10 Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software Featured Image

10 Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software In 2021

This is the ultimate list of the best employee shift scheduling software in 2021. It contains the 10 best employee scheduling software along with a few bonus employee scheduling apps. I also cover a couple of FAQs related to employee scheduling software solutions. Overall, this article will help business owners and HR managers to save time by quickly comparing the top employee scheduling software so they can select one that suits their use case.

One of the hardest tasks for HR managers is employee shift scheduling. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to plan out who should work when. This is especially true if you have a large staff with varying schedules (we all need to respect Jim’s daily burger break and Tina’s pedicure appointment for her cat, Mrs. Pringles).  

As managers, we do need to keep our employees happy by rewarding them with breaks, healthcare leaves, and other benefits for being with the company. This helps foster a great company culture and a happier work environment (and also prevents that anonymous 1-star review on Glassdoor from IHateYourCompany25!).

“But Abhik, that’s all well and good, but I need to get my work done too, right?”

That’s true! So what’s the answer to this conundrum? 

It is using employee shift scheduling software.

Employee shift scheduling software saves time and ensures that employees are always scheduled fairly by taking into account their personal preferences and availability.

Shift scheduling tools help managers stay organized, but they also have many other benefits. One of the most important reasons to use employee shift scheduling software is that you don’t have to look in multiple places for your information. You’ll find everything, all in one place! 

In this article, I will share the 10 best employee shift schedulers for your business.

The Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best employee shift scheduling software and scheduling tools:

  1. QuickBooks Time - Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work
  2. Shiftbase - Best employee attendance tracking
  3. ABC Roster - Best for employee and shift constraint management
  4. Zoho People - Best free employee shift scheduling software
  5. Sage HR - Best shift scheduling for small businesses
  6. inJixo - Best shift scheduling for call centers
  7. ShiftBoard - Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry
  8. BambooHR - Best employee scheduling software for time-off management
  9. 7Shifts - Best for the restaurant industry
  10. When I Work - Best employee shift scheduling software with time tracking

Employee Shift Scheduling Software: Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best employee shift scheduling software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. 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? 
  2. 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 will provide through tutorials to get business managers up and running quickly.
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? 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.
  4. Value for $: 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?

Employee Shift Scheduling Software: Key Features

What key employee management features make the best employee shift scheduling apps? I look for these key features:

Dynamic Visual Calendar 

Does the employee shift scheduling software have a visually appealing calendar that is easy to navigate and incorporates modern UI touches like drag-and-drop scheduling blocks? Can the calendar be digitally distributed to staff through a variety of channels, like email or SMS? Does the calendar support text formatting, color coding, and other aesthetic indicators for shift changes or other urgent notifications?

Built-in Time Off Requesting & Approvals 

Does the employee shift scheduling software allow staff to request time off right in the app? Are managers able to approve or deny paid or unpaid time-off requests easily? Can notes/feedback be entered accordingly by either party to better convey their intent behind the scheduling change?

Shift swapping and shuffling

Does the employee scheduling software allow shift shuffling and swift swapping between employees? Does it suggest employees based on open schedules and assist in shift swapping? Does the software update and inform all the concerned teams about the shift shuffle and swap? Shift shuffling enables a flexible and fluid workforce management. So if a team member no-shows or is sick, you can shuffle the shift and assign some other capable employee their slot. In terms of swift swapping, employees can swap shifts between themselves based on their availability and arrangements. All this leads to optimal utilization of available workforce and time.

Timesheet reporting and analytics

Does the tool give timesheet reports consisting of the logged time, billable hours, and overtime? Does the tool give detailed analytics for the same in a visual-friendly format? Based on this report, you will be able to calculate the payroll, send correct invoices, and know the state of productivity in your team.

Schedule export options

Does the tool allow for exporting the schedules via PDFs, emails, and spreadsheets? Exporting schedules is a key feature for teams when they are 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.

People Managing People is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the best employee scheduling software on my list showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $4.50/user/month

QuickBooks Time - Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work

QuickBooks Time’s Timesheet setup has a barebones structure where you can set up weekly timesheets and edit details for one day or event at a time.

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 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 $4.50/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
  • freemium version
  • From $3.50/user/month

Shiftbase - Best employee attendance tracking

Shiftbase lets you drag-and-drop shifts via its user-friendly interface.

