10 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software In 2021 Featured Image

10 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software In 2021

This is the ultimate list of the best free employee scheduling software in 2021. It contains the 10 best free employee scheduling software along with some bonus no-cost employee scheduling apps. I also cover a couple of FAQs related to free employee scheduling software solutions. Overall, this article will help small business owners and HR managers save money by quickly comparing the top free employee scheduling software available and selecting one that suits their needs.

As a business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to save money and keep overhead under control. One way to do this is to figure out how to handle your employee scheduling needs without paying an outside company to do it for you. Doing so will leave more money in your pocket. Also, managing your employees well means a happier work culture and more productive teams (translation = more cash in your pocket. Cha-ching!). 

There are some powerful free employee scheduling software that can help you in workforce management tasks like shift scheduling, staffing, managing labor costs, shift swapping, schedule changes, and schedule distribution. In this article, I will talk about 10 such free employee scheduling apps that will help you manage your teams better and remove work overwhelm.

The Best Free Employee Scheduling Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best free employee scheduling software:

  1. Google Workspace - Best for G Suite users
  2. Sling - Best free employee scheduling software for group scheduling
  3. Wrike - Best free employee scheduling app with Gantt chart visualization
  4. ABC Roster - Best free scheduling constraints management
  5. Asana - Best for Kanban-style task scheduling
  6. Findmyshift - Best drag-and-drop scheduler
  7. Acuity Scheduling - Best appointment-based shift scheduling
  8. 7Shifts - Best for the restaurant industry
  9. Fieldcode - Best IoT-driven software for field service with pay-per-event model
  10. Homebase - Best for free scheduling with POS and payroll integrations

Free Employee Scheduling Software: Comparison Criteria

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

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? There’s a common misconception in the industry that “free” means “looks cheaply made”. In this article, we have specifically highlighted employee scheduling tools that look good, sport clean interfaces, and make sense layout-wise.
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Oftentimes, free versions of software do not come with live tech support. In such cases, knowledge bases and training material become all the more important for usability of the rtool.
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Does the API allow for easy integrations? How smoothly do other top apps in the ecosystem work with the software? Does it work with top payroll apps and messaging tools?
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible? Does it suit the budgeting needs of the company?

Free Employee Scheduling Software: Key Features

Time tracking 

Time tracking is critical functionality for any employee scheduling app. A manager needs to track the time an employee spends on a particular task and also maintain timesheets. Employee scheduling apps that have this feature help in boosting the productivity of the company.

Timesheet reporting and analytics

Does the software have features for timesheet reports including logged time, overtime, and billable hours? Does the tool give you insightful analytics? Based on timesheet reporting, a business owner will be able to calculate the payroll, ship correct invoices, and get a clear picture about the output of the team.

Schedule export options

Does the software let you export the schedules? Does it let you export via PDFs, spreadsheets, and email? This is a key feature for teams especially when they are working remotely and do not have live access to the data stored on the online SaaS. Exporting schedules helps take data from the software and store it in the team member’s personal device. This helps in keeping the entire team on track even without access to the software.

Time-off requests and approvals

Does the software allow employees to submit time-off requests? Time-off requests are a key feature for an employee scheduling software as it is directly related to the productivity of the organization. Time-offs are important for keeping your workforce motivated and active, so an organized way of calculating time-offs and submitting requests becomes all the more necessary.

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 Free Employee Scheduling Software

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

  • Free to use for unlimited employees.

Google Workspace - Best for G Suite users

Google Workspace can be used to build your own collaborative spreadsheet and used to schedule shifts using add-ons like Shift Scheduler. (Image source: Shift Scheduler)

Google Workspace is an online productivity suite that allows users to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and calendars in the cloud. It offers data syncing across all devices and operating systems and provides additional security and privacy for your files with end-to-end encryption. Like all Google products, Workspace is built around Gmail integration—making it easy to share and distribute unlimited employee schedules.

