There are so many different online employee scheduling software solutions that making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to automate the creation and distribution of employee shifts, track availability and time-off requests, and facilitate easy adjustments to schedules as needed—and now are looking for the right tool for your team. In this post, I share from my personal experience as an HR expert using many different online employee scheduling tools with teams of all sizes, and share my picks of the best online employee scheduling software overall.
What Is Employee Scheduling Software?
Online employee scheduling software is a digital tool that helps businesses manage and organize employee work schedules over the internet. It allows for the creation, distribution, and modification of shift plans, tracks employee availability and time-off requests, and often includes features for communication and notifications.
Online employee scheduling tools streamline the scheduling process, reduce manual errors, and offer real-time updates, making it easier for managers to optimize staffing and for employees to stay informed about their work schedules. Its online nature ensures accessibility from various devices, enhancing flexibility and efficiency in workforce management.
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.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
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.
TimeClock Plus is a cloud-based time and attendance software that helps you manage your employees' schedules, track their hours, and even handle leave and absence management.
The tool provides a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that efficiently manages and tracks employee hours, schedules, and time-off requests. The software allows employees to easily access their schedules, view upcoming shifts, and request time-off or shift swaps.
Additionally, the software can handle complex scheduling requests such as coverage assurance, qualification requirements for shifts, and CBA compliance. And if you need a quick start, you can access templates that support a wide range of pre-configured rotations, including 24/48, 48/96, Panama rotation, and California rotation.
Integrations include 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.
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.
Justworks is a multifaceted HR software solution combining payroll services, employee scheduling, time tracking, benefits administration, and more.
From a scheduling perspective, Justworks makes it easy to create and edit schedules, assign shifts, and track employee hours. The software also provides real-time updates, which helps you stay on top of any scheduling changes or conflicts.
A standout feature of Justworks is its time-tracking capabilities. Employees can clock in and out from their mobile devices, and it automatically calculates hours worked and overtime. This saves a lot of time when it comes to processing payroll.
Justworks integrates with 15Five, Accurate Background, Bench, Checkr, Culture Amp, Expensify, Found, JazzHR, Lattice, Pilot, Remote, Teampay, Velocity Global, and Zip Recruiter.
Resource Guru is a comprehensive employee management software with time, project, and resource management features. It's well suited to the needs of agencies, and can help you schedule team members more effectively.
The software's resource management features include an employee directory with information like skills, location, and availability. You can use this information to assign projects and tasks, set up custom schedules for each of your team members, and track progress. The software can also produce forecasts for employee capacities to help you plan ahead.
In addition to managing human resources, you can also manage equipment with the software. This creates an overview of all internal resources, and how they're being used across projects. Everything is managed in a single calendar, helping create a high-level picture of how work will get done, by who, when, and with what tools.
Plans start from $3 per user per month and a 30-day free trial is available.
ClockShark is an online employee scheduling software with timesheets and time tracking for field services and construction businesses. Employees can clock in and clock out from their smartphones and all job costing data is recorded within the app so you can access it for simple payroll and invoice processing. You have multiple options for employees to access ClockShark: by web browser, mobile app, or even a ClockShark 'kiosk' using a tablet device. You can leverage facial recognition tools and individual PINs to ensure the utmost security no matter how you choose to access the software.
Crew management is simple with ClockShark's work scheduling calendar. You can create and assign shifts, color-code entries, and drag-and-drop items to make changes quickly. Notifications will prompt affected parties in real-time if their shift is altered in any way (canceled, shortened, swapped, etc.). ClockShark also has GPS and geofencing capabilities baked in so you can see where and when people are checking in.
Overall, ClockShark is a must-have online employee scheduling software for field service or construction businesses to streamline their timesheet-to-payroll workflows.
ClockShark integrates with QuickBooks, Sage 100 Contractor, Xero, ADP, Paychex, and other apps.
ClockShark costs from $7/user/month plus a $16/month base fee. They also offer a 14-day free trial.
When I Work 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, When I Work 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.
When I Work integrates with Acuity Scheduling, Calendly, TSheets, and more. Support is available via email and chat.
When I Work costs from $2/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
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.
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.
