workforce-management | 7 mins read

Why You Need to Swap Excel Employee Schedule Templates for Scheduling Software

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Archita Wagle

By Archita Wagle

What is an Excel Employee Schedule Template?

Employee Schedule
One of the primary requirements of a restaurant is to have employees who can work without getting stressed out. It can achieve this by figuring out the right number of people needed to staff each shift and then decide which employee is assigned to employee schedule for a particular shift.


The restaurant also needs to create an employee shift schedule as per their contract and in compliance with state and federal laws. The shifts given to each employee as per their employment contract can be defined as their work schedule.

Using Excel Employee Work Schedule Template
Using a manual employee scheduling process like an Excel employee work schedule template is a quick solution for managing the employees' shift schedules. A manager can use an Excel template to create weekly work schedule as they are easy to work with, concise and can be edited to make any changes to weekly work rota.
There are several employee schedule template formats available online which are formatted with drop down menu bars for Employee Names, Employment Type, Role and shifts customisation like shift time and attendance which can be used to prepare the weekly schedule.

Drawbacks of an Excel Template

Nowadays, with the technological advancements and plethora of software available in the market, there is not need to use Excel templates for employee schedules as they are time consuming and labour intensive.
Here are some drawbacks of using Excel employee work schedules-
1. Not mobile friendly- In today's world when mobiles are primary means to communicate and scour the internet, they cannot access Excel templates for work schedules from their mobiles but have to go through email attachments.
2. No notifications- Excel schedule formats are not equipped to issue an alert or notification. Hence employees cannot set up reminders for their future shift schedule.
3. Limited functions- Excel work schedule templates don't have functions for managing shift swaps or program in time-off requests. Managers have to edit and rearrange the Employee Schedule themselves and this can cause errors and delays.
4. Difficult to use formats- Excel scheduling templates have different formats which can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the Microsoft Excel tool. Therefore it may become too complicated to create work schedule template.
5. Lack of communication- If an employee needs to communicate any change, they cant use the Excel template. They will have to email, call or text. This can result in miscommunication or missed information.
6. Prone to errors- As per statistics, 88% of Excel templates have errors due to the manual input methods. A wrong input or typo can easily change the entire employee schedule or cause an increase in labor costs.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

What is Employee Scheduling Software?

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If not an Excel employee scheduling template or Google sheets, then what is the question. The best bet is to opt for an employee scheduling software which has more benefits and streamlines the employee scheduling process. A schedule software like ZipSchedules from Hubworks is an automated system that can Make Sure optimal and error-free shift schedules.
An employee scheduling software has an interface where the users can just type in employees into shifts, modify work schedules as needed. The scheduling software can also track employee availability and schedule preferences.
An employee scheduling software saves time creating schedules as it has scheduling templates and replication tools. It also helps avoid staffing problems as it helps fill shifts with best employees. It also reduces staffing errors and ensures compliance with law with alerts and notifications.
A scheduling software for creating weekly work schedule has two formats static scheduling software which is suitable for businesses with fixed employee schedules and routines and a dynamic employee scheduling software which is suitable for weekly work schedules that constantly change and helps avoid scheduling conflicts by ensuring everyone gets a real time updates. The scheduling software can be deployed in two ways Cloud based scheduling software which can be accessed anywhere as long as there is internet connection and server based software where the information is stored in server on location.

How Does Scheduling Software Compare with Excel Templates?

We have already discussed the drawbacks of using Excel templates for creating weekly work or employee shifts. Let us now look at how an employee scheduling software compares to Excel employee schedule templates-
1. Adaptability- Unlike Excel templates, a schedule software has shift swapping and buffer maintenance tools. So if an employee is unable to work on a shift schedule, they can swap it and managers will be notified. This saves time and reduces miscommunications.
2. Improving communications- An employee scheduling software can send out alerts and notifications when new employee schedules are issued. If an employee is unable to take a shift, they can immediately notify the manager and replacement can be made.
3. Compliance- Unlike Excel templates, a scheduling software is loaded with tool to ensure Time Management and compliance with law. A software will issue alerts about the hours worked against the employee name to ensure that they don't work more than scheduled hours.
4. Cost control- The scheduling software can efficiently track and utilize historical data to determine employee schedules for each shift. Forecasting demand can help create optimal shift schedule for any day of the week or a weekly work schedule. This also helps control overtime and labor costs.
5. Evaluating resources- An employee scheduling software provides data on attendance and Employee Performance ratings. Measuring resources can help adjust schedules proactively.

What to Consider Before Buying Scheduling Software

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If you have decided to opt for a scheduling software to manage your employee shifts and weekly work schedules, then here are some key points to consider while choosing the scheduling software which can help you implement Effective Business practices and schedules-
1. Easy to use- Any software you choose should be user friendly so that even those employees who have no technical knowledge can use it with a long learning curve.
2. Automate shift schedules- The software should be able to automate the process of creating employee schedules after you input your requirements and reduce the time spent on assigning shifts and errors.
3. Software cost- Any scheduling software you purchase should add value to your business process. It should have features and functions which will lessen the burden of planning and assigning employee shift schedules.
4. Compatibility- A scheduling software should be easy to integrate and compatible with your existing systems such as point of sale or software for human resources management and payroll.
5. Easy to access and secure- Any employee should be able to access the shift schedules anywhere via their mobiles but the scheduling software should also have tools to ensure that protect the business data.
6. Analytics and reporting- The scheduling software must have tools to provide accurate information to optimize employee scheduling process.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5 Top Scheduling Software Solutions for Restaurants

Here are the top options for employee scheduling software for restaurant employees that can help you track your Employee Time and performance and also plan optimal employee shift schedule-
1. Zip Schedules- It is an automated scheduling software app from Hubworks a la carte office solutions that is compatible with mobile apps, has communication tools, auto scheduling, labor cost tracking, and shift swapping and schedule adjustments tools.
2. 7shifts- The scheduling software is designed specifically for restaurants and has features to address a restaurant's scheduling needs by simplifying shift schedules as per requirements and availability.
3. Sling- It is a scheduling software designed for shift schedules. The software has tools for employee scheduling, time tracking, task management and reporting. It allows managers and employees to organize their work on a single platform.
4. Push Operations- It is a cloud based scheduling software that has employee and manager apps for easy schedule changes and has automated labor cost tracking.
5. RestaurantOps- It is an employee scheduling tool built for restaurant industry. It has tools for communication between employees and employer for any time offs or rotation of employee schedules.

Scheduling Software FAQs

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What are potential issues with a scheduling software?
Connection issues- An employee scheduling software is web-based and reliant to internet access but if the connection is not good it may not perform optimally.
Doubtful employees- Some employees who are not very tech savvy may not be comfortable using a scheduling software.
Underutilization- A restaurant may not use all the features of a scheduling software.

Pricing of Employee Scheduling Software?
Most scheduling software have subscription pricing starting from $1 to $4 per user per month. Some employee scheduling software offer a set fee per location with an unlimited number of employees ranging from $14 to $35 per month.

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