The product doubles up as an employee scheduler by managing employee schedules and shift assignments. It offers centralized access to all schedules and shift assignments, making it easier for managers and employees to make changes on the fly. Google workspace can be used to send notifications to various employees via email. You can use it to create, schedule, and share Google Slides presentations with others. You can leverage it as a free scheduling tool by building your own collaborative spreadsheets and downloading scheduling templates from HR communities online.

You can build your own collaborative spreadsheet, download scheduling templates from HR communities online. You can combine the power of Google Workspace with add-ons from the Google Workspace marketplace like Shift Scheduler. Shift scheduler will automatically create and maintain your organization’s schedule in a single spreadsheet, creating Google Calendar events for your users/employees. It will also create and maintain a separate spreadsheet view reorganizing the schedules by shifts, to see which employee is covering what responsibility.

The product can be accessed via an offline mode too. Support is available via chat and email.

Integrations include Microsoft Office 365, Google Slides, LinkedIn, and OneDrive.

Google Workspace is free to use for unlimited employees.
  • Free to use for unlimited users with some features

Sling - Best free employee scheduling software for group scheduling

Sling has some advanced-level features in inter-team communication and group scheduling.

Sling is a scheduling software and workforce management tool that helps managers, supervisors, and employees make informed decisions about how to be more productive. It provides features like group scheduling for large events, managing time-offs, and customizing employee schedules.

With the free version of Sling app, you can set up shift templates so that you do not have to create recurring shifts from scratch. You can also set up shift alarms to keep your deadlines on track. Employees can submit time-off requests while you can check available shifts in real-time. Sling comes with Native iOS and Android apps. Support is available via a help center, filled with extensive documentation. You can also contact them via email.

Sling integrates with Shopify, Gusto, Square, and other apps.

Sling is free to use for unlimited users with some features like shift swapping and time clocks locked to paid plans.

  • Free to use with up to 2GB of storage space

Wrike - Best free employee scheduling app with Gantt chart visualization

Wrike’s Gantt chart feature lets you visualize every project step to track progress against deadlines and milestones.

Wrike.com is a cloud-based solution for scheduling and managing your small business team.

Wrike lets you create and manage multiple projects from one single platform. You can update project timelines with a drag-and-drop editor and collaborate among teams in real time. Wrike has a Gantt chart that lets you have a bird’s eye view of project progress and a holistic view of the work space and dependencies. You can create tasks and link them using dependencies, then track them based on milestones and deadlines. The real-time visualization of performance via reports and analytics makes life easier, as you can see the growth levers and clogs clearly.

The product’s in-built communication and messaging tools make collaborating on scheduling notes a team effort whether you are working task-by-task or looking at the big picture stuff. Support is available via live chat and email. There are also video lessons to guide you through building your very first schedule or launching a calendar from their templates list.

Wrike integrates with Slack, Trello, and Gmail.

Wrike is free to use with up to 2GB of storage space.

  • Free to use but is no longer being regularly updated

ABC Roster - Best free scheduling constraints management

ABC Roster lets you add rules for shift requirements and employee availability, from number of managers to who not to schedule together.

ABC Roster is always free to use with an optional one-time donation to the developer if you are feeling generous. Because there is no paid version of ABC Roster, what you get is what you get—for good or for worse. Features include drag-and-drop calendars with an easy to handle interface, an automated planner, file export options (PDF, HTML, Excel), and time off management.

One of the best features ABC Roster has to offer is a robust system for constraint management. Have an employee who only wants 4 days a week? No problem, make a note. Need exactly 2 managers on every shift? Add that rule! You can even deep-dive into more subjective employee scheduling territory, like who doesn’t get on well together and therefore shouldn’t be staffed together.

ABC Roster is free to use but is no longer being regularly updated.

  • Free to use for up to 15 people

Asana - Best for Kanban-style task scheduling

Asana’s Kanban-style boards schedule tasks and track their progress in the pipeline.

