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Managing your workforce efficiently, ensuring you have proper coverage, and maintaining cost-effectiveness is a delicate balancing act. Luckily, there are tons of great employee scheduling software to choose from—like Zoho Shifts. But deciding on the best solution for your business needs can be easier said than done.

I've spent years assessing and evaluating various types of HR software solutions. And through my research, I've developed a keen eye for what makes a platform stand out from the rest. With that knowledge I've written this in-depth review of Zoho Shifts, covering its features, integrations, pricing structure, and more.

Zoho Shifts software review, a screenshot of the employee scheduling dashboard of the tool
I like Zoho Shift;s weekly schedule management feature, which highlights employee shifts, roles, and labor costs.

Zoho Shifts Product Overview

Zoho Shifts is a management software that streamlines employee scheduling, including time clock and timesheet functionalities, primarily aimed at small to medium-sized businesses. The tool offers key benefits like efficient work schedule creation, easy invoicing, and easy handling of time off requests, addressing pain points such as attendance management, workforce management, and communication challenges.

Notable features include automation in scheduling, robust messaging capabilities accessible on mobile devices like iPads and iPhones, and a user-friendly interface for check-ins and clock-ins. Zoho Shifts excels in providing diverse pricing plans to suit various business needs and includes functionalities to track time efficiently, making it a comprehensive solution for human resources and management tasks.


  • Ease of Use: Zoho Shifts is user-friendly, simplifying complex scheduling tasks into a more manageable process.
  • Communication Tools: The software excels in facilitating clear communication between managers and staff, reducing misunderstandings and delays.
  • Customization: Offers high levels of customization to fit various business needs, making it adaptable for different types of shift-based work.


  • Limited Integration: It may not integrate as easily with some third-party applications compared to competitors.
  • Basic Reporting: The reporting features are somewhat basic, lacking depth for more detailed analysis.
  • Learning Curve: New users might face a learning curve due to the multitude of features.

Expert Opinion

In my evaluation, Zoho Shifts stands out in its ease of use and strong communication tools, making it a solid choice for businesses seeking to streamline their scheduling process. While it offers efficient shift management and customization, it falls short in areas like deep integrations and advanced reporting, which some competitors provide more robustly.

The software shines in environments where clear, quick communication is key, such as retail and hospitality, but might be less suited for businesses requiring extensive data analysis or complex system integration. In comparison to other employee scheduling software, Zoho Shifts offers a balanced mix of functionality and simplicity, making it a worthy option to consider, especially for small to medium-sized businesses prioritizing straightforward scheduling solutions.

Zoho Shifts: A Deep Dive

Standout Functionality

  1. Automated Scheduling Algorithms: Zoho Shifts employs sophisticated algorithms for automated scheduling, which is not as common in other employee scheduling software. These algorithms consider staff preferences, availability, and skills to create optimal schedules, reducing manual effort significantly.
  2. Real-time Shift Swapping: The platform offers an advanced real-time shift-swapping feature. This allows employees to request, approve, or decline shift swaps directly within the app, a level of real-time interaction that is rare in other scheduling tools.
  3. Integrated Time Tracking and Leave Management: Unlike many competitors, Zoho Shifts integrates time tracking and leave management directly into the scheduling system. This integration provides a comprehensive view of employee hours and absences, streamlining payroll and leave processes.

Product Specifications

Automated SchedulingYes
Shift SwappingYes
Time TrackingYes
Leave ManagementYes
Mobile AppYes
Employee Self-ServiceYes
Manager Approval SystemYes
Real-Time NotificationsYes
Reporting ToolsYes
Payroll IntegrationNo
Third-Party IntegrationsLimited
Customizable Roles and PermissionsYes
Multi-Location SupportYes
Employee DatabaseYes
Drag-and-Drop SchedulingYes
Compliance TrackingYes
Labor Cost ReportingYes
Shift PatternsYes
Employee OnboardingNo
Shift TemplatesYes
Availability ManagementYes
Skill-Based SchedulingYes
Multi-Language SupportYes
Conflict ResolutionYes

