Managers have saved hours of work by ditching the classic paper records or spreadsheets to record their employees’ attendance and leave days. Automating your employee scheduling tasks lets you focus on other aspects like maintaining a solid team culture or ensuring your staff is happy.
For this article, I’ve tested 10 employee scheduling tools that reunite the core features you need to manage your team’s work hours, time off, payroll, and sometimes even more.
Note that each one of these platforms comes with extra features that will be helpful for a specific industry or need. I’ll take you through the benefits of the core capabilities that help you maintain error-free schedules and stay compliant—regardless of your team’s size or location.
Keep reading for the list of 10 online employee scheduling software options HR, business owners, or team managers need to consider.
What Is Employee Scheduling Software?
Employee scheduling software solutions are used to plan, track, and report on your worker’s tasks and timesheets. This includes managing shifts, tracking vacation and sick time, and making wage payments based on fair data—no matter how many locations and teams you’re in charge of.
Their automated versions enable smooth schedule management even when work hours are extended unexpectedly or employees start trading their shifts. The scheduling module on these tools is almost always paired with time tracking and reporting capabilities for complete staff activity organization and analysis.
Note: Most of the tools you can get today are available online via a web application but employees can access them through desktop or mobile apps instead. You can use all of the solutions on this list directly from your web browser as employees can log their time online either from their computers or mobile phones.
Why Choose Employee Scheduling Software?
The complexity of these apps makes for a lengthy list of benefits you can get from a single HR hub. Here’s a few of them:
Lowered labor costs and unexpected expenses
Less time spent on scheduling and rescheduling
No shift delays or overlaps
More clarity regarding employee availability and shift exchanges
Improved employee satisfaction and retention rates
Direct payroll based on clear work hours stats
Full labor law compliance
Real-time view of your team’s activity and work risks
Most tools also provide flexible pricing levels so any kind of business can gain from them. You can access many free employee scheduling software alternatives with limited core features or for smaller teams.
The Best Online Employee Scheduling Software List
Here’s a shortlist of the best employee scheduling software:
What do I look for when I select the best online employee scheduling apps? Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria that should inspire your decision-making process:
User Interface (UI): Attractive UI is particularly helpful when you’re looking to implement a new tool quickly. An intuitive interface makes it easier for your employees to use the tool without requiring extra training. For a non-boring experience, opt for a bright and clean design.
Usability: Reduce labor costs by looking for sellers that offer timely tech support and training even prior to making the purchase. A comprehensive help center complete with tutorials or a community to answer your inquiries in real-time is an added plus. Without these, you’d have to spend extra time and resources on training instead of using that time to do your work.
Integrations: How easy is it for you to integrate the new tool with your current apps? Employee scheduling software is likely just one of the solutions you need to run your business. Choose platforms that seamlessly integrate with apps you’re already using, such as HRMS, thanks to pre-built integrations or add-ons. Another option is to request a specific integration and see if the seller’s dev team can prioritize this and allow customization.
Value for $: Pick two or three apps from this list to compare their pricing. You want the cost to be appropriate for the capabilities you get. Keep in mind that unclear pricing or a lack of transparency are huge red flags.
Online Employee Scheduling Software Key Features
Employee scheduling: Allocate employee schedules, tasks, and PTO or sick days.
Automated scheduling: Save time by scheduling and adjusting work distribution based on predefined rules or patterns.
Shiftbase is a straightforward online tool used in industries where shift management is a priority like production, transportation, or retail. Its mix of employee scheduling, time tracking, and human resources management (HCM) allows managers to plan and monitor workflows from anywhere.
Their physical punch clock boxes let staff members mark the start and end of their shifts directly on the work site. Alternatively, time tracking can be done online via the mobile app or web browser. An ISO 27001:2017 certification ensures personal data is secured and up to par with global standards.
Shiftbase paid plans start at €2.75/active employee/month and you can test the tool with a free 14-day trial.
2. Homebase – Best if you need a complete online HR platform
The Homebase team scheduling software is mainly used by small businesses such as small stores, beauty salons or fitness facilities, and other service providers. The platform provides an exhaustive set of features that let you run your HR tasks from start to finish, including hiring and onboarding, scheduling, time tracking, team communication, and more.
Its simplicity and vast array of functionalities have brought numerous distinctions such as “Top Rated Time Clock Software” by The Blueprint and a 5-star rating on QuickBooks Apps.
Homebase has a free plan you can use with an unlimited number of employees but fewer advanced features. This replaces a free trial.