Asana is an app designed to break tasks down into manageable pieces and then assign them accordingly. Asana also has a Kanban board view that lets you visualize your progress.

Asana’s calendar feature lets you track your employee’s tasks and see which team member is working on what task and at what time. You can use this information to keep track of important project deadlines and milestones. Based on that you can adjust the shifts and give in-app feedback. You can schedule multiple projects and assign tasks to your team. You can sort scheduled tasks by team member, due date, and priority. You can also add milestones to a task and set deadlines for each phase of the project. The product is mobile-friendly with iOS and Android apps.

Asana integrates with Jira, Slack, Google Calendar, and other apps.

Asana is free to use for up to 15 people and there are no limits on the number of projects.

  • Free to use up to 5 employees

Findmyshift - Best drag-and-drop scheduler

Easily add and categorize time-offs for maternity, holiday, sickness, vacation, or personal.

Findmyshift is a web-based employee scheduling software that makes it easy for managers to schedule their staff. It helps in creating a roster in minutes with their drag-and-drop calendar interface. The free-form editor lets you add as many items to as many cells you like, based on your requirements. You can also create and store templates of repeating shift patterns. This will help you in scheduling faster.

Findmyshift allows managers to manage staff by finding the right person for the job at any given time. Findmyshift can do this with its rota feature, letting you see who’s available and who’s not when allocating shifts. The rota feature can also come to use when allocating time-offs as it will tell you if the employee has any shifts scheduled in that period. You can also keep the time-off requests private to avoid any staff conflict. The mobile app provides an excellent platform for employers to search, filter, and manage their employee’s availability in real-time.

Findmyshift integrates with Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and other communication apps.

Findmyshift is free to use up to 5 employees.

  • 7 days trial of the paid plans
  • Free to use for 1 calendar

Acuity Scheduling - Best appointment-based shift scheduling

Employee scheduling with customer self-service for by-appointment businesses and services.

Acuity Scheduling is a cloud-based software that integrates with your email calendar. The software is particularly good at handling complicated scheduling scenarios by allowing for post-booking flexibility like resetting of the booking amount and rollover of remaining appointments. It has an easily navigable schedule editor and scheduler. If you are an online trainer, consultant, or course creator, Acuity scheduling allows for scheduling for packages, memberships, and group classes for recurring billing. This can be particularly helpful if you are an online trainer, coach, or consultant. You also have the option to share your calendar with your clients via Facebook and Instagram.

Acuity Scheduling has time zone and multi-location support and provides for employee self-service. The reporting dashboard is clean and provides detailed reporting and analytics. Acuity Scheduling integrates smoothly with Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar, Facebook, Instagram, Zoho, video conferencing software, and over 500 more with a paid plan through Zapier. Acuity Scheduling integrates with online payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Acuity Scheduling is free to use for 1 calendar. After your free 7-day trial of the paid plans, you can downgrade to a free account by going into the “my account” menu and clicking “downgrade” beneath the free plan box.

  • Free for 1 location and up to 10 employees

7Shifts - Best for the restaurant industry

The 7Shifts scheduler is streamlined with color-coded task assignments, leading to quick task management.

7Shifts is a software that connects small businesses with their employees. The SaaS has employee scheduling features like work schedule management, in-line approvals, and time-off requests. The product also generates custom reports that are easy to understand. You can use them to optimize your employee scheduling process. Another really cool feature is the ability to create shift schedule templates—why create something from scratch? (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

The product comes with a mobile app. The data can be synced across all devices. This helps in keeping your team up to speed.

7Shifts works right out of the box with Google Calendar, Evernote, Slack, and other apps.

7Shifts is free for 1 location and up to 10 employees.