Zoho Shifts Key Features

  1. Automated Scheduling: Creates optimal shift schedules automatically, considering various factors like availability and skill set.
  2. Real-Time Shift Swapping: Enhances flexibility and employee satisfaction by allowing staff to manage their shifts dynamically.
  3. Integrated Time Tracking: Offers a unified system for tracking work hours, aiding in accurate payroll processing.
  4. Leave Management: Streamlines the process of managing employee leave, tying it directly into the scheduling system.
  5. Employee Self-Service: Empowers employees to manage their schedules, availability, and shift preferences, increasing engagement.
  6. Manager Approval System: Ensures that any schedule changes or shift swaps receive proper managerial oversight.
  7. Real-Time Notifications: Keeps everyone informed about schedule changes, reducing communication gaps.
  8. Reporting Tools: Provides essential data on staffing, hours worked, and scheduling trends for informed decision-making.
  9. Customizable Roles and Permissions: Allows for tailored access and control based on organizational structure.
  10. Multi-Location Support: Facilitates scheduling across multiple sites, crucial for businesses with several locations.

Ease Of Use

Navigating Zoho Shifts, I find the interface intuitive and straightforward. The dashboard layout is clean, making key features easily accessible. However, the depth of features means a new user might take time to fully utilize the platform's capabilities. The onboarding process is comprehensive, but the wealth of features can initially overwhelm some users.

Customer Support

Zoho Shifts offers responsive customer support, with various channels like live chat and email. Their documentation and webinars provide useful self-help resources. However, there can be delays in response during peak times, and some users might find the depth of support resources overwhelming or insufficient for complex issues.


Zoho Shifts integrates with other Zoho products and some third-party applications, enhancing its functionality. These integrations allow for smoother workflow transitions between different business functions. They offer an API for custom integrations, which is useful for businesses with specific needs. Add-ons are available to extend platform capabilities, particularly beneficial for tailored use cases.

Zoho Shifts Pricing

Zoho Shifts offers competitive pricing compared to similar tools. It is structured to provide flexibility and scalability to various business sizes.

  1. Standard Plan: $2/user/month (min 5 seats) - This plan includes basic scheduling, time tracking, and mobile app access.
  2. Professional Plan: $4/user/month (min 5 seats) - Offers advanced features like shift swapping, leave management, and extended support.
  3. Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing - Tailored for larger businesses needing advanced integration and customization.

Zoho Shifts: Best Use Cases

Who Would Be A Good Fit For Zoho Shifts?

  • Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: These entities benefit greatly due to the software's scalability and cost-effectiveness.
  • Shift-Based Industries: Such as retail, hospitality, and healthcare, where managing multiple shifts is a daily necessity.
  • Teams Requiring Flexible Scheduling: Teams that often need to swap shifts or adjust schedules on the fly find this tool particularly useful.
  • Businesses Seeking Streamlined Communication: Organizations that prioritize clear, real-time communication between staff and managers.
  • Companies with Multi-Location Operations: The tool's ability to manage schedules across various locations suits businesses with multiple branches.
  • Managers Needing Robust Reporting: Those who require detailed insights into staffing and scheduling trends for decision-making.

Who Would Be A Bad Fit For Zoho Shifts?

  • Large Enterprises with Complex Needs: Larger corporations might find the tool lacking in terms of deep integrations and advanced reporting capabilities.
  • Industries Requiring Highly Specialized Scheduling Tools: Sectors like advanced manufacturing or large-scale logistics may need more specialized features than Zoho Shifts offers.
  • Teams Preferring Deep Third-Party Integration: Businesses heavily reliant on a wide range of third-party apps might find the integration capabilities of Zoho Shifts limited.
  • Companies Needing Detailed Customization Beyond Standard Offerings: Organizations requiring highly specific customization might encounter limitations.
  • Businesses with Simple, Static Scheduling Needs: Smaller teams or those with very basic scheduling requirements may find the tool's extensive features unnecessary.

