best employee scheduling app | 14 mins read

5 Best Employee Scheduling Apps To Get Your Workforce In Order

5 best employee scheduling apps to get your workforce in order 1649576687 4910
Debdutta Bhattacharjee

By Debdutta Bhattacharjee

What is an Employee Scheduling App?

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No organization can progress without its employees being satisfied and willing to give a hundred percent. To receive the best outcomes from their employees, business owners must properly organize and manage employee work times while still being sympathetic towards the employees' specific requests and requirements. This makes staff scheduling absolutely necessary. This is where scheduling software comes in and the best employee scheduling app would make shift-making, and therefore, business operation an extremely frictionless process.

A work schedule includes a list of the organization's employees and specifies the shift that the employees are supposed to work on and the responsibilities they are expected to handle on each day of the week. The employees of an organization that operates 24X7 would invariably have rotating shifts.

A work schedule may also give employees the freedom to set daily shift start and end times on their own provided they are able to work for a certain amount of time and meet deadlines. Employees may even be allowed to get through their workday from home after they have completed a specified number of core hours at the office or work entirely from a remote location.

There are, evidently, several permutations and combinations that go into making a staff schedule. A software solution, in this regard, automates the entire process of creating, maintaining, and sharing staff schedules, significantly boosting the efficiency of employee management.

With the help of a mobile app, employers and employees can view and act upon schedules from anywhere, just with a few clicks on their smartphones and tablets. This totally does away with the need for old-fashioned and clunky methods like putting up employee schedules on notice boards, or sending out elaborate emails even for shift swap and/or time off requests by the employees.

In fact, with the help of scheduling software, such requests, even if made very late in the day, can be accommodated and the schedule can be updated with a minimum of human effort. And, if a set of employees are regularly put on a particular shift, schedules can be auto-generated for them. Employers may track staff time and attendance, leaves, overtime, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from a single platform.

How Does an Employee Scheduling App Work?

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An employee scheduling software uses cutting-edge technology to put employees into different shifts and allot tasks. This can be done much quicker than manual methods. It also cuts inadvertent errors like putting an employee in two different shifts on the same day. Such errors may happen when shift scheduling is done manually, and when you are dealing with a sizeable number of employees.

Although the decision on who should be put on which shift is still a manual one, the actual task of shift-making is automated so much so that if the managers want to put a certain number of employees on a particular shift for several coming weeks, they might as well auto-generate shifts.

An employee scheduling software ensures that shift swap and time off requests, even if they arrive at the eleventh hour, would not give the managers heebie-jeebies. The software would quickly locate employees who could cover for those that need time/day off and would help the managers and the employees in making alternative arrangements.

The ability to manage schedules on the fly at any time of the day and from any location is an advantage that employers can have by using staff scheduling solutions. The schedules can be sent to the employees as soon as they are published, who can then view their shifts from their phones, no matter wherever they may be, or whatever they may be doing. Modern software puts shift schedules right at the fingertips of employers and employees alike.

Time can also be saved by simply placing the shifts into staff slots rather than having to create schedules afresh every time. The employees are alerted when shifts are updated and requests are responded to through push notifications.

Employee scheduling solutions can also be integrated with point of sale (POS), and demand/sales forecasting systems to estimate the number of workers required on a future date. It would ensure that a restaurant, for instance, is not understaffed to handle events/periods that may witness high customer footfall, and also not overstaffed to handle lean periods or days of harsh weather when most diners may prefer to stay at home.

Scheduling apps may also be integrated with employee time-tracking solutions to ensure that employee productivity is upheld. They also let employers prevent unnecessary overtime, and help in payroll management too. Employee scheduling apps can be accessed from Google Play, the Apple app store, or the app provider's website.

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

How Can a Scheduling App Improve Workflow?

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1. Staff scheduling software ensures that all messages are streamlined, and everyone in the organization is kept up to date wherever in the world they may be. Managers are able to rely on one, centralized information source, which reduces their workload and lets them concentrate on critical business activities.

2. Labor costs usually make up the biggest dollar outgo for any organization. A smart scheduling solution can be integrated with sales and demand forecasting software and lets businesses prepare schedules optimally to minimize the chances of over-and under-staffing. This would allow businesses to control both labor costs and a drop in revenue.

For example, during times of demand lull, a lesser number of employees can be scheduled, and the employees can also be cross-trained. Businesses can also control labor costs by using the services of part-time workers or putting workers on split shifts. This entire schedule management process can become complex without smart technology.

3. Business owners, who use an effective employee scheduling app, are able to manage their human resources in a far better and quicker way than those using Excel templates or pen, paper, and clipboards.

The managers working on scheduling apps need not get bogged down by having to prepare, revise, and re-revise schedules, or having to handle tonnes of paper. The managers are, hence, spared a lot of headaches, and can save a great deal of time.

Information on various components of employee participation and Employee Performance , such as absenteeism, overtime hours worked, and time and attendance patterns become easily accessible.

4. Managers can react quickly and confidently to even last-minute shift changes or time off requests with scheduling solutions allowing them the bandwidth to make immediate alternative arrangements.

5. Team communication improves. Schedules can be shared with the employees as soon as they are published. Push notifications alert employees when the managers update schedules and respond to their requests.

