10 Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software In 2022

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 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).

Employee shift scheduling software saves time and ensures that employees are always scheduled according to their personal preferences and availability. Shift scheduling tools help managers stay organized, and 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 consolidates other core HR functionalities all in one place.

In this article, I’ll share the 10 best employee shift scheduling software platforms for your business. I’ll also cover a couple of FAQs related to employee scheduling software solutions, and touch on some bonus employee scheduling apps. This article will help you save time by comparing the top employee scheduling software so you can select one that suits your needs.

The Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software List

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

  1. QuickBooks Time logoQuickBooks Time

    Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work

  2. Shiftbase logoShiftbase

    Best for employee attendance tracking

  3. ABC Roster logoABC Roster

    Best free shift scheduling tool for lean budgets

  4. Zoho People logoZoho People

    Best free employee shift scheduling software

  5. Sage HR logoSage HR

    Best shift scheduling for small businesses

  6. inJixo logoinJixo

    Best shift scheduling for call centers

  7. Shiftboard logoShiftboard

    Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry

  8. BambooHR logoBambooHR

    Best employee scheduling software for time-off management

  9. 7shifts logo7shifts

    Best for the restaurant industry

  10. When I Work logoWhen 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 provide thorough tutorials to get business managers up and running quickly.
  3. 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.
  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 

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. 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? Does the software 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 via PDFs, emails, and 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.

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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 $10/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 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 $10/user/month plus a base fee of $30/month. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
  • freemium version
  • From $3.50/user/month

Shiftbase - Best for 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 longer periods, including expected personnel costs and budgeting considerations. Shiftbase can also keep track of employee availability and absences, 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 also 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 free shift scheduling tool for lean budgets

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 scheduling feature can generate schedules based on details you can customize. 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 $2/user/month

Zoho People - Best free employee shift scheduling software

Zoho People lets you manage every aspect of shift schedules, from overseeing breaks to classifying payable vs. non-payable work items.

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.

  • 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 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 business owners.

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 $299/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 workforce management (WRM) solution 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 $299/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.

  • freemium version
  • 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 in addition to being a scheduling and labor laws compliance application for the restaurant industry. With 7shifts you can manage all of your employees’ schedules from one platform. You can also create shift schedule 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 still be up-to-date and productive while mobile.

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.

Need expert help selecting the right Calendar & Scheduling Software?

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Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software Summary

Software USP Free Option Price Site
QuickBooks Time QuickBooks Time logo Best GPS tracking software for off-site shift work

30 days free trial

From $10/user/month Check out QuickBooks Time
Shiftbase Shiftbase logo Best for employee attendance tracking Freemium version From $3.50/user/month Check out Shiftbase
ABC Roster ABC Roster logo Best free shift scheduling tool for lean budgets Not Available Free to use Check out ABC Roster
Zoho People Zoho People logo Best free employee shift scheduling software

30 days free trial

From $2/user/month Check out Zoho People
Sage HR Sage HR logo Best shift scheduling for small businesses

14 days free trial

From $5.50/user/month Check out Sage HR
inJixo inJixo logo Best shift scheduling for call centers

Free demo

From $299/month Check out inJixo
Shiftboard Shiftboard logo Best shift scheduling for manufacturing industry Not Available Offers customized pricing upon request. Check out Shiftboard
BambooHR BambooHR logo Best employee scheduling software for time-off management

7 days trial

Offers customized pricing upon request Check out BambooHR
7shifts 7shifts logo Best for the restaurant industry Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $17.99/month/location Check out 7shifts
When I Work When I Work logo Best employee shift scheduling software with time tracking

14 days free trial

From $2/user/month Check out When I Work

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 tool 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 scheduling tool for contract, freelance, and hourly workers
  10. ScheduleAnywhere – Best employee schedule requirement tracking
  11. eSchedule – Best for multi-location businesses
  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 and scheduling software for medium-sized businesses
  15. Celayix – Best AI-driven employee shift scheduling
  16. Branch – Best for employee-to-employee payments with built-in earned wages access (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 the 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.

Related Read: 9 Tweaks To Make Shift Working Even Better For Your Employees

Is there a free app for scheduling employees?

Yes! Free employee scheduling software does exist. In fact, we cover a few of them on this list, including 7shifts 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.

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