Zoho Shifts Employee Scheduling FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions you may have about Zoho Shifts.

Can Zoho Shifts automate the entire scheduling process?

Yes, Zoho Shifts can automate scheduling by considering factors like employee availability, preferences, and skills to create optimal shift plans.

Does Zoho Shifts offer mobile app support for both Android and iOS platforms?

Yes, Zoho Shifts provides a mobile application that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, allowing for management and communication on the go.

Can employees swap shifts directly within Zoho Shifts?

Yes, employees can request, approve, and manage shift swaps directly within the Zoho Shifts platform.

Does Zoho Shifts integrate with other Zoho products?

Yes, Zoho Shifts integrates with a range of Zoho products, enhancing its functionality within the Zoho ecosystem.

Is there a feature for tracking employee time and attendance in Zoho Shifts?

Yes, Zoho Shifts includes a time tracking feature, which helps in monitoring employee attendance and hours worked.

Can Zoho Shifts manage leave requests and approvals?

Yes, the software has a built-in leave management system that allows employees to submit leave requests and managers to approve or decline them.

Are there customizable roles and permissions in Zoho Shifts?

Yes, Zoho Shifts offers customizable roles and permissions, enabling businesses to tailor access and control based on their organizational structure.

Does Zoho Shifts support scheduling across multiple locations?

Yes, Zoho Shifts is designed to support businesses with multiple locations, allowing for efficient scheduling and management across various sites.

Zoho Shifts Company Overview & History

Zoho Shifts is part of Zoho Corporation, a multinational company that specializes in software development, including a suite of online productivity tools and SaaS applications. Founded in 1996 as AdventNet Inc. and rebranded in 2009, Zoho Corporation, headquartered in Chennai, India, has a notable presence globally, including in the United States.

The company, led by founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu, focuses on creating affordable and accessible software solutions for businesses of all sizes. Zoho Shifts, their employee scheduling software, caters primarily to small to medium-sized businesses in shift-based industries like retail, hospitality, and healthcare, aligning with the company's mission to offer innovative and customer-centric software solutions.

Zoho Shifts Summary: The Bottom Line

Zoho Shifts stands out in the crowded field of employee scheduling software due to its smart blend of user-friendly design and advanced features. What sets it apart is the integration of automated scheduling algorithms with real-time shift swapping and comprehensive time tracking and leave management.

This integration is less common in other scheduling tools and offers a significant advantage for businesses seeking an all-in-one solution for shift management. Particularly impressive is its ease of use, which makes complex scheduling tasks manageable and intuitive.

Noteworthy features include the sophisticated shift-swapping system, robust communication tools, and the ability to handle multi-location scheduling easily. These aspects make Zoho Shifts a strong contender for businesses in shift-based industries looking for an efficient and comprehensive scheduling solution.

Alternatives to Zoho Shifts

  • When I Work: Often chosen for its user-friendly interface, When I Work is ideal for businesses looking for a straightforward and intuitive scheduling tool, especially effective for small to mid-sized companies focusing on simplicity.
  • Homebase: Homebase stands out for its robust free plan, making it a go-to choice for startups or small businesses needing basic scheduling functions without a financial commitment.
  • Deputy: Deputy is frequently preferred for its comprehensive integration capabilities, particularly suited for businesses that require easy connectivity with other systems like payroll and HR software.


In summary, Zoho Shifts is a strong option for small to medium-sized businesses needing advanced scheduling features like automated planning and real-time shift management. While it excels in user-friendliness and integrated functionalities, alternatives like When I Work, Homebase and Deputy may better suit those seeking simplicity, free options, or extensive integrations. I invite you to share your experiences with these tools or ask any further questions to help in your decision-making process.

By David Rice

David Rice is a long time journalist and editor who specializes in covering human resources and leadership topics. His career has seen him focus on a variety of industries for both print and digital publications in the United States and UK.