  • Pricing is based on a pay-per-event basis

Fieldcode - Best IoT-driven software for field service with pay-per-event model

Fieldcode allows you to group your team members based on their locations and see the progress of their tasks via a single dashboard. (Image source: GetApp)

Field code is an asset-based service management tool that helps businesses manage multi-location field service teams and organize dispatch operations. Companies can use Fieldcode to assign tickets to its field technicians, see the progress of tasks, and collect electronic signatures from clients.

You can use Fieldcode to generate real-time onsite reports. Managers can track their employees’ live location with GPS and keep their customers on the loop about the progress via emails and SMS. The dashboard is simple and lets team members filter tickets based on region or project. Support is available via an enquiry form and through videos, blogs, and whitepaper.

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

Pricing is based on a pay-per-event basis.

  • Free to use for unlimited employees at 1 location

Homebase - Best for free scheduling with POS and payroll integrations

Homebase does employee scheduling, shift feedback, timesheets, and integrations for free.

Homebase is an easy-to-use, intuitive software for employee scheduling. The app helps you manage your employees’ schedules, from work shifts to vacation days. The Shifts can be scheduled by day or by half day.Homebase allows employees to know what hours are available and see upcoming shifts. You can make shift changes and add overtime too. You can set up different schedules for each week and adjust it on the fly.

Unlike competitors in the free employee scheduling space, Homebase is free for unlimited employees (one location) and offers POS and payroll integration options—yes, even on the free plan! Homebase’s free plan has plenty of other features you don’t see elsewhere, like open job posting solutions, basic applicant tracking, workplace safety alerts, and shift feedback tools.

Homebase integrates with Google Calendar, Evernote, Gmail, IFTTT, DropBox, and other apps.

Homebase is free to use for unlimited employees at 1 location.

Best Free Employee Scheduling Software Summary

Software Overview Free Option Price Site
Google Workspace Google Workspace logo Read Google Workspace features & functionality Not Available Free to use for unlimited employees. Check out Google Workspace
Sling Sling logo Read Sling features & functionality Not Available Free to use for unlimited users with some features Check out Sling
Wrike Wrike logo Read Wrike features & functionality Not Available Free to use with up to 2GB of storage space Check out Wrike
ABC Roster ABC Roster logo Read ABC Roster features & functionality Not Available Free to use but is no longer being regularly updated Check out ABC Roster
Asana Asana logo Read Asana features & functionality Not Available Free to use for up to 15 people Check out Asana
Findmyshift Findmyshift logo Read Findmyshift features & functionality Not Available Free to use up to 5 employees Check out Findmyshift
Acuity Scheduling Acuity Scheduling logo Read Acuity Scheduling features & functionality

7 days trial of the paid plans

Free to use for 1 calendar Check out Acuity Scheduling
7Shifts 7Shifts logo Read 7Shifts features & functionality Not Available Free for 1 location and up to 10 employees Check out 7Shifts
Fieldcode Fieldcode logo Read Fieldcode features & functionality Not Available Pricing is based on a pay-per-event basis Check out Fieldcode
Homebase Homebase logo Read Homebase features & functionality Not Available Free to use for unlimited employees at 1 location Check out Homebase

Other Free Employee Scheduling Software Options

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

  1. Timify – Best free resource tracking software for small businesses
  2. ZoomShift – Best free employee scheduling software to manage hourly employees
  3. OpenSimSim – Best time tracking tool for mid-sized companies
  4. Tickspot – Best timecard application for freelancers

What Do You Think About These Free Employee Scheduling Software?

These were my top picks for the best employee shift scheduling software. Employee scheduling software is important not only to improve productivity, track time, and minimize no-shows. If you’ve got the budget for it, check this list out of the 10 Best Employees Shift Scheduling Software in 2021.

Now tell me your opinion and thoughts: What do you think of this list of free shift scheduling solutions? Any particular ones that I missed? Let me know in the comments section?

If you liked the article, please share it with your network. They will thank you for this! (Yeah, I know it’s a low-key flex!)

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