10 Best Open Source Employee Scheduling Software

When you have a busy team to manage, scheduling can become a challenge. That’s when specialist software tools can be a huge help. From planning rosters to shift swapping, they take the hard work out of the process and keep things organized.

But when you are paying per user, the costs soon mount up. So how can you manage employees effectively without busting your budget? Thankfully, the best open source employee scheduling software provides the answers.

The open source movement has made a wealth of software tools available from platforms such as Github. Anyone can use the source code free of charge and change it as they wish. Many scheduling software products are available on open source licenses. Open source software may be built on platforms such as Linux, Mac iOS, or Windows.

This means you can enjoy all the benefits of scheduling software but without paying a cent. This makes open source employee scheduling software ideal for startups and small businesses.

The Best Open Source Employee Scheduling Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best open source employee scheduling software available today:

  1. Staffjoy - Best for scheduling hourly workers (both 1099 and W2 status)
  2. OptaPlanner - Best AI scheduling solutions
  3. Setster - Best for solving complex scheduling problems
  4. Booked Scheduler - Best for clubs and non-profit organizations
  5. TimeTrex Community Edition - Best free time clock software
  6. WP-HR Manager Software - Best WordPress-based solution
  7. mHelpDesk - Best for field service teams
  8. StaffRoster Suite - Best for larger organizations
  9. ConnecTeam - Best for complex shift planning
  10. TimeForge - Best for retailers and store operators

Other Employee Management Software

Not looking for open source employee scheduling software? Here are some other employee scheduling tools you may find of interest:

Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when selecting the best open source employee scheduling software? Here’s a quick summary of my evaluation criteria: 

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

Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Key Features

Here are the key features you can expect to find in this type of software:

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

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 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 showcase the top features.

  • Free on an open source license

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

A simple way to create and publish shifts for your team members online.

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.
  • Available on an open source license

OptaPlanner - Best AI scheduling solutions

OptaPlanner is an AI constraint solver that optimizes planning and resolves scheduling problems.

This open source tool is a lightweight, embeddable planning engine. The software makes it possible to solve optimization problems in areas such as employee rostering.

Every organization faces the challenge of managing limited resources, including personnel. With the help of OptaPlanner, it’s easy to create more efficient plans, reduce labor costs, and improve service.

OptaPlanner is available on an open source license and can be downloaded without charge.

  • 15 days free trial
  • From $48/month

Setster - Best for solving complex scheduling problems

Setster makes it easy to schedule thousands of appointments and remotely manage all of their parameters.

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.

  • 30 days trial
  • From $10/month

Booked Scheduler - Best for clubs and non-profit organizations

An easy-to-use scheduler with tons of options and customizations.

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.

  • Free, open source softwar

TimeTrex Community Edition - Best free time clock software

TimeTrex Community Edition is the world’s most popular open source workforce management software.

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.

  • From $5.99/month

WP-HR Manager Software - Best WordPress-based solution

WP-HR Manager turns your WordPress-based website into a powerful employee management system.

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

  • From $169/user/month

mHelpDesk - Best for field service teams

mHelpDesk is an all-in-one solution for field service operations.

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.

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

StaffRoster Suite - Best for larger organizations

StaffRoster is an all-in-one shift management solution

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.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $39/month for 50 users

ConnecTeam - Best for complex shift planning

ConnecTeam helps you communicate with, operate, and train your non-desk employees.

ConnecTeam allows you to manage all your employees using just one app. The system is easy to use, customizable, and scalable.

You can create single, multiple, or team shifts with calendar view or drag and drop options. The time clock system includes a variety of report types, GPS tracking, and unlimited job scheduling. Higher plans will even unlock geofencing options.

ConnecTeam costs from $39/month for 50 users and a 14-day free trial is available.

  • Free for up to 25 users

TimeForge - Best for retailers and store operators

TimeForge is a robust and reliable SaaS workforce scheduling solution.

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.

Other Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Options

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

  1. Open HRMS – Best comprehensive employee scheduling solution 
  2. Rally – Best for easy collaborative scheduling
  3. Dkron – Best distributed and fault-tolerant workload automation system
  4. Schedulix – Best enterprise-level job scheduling system
  5. ServiceMax – Best for companies with large field-service operations
  6. Schedwi – Best task scheduler designed to run scripts/commands
  7. evQueue – Best for workflows and tasks synchronization
  8. Auto Shift Planner – Best automatically generated employee shift schedules

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.

Free tools do have their place, but investment in open source software will be limited. Proprietary software may offer more features, better customer support, and enhanced integrations. 

Is open source employee scheduling software reliable?

The tools I’ve considered in this review have stood the test of time and are generally reliable. When issues do arise, they are likely to be resolved quickly. 

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 support you are entitled to with paid software. 

Can Open Source Employee Scheduling Software Compete with Paid Tools? 

Free is always an attractive price point, so open source solutions will always have appeal. But would you trust your employee scheduling to freebie software? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to sign up for the People Managing People newsletter, too. We’ll keep you updated with all the latest news, plus insights from top thinkers in the industry.