Best for browser-based time tracking
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Website|
Best if you need a complete online HR platform
Free plan available (unlimited employees)
|From $20/month (payroll add-on is $6/user/month + $39/month)||Website|
Best for shift management
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for resource allocation and availability mapping
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best for managing a distributed workforce
Free demo available
Best for scheduling employees at agencies
30-day free trial available
Best for field service or construction business
14-day free trial
|From $7/user/month + $16/month base fee||Website|
When I Work
Best for employee shift scheduling and time tracking
14-day free trial
Best for highly regulated industries where you need to comply with diverse safety standards and labor laws
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for easy shift scheduling
Best for healthcare providers
Best custom workflows for team scheduling
- Buddy Punch
Best online time clock with scheduling
Best for managing employees throughout the whole life cycle
Best for restaurants
Best for creating timesheets to integrate with payroll
Best for companies looking resource scheduling with powerful project management features
- Sage HR
Best for small and medium businesses
- eResource Scheduler
Best for managing schedules, timesheets, and financials
Best for rescue and law enforcement organizations
Best for revenue forecasting
Best for remote teams
Best for a one-click smart scheduling process
Best POS integration option
Best for German speakers
Best for social scheduling
- B2W Schedule
Best for the construction industry
Best for hourly workers
- Snap Schedule
Best for maintaining compliance for multi-site teams
- Your Next Seven
Best for mobile devices
Selection Criteria For Online Employee Scheduling Software
Are you curious how I created this list of the best online employee scheduling apps? I'm happy to explain my methodology. I started out by creating a long list of options based on recent market data. Next, I dug into the details and functionality of each scheduling system using the criteria below as my guiding framework.
Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used for my assessment, which you can use for your own decision-making process too:
Each time I create a new top 10 list software, I always determine the core features it should cover first, to make sure nothing critical is missing. For online employee scheduling software, here are the basic features each system had to cover in order to move from my long list to my shortlist:
- Digital tools to make the scheduling process easier, including scheduling templates you can re-use from week to week
- Employee profiles that organize key information (such as their availability, roles, hourly rates, and vacation requests, etc.) to make scheduling easier and avoid scheduling conflicts
- Built-in analytics and reporting tools that you can use to export your scheduling data in a variety of formats, including Excel, so you can share it with other stakeholders or import the data into other systems
With the criteria above already satisfied, this is the list of key features I assessed in detail when making my final selections for the best online employee scheduling software list:
- Core employee scheduling features: This, obviously, includes the ability to allocate employee schedules, as well as more advanced features like sending shift reminders and advanced shift planning tools.
- Automated scheduling: Systems with auto-scheduling functionalities can save you time by scheduling and adjusting work distribution based on predefined rules or patterns.
- Shift management tools: These tools help you communicate with your staff about required or open shifts, and also allow employees to swap shifts with one another.
- Leave management tools: This includes the ability to track your employee's vacation days (PTO) as well as sick days, to avoid possible scheduling conflicts or gaps.
- Payroll management: This includes tools that help you pay your employees on time directly from your employee scheduling solution.
- Time tracking: Many systems allow employees to punch in and out online without requiring any paperwork, while managers maintain an overall look at their timesheets.
- Mobile accessibility: For a better user experience for your employees, the best scheduling solutions offer complementary scheduling apps for Android and iOS devices so your staff can stay in the loop on their mobile devices.
- Reporting and analytics: The ability to create smart and clear reports to keep track of your team’s performance and reduce no-shows.
Other Assessment Criteria
- 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.
- Software 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 Price: Pick two or three apps from this list to compare their pricing. You want the cost to be appropriate for the capabilities you get, but most software providers will offer a variety of paid plans to satisfy different types of scheduling needs. Keep in mind that unclear pricing or a lack of transparency are huge red flags.
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.
Other Scheduling Software Reviews
There are other types of scheduling software out there which may be a better fit, depending on your scheduling needs. Here are some links to other scheduling and workforce management tools to save you hours of sleuthing:
- Employee Scheduling Software
- Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses
- Employee Shift Scheduling Software
- Free Employee Scheduling Software
- Open Source Employee Scheduling Software
- Workforce Management Software
- Leave Management Software
- Attendance Tracking Software
- Time Tracking Software
- Time Tracking Apps
- Productivity Tracking Software
What Do You Think About These Online Employee Scheduling Tools?
Are you looking to switch to a new online employee management software for the extra features, or taking the leap and implementing an ERP Software?? Let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to bookmark this list if you haven’t decided on a new tool yet.
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