If you’re tired of making spreadsheets again and again to manage your shifts, Shiftbase does it for you. Shiftbase is a next-generation time management app that orchestrates all aspects of an employee’s shift planning and scheduling without constant manual input from the user. This helps employees plan their day with ease and without facing any friction.

Shiftbase creates flexible schedules for a longer period. Schedules expected personnel costs and budgets. Schedules can also keep track of employee availability and absence, letting the scheduler include any additional requests. When the work schedule is complete, it can be shared via email or through the mobile app. You can view employee attendance and current wage costs. Support is available via chat and email.

Shiftbase integrates with Datafox, Easylon, Growzer, Wagestream, and dozens of other third-party apps. They also offer API documentation for further connection options.

Shiftbase costs from $3.50/user/month and offers a freemium version for 1 department and up to 75 employees.

  • Free to use

ABC Roster - Best for employee and shift constraint management

Set schedule constraints for each shift and each employee including must-haves (min. # managers) and nice-to-haves (X doesn’t like to work with Y).

ABC Roster is a straightforward employee shift-scheduling software with a professional interface and eye-catching colors.

The product also automatically backs up your data that can be saved in the user’s computer. The automated planner can generate schedules based on your details that you can later tweak. You can also export schedules to Microsoft Excel, PDF, and HTML docs. ABC Roster lets you email the schedules to employees directly from the application. Support is available through on-site documentation.

ABC Roster doesn’t list any third-party integrations on their site at this time.

ABC Roster is free to use

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $1.50/user/month

Zoho People - Best free employee shift scheduling software

Zoho People lists its various people management features in an organized way.

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 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 $1.50/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $5.50/user/month

Sage HR - Best shift scheduling for small businesses

SageHR lists all your employees via a simple and clean interface, giving you a real-time view of the work movement in your organization.

Sage HR performs common shift scheduling tasks with the additional benefit of recruitment solution support right within the app. . You can upload your employee database to your new online staff directory with a few clicks. The product has features like leave management, timesheets, employee tracking and submission, and management of company expenses from the mobile app. Support is available via chat and email.

Sage HR is a good fit for small businesses because of its affordability and its non-techie interface that can be easily operated by solopreneurs and startup founders.

Sage HR integrates with Slack, Zapier, and G Suite.

Pricing starts at $5.50/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.

  • Free demo
  • From $415/month

inJixo - Best shift scheduling for call centers

inJixo automates the process of meetings by selecting the best possible meeting slots and scheduling the meetings for your team.

inJixo is a smart workflow management solution (WFM) that makes your call center better. The dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The product has features for real-time management, scheduling call center agents, forecasting call volume, and more. Support is via email, online chat, and step-by-step onboarding videos to assist you at your own pace.

You can do shift management on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, thus lending a lot of flexibility to your management style. You can do automatic forecasting of requirements for any given day based on the data from call handling platforms.

The product integrates with Freshdesk, Asterisk, and Zendesk.

inJixo costs from $415/month and offers a free demo.

  • Offers customized pricing upon request.

ShiftBoard - Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry

With Shiftboard, you can auto-fill shifts and do ad-hoc last minute shift changes with real-time lists of qualified workers.

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.

  • 7 days trial
  • Offers customized pricing upon request

BambooHR - Best employee scheduling software for time-off management

Bamboo HR lets you calculate future time-off balances with its accrual calculator.

Bamboo HR is designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Bamboo HR does it by providing an easy-to-use workspace scheduling experience for your small team, thus helping you focus on the core issues. The interface and design is simple to use and provides for easy onboarding for the employees. You can manage the entire schedule on the go. This is especially helpful for small businesses with remote teams.

The product lets you track employee hours, calculate payroll, and manage employee benefits. In terms of recruitment, the product has an applicant tracking system and a good time and attendance app. Support is available via email and chat.

The time-off balance feature comes as a highlight of the tool. If your employees want to take time-off in advance, they can use the accrual calculator built within Bamboo HR to see if they have enough time for vacations. One can also edit and correct their future time-off request dates.

Bamboo HR integrates with Slack, Zenefits, and GitHub.

Bamboo HR offers customized pricing upon request and has a free 7-day trial.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17.99/month/location

7Shifts - Best for the restaurant industry

The 7Shifts scheduler summarizes schedules, hours worked, and pay in one calendar interface.