Schedule360 users commonly refer to the software as a cost-effective solution where payment is required only for the staff members who use it. The personalized cost of the tool also implies the seller will configure the app to suit your staffing and business needs. Features like rules-based self-scheduling, license and credential tracking, or shift dispatching come in handy for markets such as nursing, disaster relief, or pharmacies.
No free trial or public pricing is available. Check out the Schedule360 pricing page to get your custom pricing.
4. Hub Planner – Best for resource allocation and availability mapping
Hub Planner provides a complete list of features like core resource scheduling and time tracking along with project planning and real-time reporting. Users from all kinds of professions can use the tool thanks to its availability on various devices—including on the go as long as you’re connected to the Internet.
The tool’s complex resource scheduling functionalities allow managers to find available team members by skills, location, department, workload, and/or custom tags.
Hub Planner plans are available from $7/resource/month with a generous 60-day free trial.
While Sage HR is an ideal tool for SMBs, big names like Deloitte or airBaltic also use it for recruitment, onboarding, shift scheduling, time and expense tracking, and leave management. The performance module stands out as it helps managers keep track of goals, schedule one-on-one meetings, and collect employee feedback.
Sage HR comes with a couple of handy extra features like support for eSignatures, detailed reporting, and a workflow builder. Additionally, you can integrate it with other Sage online products like Sage CRM, Sage HRMS, or Sage Accountants network.
With Sage HR, the pricing starts at $5.5/user for the fundamental human resources and leave management features after 14 days of trial.
6. Shiftboard – Best for highly regulated industries where you need to comply with diverse safety standards and labor laws
Need a highly-compliant tool to keep problems at bay? Shiftboard comes with two separate products: ScheduleFlex (used in distribution, staffing agencies, call centers) and the high-compliance SchedulePro (used for oil and gas, manufacturing, petrochemical industries). Both versions allow for general labor law compliance, employee self-service, and time tracking.
ScheduleFlex is better suited for organizations that require constant schedule changes. Flexible team schedule creation, shift blocking and credential verification, or labor demand forecasting help with maintaining day-to-day compliance.
Meanwhile, SchedulePro provides complex compliance with labor laws and safety standards along with labor demand forecasting, exception tracking, and other features to help you manage diverse risks.
The cost for both the ScheduleFlex and SchedulePro plans is custom as you’ll need to request a demo beforehand to see if one of them is right for your organization. Note that additional implementation fees apply in all cases.
7. BambooHR – Best for managing employees throughout the whole life cycle
This award-winning HR software facilitates hiring, onboarding, training, compensation, attendance tracking, and team culture building within a single platform. BambooHR is a perfect fit for medium to large companies like Unbounce, FreshBooks, or Squarespace who want to ditch their time-consuming Excel files, track PTO, streamline payday, and help their team succeed. The app’s main goal is for you to automate programs so you’ll have more time to focus on employee engagement—or, as they say, to “set people free to do great work”.
Price quotes for BambooHR are only available on-demand and you can use the free trial to give the tool a go.
Own a restaurant? 7shifts is the preferred solution for well-known brands like Five Guys or Sambo’s but small full-service restaurants make full use of it as well. The AI-based schedule builder supports automatic schedule building and optimization so you can meet demands in real-time.
Workers can notify managers of availability changes from the app to support a thorough bidirectional collaborative system. To sync your sales and labor data with wages, 7shifts integrates with dozens of top POS and payroll solutions.
Paid 7shifts plan $19.99/month/location (billed monthly) but you can choose their 14-day trial or use the free plan for simple scheduling features.
9. Connecteam – Best for browser-based time tracking
Need more than just staff scheduling software? Connecteam is a complete work management platform managers from all types of industries use to handle their daily operations, scheduling, internal communications, and employee training.
Their time tracking capabilities extend to geofencing which ensures your team is in the right place and won’t clock out when away from the designated work site. Digital forms, checklists, and push notifications or reminders are bonus points that make it a good choice for “deskless” workers. These prove useful as there are limited third-party integrations to opt for.
Paid subscriptions for Connecteam start at $35/month (billed monthly) for up to 200 staff members. Quite a generous offer you can decide upon after testing the platform for 14 days.
Thanks to its flexible pricing and diversity of features to choose from, When I Work is built for teams of all sizes. The system is a popular option as it facilitates time tracking, employee scheduling automation, shift swapping, leave management, budgeting, and real-time collaboration. The tool works on multiple devices including iOS and Android operating systems for offline or remote online support too.
After a free 14-day trial, you can get a When I Work subscription starting at $2/user for the basic scheduling and messaging features.