and dozens more third-party apps per their growing add-ons collection.
QuickBooks Time costs from $8/user/month plus a $10/month base fee. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
WhenIWork is an employee scheduling software with an integrated time tracking tool for shift and task tracking. This allows you to manage your employees and track their hours without ever leaving the app. Your employees can manage their availability, submit time-off requests, and collaborate on shift trades.
For repetitive scheduling, WhenIWork lets you design shift templates or use easy copy-paste mechanisms to duplicate submitted information. The app makes it super easy to add and remove employees. It also facilitates fast communication with an in-app messaging system. If something about your schedule is amiss or needs to change, you will have feedback right away.
WhenIWork integrates with Acuity Scheduling, Calendly, TSheets, and more. Support is available via email and chat.
WhenIWork costs from $2/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
Zoho People is an all-in-one HR solution that automates and simplifies manual and repetitive HR tasks.You can consolidate attendance data from multiple sources and eliminate errors due to manual entries. The platform gives you the freedom to customize schedules, leave types, and create timesheets with ease.
You can create and customize shifts and add periodic shift rotations based on your company’s scheduling structure. There is also an option to add allowances. You can also do employee reviews and get 360-degree feedback to review performance. Other than that, you have tools to answer employee queries, automate HR tasks with automated e-mail alerts and intelligent workflow configuration
The product integrates with Zapier, QuickBooks, AdobeSign, and more. Support is by email and chat.
Zoho People costs from $2/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
Skedulo is a mobile workforce management software that allows you to manage your deskless workforce in one centralized application. It allows you to schedule employees according to their locations to help reduce travel time and avoid late appointments with clients. Skedulo lets you manage leaves and unavailability, giving you time to look for reinforcements and preventing project delays or missed appointments.
Skedulo is the best employee shift scheduling software if you have employees who can take on one or more simultaneous schedules because of its concurrent scheduling capabilities. The software lets you view available workers and their skill sets, giving you a better idea of which employees can handle concurrent schedules. Skedulo enables you to send SMS and push notifications to your employees’ mobile devices, letting you alert them to any shift change and allowing them to accept or decline them.
Skedulo integrates with other people management software including Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and others.
Skedulo provides volume-based pricing upon request.
Shiftboard’s employee scheduling software helps you solve business challenges like lowering labor costs, improving employee retention, and ensuring compliance. It is geared towards mission-critical industries like manufacturing, oil and gas, and healthcare. These types of industries will appreciate Shiftboard’s shift rotation features because of their round-the-clock schedules.
Shiftboard can automate current employee schedules based on availability and shift preferences. You can create, publish, and manage weekly employee work schedules with features like ABCD. Support is available via email and chat.
Shiftboard integrates with your existing payroll solutions, like Paychex, Salesforce, Kronos, and other apps.
Shiftboard offers customized pricing upon request.
Need expert help selecting the right tool?
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Best employee scheduling app for planning, distributing & swapping shifts
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Visit Website|
Best scheduling tool for contract, freelance, and hourly workers
Free plan available (unlimited employees)
|From $20/month (payroll add-on is $6/user/month + $39/month)||Visit Website|
Best for its flexible approach to shift scheduling
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for letting employees swap and pick up shifts
30-day free trial
|From $1/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for time tracking with 24/7 HR support
Free demo available
|From $59/user/month||Visit Website|
Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work
30-day free trial
|From $8/user/month + $10/month base fee||Visit Website|
When I Work
Best employee shift scheduling software with time tracking
14-day free trial
|From $2/user/month||Visit Website|
Best free employee shift scheduling software
30-day free trial
|From $1.50/user/month||Visit Website|
Best employee shift scheduling software for concurrent scheduling
|Offers customized pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best shift scheduling for contact centers
- ABC Roster
Best free shift scheduling tool for lean budgets
Best for employee attendance tracking
- Buddy Punch
Best employee shift scheduling software for geofencing and automatic sign-outs
Best for the restaurant industry
Best employee scheduling software for time-off management
Best employee shift scheduling software for ease of use
Best employee shift scheduling software for balancing workload allocation
- Sage HR
Best shift scheduling for small businesses
Best modular digital workspace for small businesses
Best for employee-to-employee payments with built-in earned wages access (EWA).