7shifts is a time tracking tool apart from being a scheduling and labor compliance software for the restaurant industry. With 7shifts you can manage all of your employees’ schedules from one platform. You can also create shift templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

7shifts data can be synced and accessed across all devices, making it mobile-friendly for employees who are Android and iOS users. This allows them to be mobile and not be stuck to their office chair and still be up-to-date and productive.

7shifts integrates with Google Calendar, Slack, and Evernote.

7shifts is free to use for 1 location. Their paid plans cost from $17.99/month/location and come with a 14-day free trial.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $2/user/month

When I Work - Best employee shift scheduling software with time tracking

WhenIWork has features like a scheduler, attendance tracker, hiring modules, and even a work chat option to create seamless communication between the employees and their managers.

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.

Other Employee shift scheduling software Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Monday.com – Best modular digital workspace for small businesses
  2. Wrike – Best work management software for advanced customizations
  3. ConnectTeam – Best employee shift scheduling app for GPS location tracking
  4. Skedulo – Best employee shift scheduling software for concurrent scheduling
  5. Shift – Best email management desktop app for small businesses
  6. Findmyshift –  Best free scheduling for small teams
  7. WorkAxle – Best employee shift scheduling for enterprises
  8. Voila – Best staffing budget optimization software for small businesses
  9. Homebase – Best free hourly scheduling for contract and freelance workers
  10. ScheduleAnywhere – Best employee schedule requirement tracking
  11. eSchedule – Best for multi-location business
  12. Trabali – Best employee management software with integrations with fingerprint reader apps.
  13. Schedule It – Best employee scheduling analytics solution 
  14. MX-SmartScheduler – Best payroll software for medium-sized businesses
  15. Celayix – Best AI-driven employee shift scheduling
  16. Branch – Best employee-to-employee payments with built-in EWA. 
  17. Snap Schedule – Best employee shift-scheduling software for construction industry
  18. Timesphere – Best employee scheduling solution with demand forecasting feature
  19. Workzoom – Best labor relations and resolution management app for small businesses
  20. Smartlinx – Best employee shift-scheduling app for healthcare industry
  21. HotSchedules – Best employee shift scheduling app for scheduling flexibilities

Employee shift scheduling software: FAQs

Before we conclude, I want to cover some frequently asked questions related to employee shift scheduling software. 

How do you manage employee shift schedules?

The first step in scheduling employee shifts is to know your team. You need to know who does what best and what team clusters offer you the best productivity. Next, you need to prioritize your best employees and build the schedule around them (trade shifts and swap shifts based on your top performer’s preferred choices). After that, you need to fill up open shifts with various permutations and combinations that work best in your team. Finally, you need to set up an employee shift scheduling system with the help of an employee shift scheduling software that enables a team-wide communication and coordination system that works on automation. This is the best way to streamline and schedule employee shifts.

Is There a Free App for Scheduling Employees?

Yes! In fact, we cover a few of them on this list, including 7Shift and ABC Roster. You can choose one that fits your needs the best.

What Do You Think About These Employee Shift Scheduling Software?

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 these 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.

Also, if you liked the article, I would really appreciate it if you can give it a share on social media. I assure you, your network will see you as the new HR influencer (low-key flexin!).

Want to stay ahead in all things related to the employee management and HR world? Subscribe to the PeopleManagingPeople newsletter.

[gravityform id="5" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_5' ><div id='gf_5' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_5' id='gform_5' action='/tools/best-employee-shift-scheduling-software/#gf_5' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_5' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_5_1" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_5_1' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_5_1' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_5_3" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_5_3' >Name</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_3' id='input_5_3' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_5' class='gform_button button' value='Sign me up' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_5"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_5"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_5"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_5"]=true; jQuery("#gform_5").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=5&amp;title=&amp;description=&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_5' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='5' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_5' value='WyJbXSIsImFjYmY3ZmJjZDYyYmNkYmE1MTBkOGE2MWQ4YTM1M2MxIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_5' id='gform_target_page_number_5' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_5' id='gform_source_page_number_5' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_5' id='gform_ajax_frame_5' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 5, 'https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_5').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_5');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_5').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_5').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_5').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_5').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_5').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_5').val();gformInitSpinner( 5, 'https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [5, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_5'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_5').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_5').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [5]);window['gf_submitting_5'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_5').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_5').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [5, current_page]);} );} ); </script>