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There are seemingly countless open source employee scheduling software solutions available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want to plan, manage and control your projects better, but need to figure out which tool is the best fit. In this post, I make things simple, leveraging my experience as an HR specialist using dozens of different open source employee scheduling tools, to bring you this shortlist of the best open source employee scheduling software overall.

What is Open Source Employee Scheduling Software?

Open source employee scheduling software is a tool that enables businesses to organize and manage employee work hours and shifts efficiently. Being open source, it is freely available for modification and distribution, allowing companies to tailor it to their specific needs. This software typically includes features for creating and editing schedules, tracking employee availability, managing time-off requests, and sometimes integrating with other systems like payroll.

Overviews of the 10 Best Open-Source Employee Scheduling Software

Here are brief descriptions of the best open source employee scheduling software on my list, showing what each does best—plus screenshots to show you their user interface too. Keep reading to find additional bonus picks at the bottom of the list.

Best for field service teams

  • From $169/user/month
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Rating: 4/5

mHelpDesk is a high-performance software solution for service and repair businesses. The job management algorithms integrate field workers, dispatchers, schedules, and billing systems to keep everything organized.

Mobile (Android and iPhone) and web apps are available to streamline workflow, improve messaging, and allow access to information from anywhere.

Pricing starts at $169/user/month. There is no free version but you can contact the company for a free demo.

Best for retailers and store operators

  • Free for up to 25 users
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Rating: 4.7/5

TimeForge offers a range of employee management tools that cover scheduling, attendance, vacations, reporting, and payroll.

Created with restaurants and retail stores in mind, the software suite can be used to control staff in multiple locations. The simple, intuitive interface means data can be entered quickly, without having to master the whole system.

TimeForge Scheduling Lite is free for up to 25 users. Paid options are also available.

Best comprehensive employee scheduling solution

  • Free to use
  • From $499/month (support package)

Open HRMS is an open-source HR management software for managing all your company’s human resource processes and requirements. It has an attendance tracking feature that allows you to track time and attendance to integrate with your payroll system.

Open HRMS allows you to capture time and attendance from multiple resources, be it mobile time clocks, on-site kiosks, or biometric devices, ensuring that employees receive compensation for their hours worked.

Some companies have extensive scheduling requirements because of the sheer number of employees or multiple departments, which makes scheduling a nightmare for HR officials. Open HRMS has a comprehensive scheduling feature that lets you create different shifts according to employee work hours quickly.

You can also use Open HRMS to notify employees about their new schedules so you can receive feedback about their new hours and make adjustments if needed. Open HRMS also has a leave management feature to help you receive and manage leave requests that you can factor in when creating schedules.

Open HRMS support package pricing starts at $499/package/month.

Best for clubs and non-profit organizations

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $10/month

Booked Scheduler helps groups and organizations manage, book, and track resources. Multiple schedule views permit users to pinpoint time slots for the resources they need.

Simple calendar views allow everyone to see availability clearly, while administrators enjoy flexibility in how the software is configured and managed.

Booked Scheduler costs from $10/month and gets you full access for unlimited users. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Best for scheduling hourly workers (both 1099 and W2 status)

  • Free on an open source license

Staffjoy simplifies staff scheduling for small businesses, especially those still using paper and spreadsheets. The application is ideal for on-location organizations such as restaurants, cafes, and delivery operations.

This software has a solid user base, and developers are available to ship code for various operations. These include setting up Staffjoy on Google Cloud.

Staffjoy is available free on an open source license, but you will need to provide hosting.

Best for easy collaborative scheduling

  • Free to use

Rallly is an employee scheduling tool that can help you create schedules that work for everybody involved by obtaining their consent or availability. It is simple to use, and invitees can access events by simply clicking on a URL.

Rallly is open-source software that gives you the freedom to create modifications or features that suit your company’s employee scheduling needs. Coming up with a schedule that suits everybody can be challenging, but Rallly can help you with its collaborative scheduling feature.

You can use Rallly to create a page with the details of an upcoming event, meeting, or conference and send it to employees or stakeholders. Rallly’s event page allows prospective attendees to leave comments giving them a forum to discuss concerns about the event with other invitees.

Rallly also lets you create polls to give invitees options to choose from and allow you to create a quick tally of preferred schedule dates.

Rallly is a free employee scheduling software.

Best WordPress-based solution

  • From $5.99/month

WP-HR Manager leverages the power of WordPress to provide employee management solutions right within the platform.

You can record and track a wide range of employee information, from attendance and salaries to timekeeping and leave records. Employees can use the self-service tools and templates to update their own data, check-in/out, and request leave. It’s also easy to add multiple locations and management roles.

The core WP-HR Manager plugin is free, but paid extensions are available from $5.99/month

Best for larger organizations

  • From $242.36/month (billed as €199/month) for up to 50 employees

For organizations with complex shift schedules, StaffRoster is a natural choice for dynamic employee scheduling.

This all-in-one platform simplifies the management of all aspects of shift work. Companies using StaffRoster can share shift information in one centralized location, track scheduling for up to 5 stores or locations, and even navigate contract and roster constraints management right within the app.

