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Best Employee Scheduling App: 5 Options Your Team Will Love

Scheduling employees can often feel like an uphill battle. Coordinating availability, sending confirmations, handling rescheduling requests—it can quickly get overwhelming and become a headache.

Thankfully, the best employee scheduling apps make scheduling not only easier, but more effective and efficient. Some even offer automations and integrations that enable managers and employees to set schedules, swap shifts, and generate reports. In this article, we look into a few of the best employee scheduling apps out there.We talk about the features of each app and their shortcomings to help you figure out the best option for your business. Let’s dive in!

What is a work scheduling app?

Once upon a time, employee schedules would be written onto paper and posted on the employee bulletin board. It was up to the employees to go find their schedule, and if schedules needed to change, employees and managers would play phone tag. Sometimes, employees wouldn’t even know the schedule had changed!

In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep employees up to date on scheduling changes. A work scheduling app can send notifications to employees for shift changes, shift covers, and communications.

The best employee scheduling software can even automate repetitive scheduling tasks and streamline processes that can be a nightmare to deal with. Be on the lookout for software that offers integrations with other business management systems such as payroll or accounting for even more convenience.

Why your small business needs a free scheduling app.

Employees can turn your schedules into Swiss cheese on a weekly basis by calling in and swapping shifts. Revising, re-posting, and notifying employees of schedule changes is just one major pain that business owners face when scheduling.  Then there’s data entry, report-pulling, and coordination with payroll… need we go on?

Scheduling apps use automation to make your small business more efficient and your data entry more accurate. Scheduler apps don’t just help you: they help your team, too! With direct messaging capabilities, your team will know instantly when their schedules have changed. They can even fill shift gaps amongst themselves—without using you as the middleman.

Even free scheduler apps can save your business money and save you frustration by allowing you to re-allocate resources and efficiently manage labor costs. They can even help you make smarter business decisions by providing valuable insights into how your team’s time is spent—with less energy needed from you

What to look for in a scheduling app. 

While many scheduling apps seem similar on the surface, it’s worthwhile to dig a little deeper into key features and pitfalls before committing to one. Evaluating an employee scheduling software solution involves answering several key questions To choose the app that’s the best fit for your business, ask key questions to evaluate its usefulness

Some questions to ask include:

  • Does the app provide the features your business needs? This could include task assignment, time tracking, payroll integration, notifications, and collaboration tools.
  • Is the app user-friendly? An intuitive interface can reduce the learning curve and increase adoption among your team.
  • Can the app handle your needs as your business grows? It’s important to choose a solution that scales with your business.
  • Does the app integrate with other software you use? Integration with tools like payroll, accounting, or other software can streamline workflows.
  • Can you customize the app to fit your business processes? The ability to tailor the software to your needs can improve efficiency.
  • What kind of support does the vendor provide? Look for reliable customer service to help you troubleshoot any issues that arise.
  • Is the pricing structure suitable for your budget? Consider both the upfront cost and the long-term value the app provides.
  • Does the app provide adequate security measures to protect your data? This is crucial, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information.
  • What are other users saying about the app? Reviews and ratings can give you a sense of the app’s reliability and performance.

With the proper due diligence, you should have no problem finding the best scheduling app to fit your business. Or you could just reach our top five choices below!

The top 5 employee scheduling apps

#1:  Homebase

We might be a little (or a lot) biased, but we think we’ve built a pretty outstanding employee scheduling app—and it’s free. Homebase’s free scheduling app can host up to 20 employees, with basic scheduling and time tracking functionality, POS integration, and employee management features.

Our intuitive interface simplifies schedule creation and management, while our mobile app enables staff to easily manage their schedules, trade shifts, submit time off requests, and communicate with the team. And did we mention it’s free?

We also offer integration with many top payroll systems, making running payroll as easy as clicking a button.

#2:  Planday

Planday is a comprehensive employee scheduling solution that offers granular hierarchy options for structuring employees into groups and departments. The tool provides multiple views for schedule building by employee, role, or section, and facilitates category-based organization.

Features include schedule templates, auto-scheduling, color coding for tracking employee hours, and an app for employees to manage their shifts and availability. While it lacks in-app data visualization, it allows exporting customized reports to Excel.

#2:  Agendrix

Agendrix offers scheduling, time tracking, and team management features, with a user-friendly schedule builder for creating and assigning shifts. It facilitates group or private conversations and serves as a central hub for announcements and training information through a news feed.

Employees can clock in from various devices, manage their shifts, request time off, and handle shift trades within the app. Agendrix also provides additional purchasable modules for resource management, premium attribution, and a phone-number-based punch clock. It allows for the expansion of your HR platform by adding payroll, HR reporting, advanced employee profiles, and document management.

#3:  Sling

Sling’s employee scheduling tool boasts an intuitive interface, role-based scheduling, customizable templates, and an auto-schedule feature for easy shift assignment. Sling’s core focus is on day-to-day employee management. It includes a Tasks tab that allows managers to create tasks and attach them to shifts, ensuring employees are clear on their responsibilities.

Additionally, Sling helps in avoiding scheduling conflicts by tracking and alerting scheduling issues, thus ensuring efficient staffing and compliance with labor laws. These tasks can be viewed on the mobile app, which also facilitates shift swaps, unavailability settings, and group or private conversations.

#4:  Findmyshift

Findmyshift is a user-friendly scheduling app with a minimal learning curve. Its intuitive interface allows managers to schedule employee shifts efficiently, including features like typing shift times directly into the schedule, using keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting shifts, drag-and-drop functionality, color-coding, and note-adding.

While it lacks grouping by role or department, it offers ample filter options. For employees, it simplifies shift swapping and provides a unified communication platform. Managers can send text messages to employees via the app. That said, Findmyshift lacks some advanced features like role-based scheduling and robust reporting.

#5:  Workfeed

Workfeed is a modern employee scheduling software solution equipped with automation features for schedule creation and rule-setting capabilities for shift management. It allows managers to control shift swapping and set availability, and offers insights into employee metrics like sick days, shift drops, and retention rates. Despite lacking extensive drag-and-drop functionality, its interface allows schedule viewing by role and time frame, ensuring adequate coverage.

Employees can clock in via app or terminal, and use the group chat for shift swapping. While its simplicity suits smaller teams, larger businesses might find the limited filter views on the scheduling page overwhelming, potentially leading to a cluttered experience.

Get your free employee scheduling app today

Ultimately, finding the best employee scheduling app depends on your specific business needs, the size of your team, and your budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple, straightforward solution or a robust system with advanced features, there’s an app out there that can streamline your scheduling process, boost productivity, and enhance team communication.

Remember to consider factors such as ease of use, scalability, integration capabilities, and pricing when choosing the right app for your business. With the right tool, you can transform the daunting task of scheduling into a seamless and efficient process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: running your business.

Ready to try the best free employee scheduling app? Try Homebase today!

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