Best employee shift scheduling app for scheduling flexibilities
Best employee schedule requirement tracking
Best free scheduling tool for small teams
Best labor relations and resolution management app for small businesses
Best employee shift scheduling for enterprises
Best AI-driven employee shift scheduling
Best email management desktop app for small businesses
Best employee scheduling solution with demand forecasting feature
- Schedule It
Best employee scheduling analytics solution
Selection Criteria For Employee Shift Scheduling Software
Wondering what I look for when selecting the best employee shift scheduling software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria and the standard questions that I incorporate into my software assessments:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Is the interface straightforward? Is it free of menu clutter, off-topic features, and distracting design options?
- Usability: Virtually every industry, high or low tech, needs employee scheduling software; so with this in mind, the best shift scheduling apps should be super easy to use and provide thorough tutorials to get business managers up and running quickly.
- Software Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? How smoothly does the tool work with other tools and add-ons in the ecosystem to fulfill your business needs? The best shift scheduling software should work out of the box with top payroll apps to simplify employee payments. It should also have integrations with top email/messaging tools for sending out schedules.
- Value for Price: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible? How fast can you get results from it? In addition to their paid plans, is a free plan available for a test run?
Other Key Features
To make my final selections for this list, I dug deeply into the following key features that I believe the best employee shift scheduling software should contain. Plus, in addition to the criteria below, I also noted other key employee management features wherever possible, to help you get the most out of my recommendations.
Dynamic visual calendar
I appreciate employee shift scheduling software with a visually appealing calendar that is easy to navigate. Modern UI touches like drag-and-drop scheduling blocks are also really helpful. As well, scheduling calendars that support text formatting, color coding, and other aesthetic indicators for shift changes or urgent notifications are extra appealing.
I also look for tools where the calendar can be digitally distributed to staff through a variety of channels, like email, push notifications, or SMS.
Built-in time off requesting & approvals
To streamline the scheduling process, I look for employee shift scheduling software that allows staff to request time off right in the app. From the manager's perspective, it's important to be able to approve or deny paid or unpaid time-off requests easily. Having the functionality to add notes or other feedback to scheduling and time-off requests is also a really useful feature.
Shift swapping and shuffling
Dealing with swapping, shuffling, and scheduling conflicts is the crux of employee scheduling tools, so I ask a lot of questions in this category. For example, does the employee scheduling software allow shift shuffling and shift swapping between employees? Does it assist in shift swapping and suggest employees based on open schedules? Will the software automatically update and inform all the concerned teams about a shift shuffle, shift swap, or scheduling conflict?
Shift shuffling supports flexible and fluid workforce management, so if a team member no-shows or is sick, you can shuffle the shift and assign another capable employee to their slot. Depending on your industry, you may want to allow employees to swap shifts between themselves based on their availability, without bottlenecking all requests to run through management or human resources. Allowing this leads to optimal utilization of available workforce and time.
Timesheet reporting and analytics
The best staff scheduling tools should produce timesheet reports consisting of the logged time, billable hours, and overtime. Beyond that, I also want to see detailed analytics provided in a visual-friendly format. Based on these reports, you should be able to calculate payroll, send correct invoices, and know the state of employee productivity in your team.
Schedule export options
Does the tool allow for exporting schedules as PDFs, emails, or Excel spreadsheets? Exporting schedules is a key feature for teams when they're working offline and would like to keep a record of the data outside of the scheduling software. This is especially helpful for teams working remotely and with varying degrees of internet connectivity.
Why is shift scheduling software important?
How do you manage employee shift schedules?
Is there a free app for scheduling employees?
Other Scheduling & Workforce Management Software Reviews
There are many different types of scheduling software out there since not all organizations are shift-based. To save you some time, here are some links to other types of employee scheduling software I've already researched for you:
- Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses
- Free Employee Scheduling Software
- Online Employee Scheduling Software
- Open Source Employee Scheduling Software
Also, if you're looking to improve your workforce management practices beyond shift management, these other top 10 lists are also worth visiting:
- Workforce Management Software
- Leave Management Software for Tracking PTO
- Attendance Tracking Software
- Team Communication Apps for Hybrid Teams
- Employee Communication Software
- Time Tracking Software for Clocking Work Hours
- Time Tracking Apps for Remote & Hybrid Teams
These were my top picks for the best employee shift scheduling software. Now tell me your opinion. What do you think of this list of shift scheduling software solutions? Any top employee shift scheduling software I missed that you think has great potential? Let me know about it in the comments section.
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