StaffRoster pricing starts at $242.36/month (billed as €199/month) for up to 50 employees. There is no free trial option.

Best for solving complex scheduling problems

  • 15 days free trial
  • From $48/month

This cloud-based appointment scheduling solution caters to businesses in areas such as retail, education, construction, and advertising.

Setster allows managers to add holidays and staff leave to Google calendars and set custom rules for notifications. Appointments can be scheduled in real-time for multiple locations, including buffer times between meetings.

Pricing for Setster starts at $48/month and a 15-day free trial is available.

Best free time clock software

  • Free, open source softwar

TimeTrex Community Edition offers different ways of time tracking the attendance of employees. You can track employees through web browsers, biometric facial recognition time clocks, mobile apps, or touch-tone telephones.

With this software, you can remotely monitor employees and get detailed reports on employee timesheets and attendance. Employees can request schedule changes, and rosters can be modified securely from anywhere.

TimeTrex Community Edition is free, open source software. However, there is also an option to upgrade to the paid professional edition.

Best Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top open-source employee scheduling software selections. You can view pricing details and the availability of free trials side-by-side to help you find the best option for your budget and scheduling needs.

Tools Price
mHelpDesk From $169/user/month
TimeForge Free for up to 25 users
Open HRMS From $499/month (support package)
Booked Scheduler From $10/month
Staffjoy Free on an open source license
Rallly Free to use
WP-HR Manager Software From $5.99/month
StaffRoster Suite From $242.36/month (billed as €199/month) for up to 50 employees
Setster From $48/month
TimeTrex Community Edition Free, open source softwar
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make it into my top 10 list. I didn't have room for a full review for each of these but they are still worthy of consideration:

  1. OptaPlanner

    Best AI scheduling solutions

  2. monday.com

    Best for customization and flexibility

  3. Auto Shift Planner

    Best automatically generated employee shift schedules

  4. evQueue

    Best for workflows and tasks synchronization

  5. ServiceMax

    Best for companies with large field-service operations

  6. Schedulix

    Best enterprise-level job scheduling system

  7. Schedwi

    Best task scheduler designed to run scripts/commands

Selection Criteria for Open Source Employee Scheduling Software

Wondering how I created this list of the best open-source employee scheduling software? I started out by creating a long list of popular employee scheduling systems based on recent market data. I then examined each system in detail to determine whether their software offered any open-source functionality (i.e., the ability to revise their source code as needed).

To bring you into my process even more, here’s a quick summary of the evaluation criteria I used to create this list. When assessing each system, I asked myself the following questions to see how each system compared to the rest: 

  • User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? (Often a weak point with open source software.)
  • Usability: Are the features easy to learn and master? What tutorials and training are available (if any)? 
  • Software Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Are there pre-built integrations?
  • Paid Extras: While open source software is free, there may be options to purchase additional features from various vendors. What upgrades are available?

Key Features

In addition to the criteria above, I also assessed the following key features to make my final selections for this list:

  • Employee Management: houses information about all your employees, company structure, and locations.
  • Schedule Management: automates the process of schedule creation according to availability and other criteria.
  • Shift Management: makes it easy for employees to swap shifts and make other shift scheduling changes.
  • Time Management: protective measures to ensure employees are recording their time and time-off accurately
  • Absence Management: allows for proactive management of any gaps that occur in the schedule due to absence.
  • Tracking Payroll Expenses and Budget: integrations with other financial software to provide a big-picture view
  • Employee Self-Service: allows employees to update their own schedules if necessary
  • Reporting and Business Intelligence: provides detailed reporting and analysis for senior management

People Also Ask

If you still have questions about open-source employee scheduling software and what it has to offer, these answers to frequently asked questions are a great place to start:

Is open-source employee scheduling software as good as proprietary alternatives?

Open source tools have real value, and many organizations rely on them to organize employee schedules. But it’s true that, to some extent, you get what you pay for. The main reason to use an open-source alternative instead of a paid option is because you truly need the ability to customize the software for your specific needs. If all you need are run-of-the-mill features, I’d recommend saving yourself the headache and investing in a paid version instead. That way, you’ll have access to customer support whenever you need it too.

Is open-source employee scheduling software reliable?

The tools I’ve included in this list have stood the test of time and are generally reliable. When issues do arise, they are likely to be resolved quickly if you’re willing to dig around for the answer. The open source community is mutually supportive, and you can often get help from developers and other users when you encounter problems. But don’t expect the dedicated customer support you’re entitled to when purchasing a paid software alternative. With open source, you’re often your own customer support, so make sure you’re up for the challenge before you venture down this road.

Can open-source employee scheduling software compete with paid tools?

Free is always an attractive price point, so open source solutions will always appeal to those with tight budgets, or organizations that have the in-house technical capabilities to customize the software for their specific needs. However, when venturing down the open source road, keep in mind that you may be able to get the same functionalities for a more affordable price when you consider how much time it might take your in-house staff to reach the same end goal. Any time you’re paying your employees to customize your software is time taken away from their other key responsibilities.

Other Employee Management Software

Not sure if open-source employee scheduling software is the right fit? Here are some other employee scheduling tools you may also find of interest:

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By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.