6. With the scheduling app available at their fingertips, business owners can manage schedules on the go, from anywhere, and right from their smartphones. Employees can also view schedules and make shift swap or time off requests easily from wherever they may be. This gives the employees a sense of autonomy and they feel important.

7. Automated staff scheduling keeps businesses compliant with local labor rules and prevents human blunders that might lead to the employees getting fatigued and even endanger their lives.

Essential Features to Look for in an Employee Scheduling App

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1. Self-service features for employees are available on many user-friendly platforms, allowing employees to manage their schedules by themselves. With the help of such software, employees can view their schedules, exchange shifts with colleagues, and even claim an unoccupied shift. This makes the employees happy as they get a sense of control over their shifts, and reduces the workload of managers, who can now offload simple tasks.

2. Many scheduling software solutions can be linked easily to other platforms to help business owners in optimizing their workforce management, payroll, and scheduling systems. This way, the managers can aggregate all the employee information at a single location.

Third-party integrations are provided for a charge by some software companies, while they are provided for free by other companies. A top-quality employee scheduling software can be integrated with accounting, workforce management, payroll, and human resource management software among others.

3. An organization using scheduling software solutions that incorporate payroll data would find it easier to compute employees' wages depending on their hours of work. When a payroll monitoring tool is used, employees' gross wages are calculated automatically the moment they punch out. Some software platforms let business owners see the total amount that an employee has earned in a week on the basis of the hours invested.

4. Staff absences can be tracked, payroll processes can be effortlessly managed, and gaps in the scheduling system can be effectively addressed with the help of an employee scheduling and time management software solution working hand-in-hand.

Managers are notified when employees make leave or time off requests, which allows managers to cover employee absences. The absence management feature monitors the schedules of the employees and ensures that they are reporting correct times.

5. The auto-scheduling option of an employee scheduling app lets managers automate and simplify the process of creating schedules. It recalls prior schedules and takes into account employee time-offs and overtime requests, and helps managers in Scheduling Time offs without much of a hassle. With auto-scheduling, managers can save time and energy when it is possible to do so.

Top Employee Scheduling Apps of 2022

1. Zip Schedules- Employee schedules can be created in a jiffy using this cloud based Hubworks-based software solution. It allows customers to save favored schedules as templates, which can then be altered according to the organization's needs or employee requests.

Time can be saved on common tasks by simply putting shifts into staff slots. The free mobile app and internal messaging system of Zip Schedules ensure that the entire workforce is alerted on their phones in real time.

This platform's key features include schedule management on the go, swift review of staff requests, and quick decisions on them. The workers can also make timely arrangements for colleagues to cover their shifts.

2. Homebase- It has a drag-and-drop interface that comes with a plethora of functions for employee scheduling. It is an all-in-one package for small businesses. The free plan includes all that a business needs to start scheduling, while paid subscriptions are rich in features and affordable too.

The free plan offers features like time clocks, staff mobile apps, time tracking and attendance tracking, and the option to prepare schedules for more than 10 days at a time. It works with a variety of POS and accounting software, and also lets managers track employees using GPS.

3. TimeForge- For the restaurant, service, and retail industries, TimeForge is a useful workforce management software. TimeForge is simple to use and provides for centralized administration of employees over the entire worker lifecycle. Online staff scheduling, manager logbooks, timekeeping, team communication tools, task management, sales forecasting, hardware timeclocks, and mobile apps, are some of TimeForge's key features. Employees can request time off, examine schedules, check their timecards, and change shifts using the employee mobile app.

4. 7Shifts- This staff scheduling software can be integrated with almost any POS system. Direct messaging, group chats, shift feedback, and announcements are some of the communication tools available. It delivers schedules to employees' email addresses or phones, taking into account labor availability, labor laws, and overtime. It also has a reporting feature as well as a tool for weekly labor budgeting. It also includes a free smartphone app. 7Shifts compares sales and demand statistics to anticipate staffing requirements. Drag-and-drop timetable templates offered by 7Shifts are useful for swiftly creating schedules.

5. When I Work- This program works well for small restaurants. Employees can quickly make time off requests and exchange schedules with the help of the smartphone app.

The program can also be integrated with a time clock and labor costs can be reduced. With auto-scheduling, shifts can be made with just one click. The entire team is notified when schedules are published, and timesheets can be imported for quick and accurate processing of payroll. You can even limit clock-ins to specific locations and shifts to enforce punctuality in the workplace.

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

Cost of Scheduling Software

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A small business can take advantage of several free plans available in the market that provide rudimentary staff scheduling software solutions. An organization that requires additional features has to upgrade to a premium subscription.

Some services have a per-employee fee, while others charge a per-location fee. Employee-based services are available for prices ranging from $1.50 to $4.50 per employee. Subscription plans per location cost $14 to $199 per site.

Add-on services for applicant tracking may be available with employee scheduling software. Extra services may cost $50 per month or around $80 per post. Extra human resource services are either provided as part of a package or are available as add-on items.

Let us look at the prices of some of the top staff scheduling software solutions in the market that would give a fair idea of the cost of scheduling software.

Zip Schedules provides its basic version for organizations with 1-20 employees at the rate of $19 per location per month. The next higher tier is priced at $39 per location per month and serves organizations having 21-50 employees. Companies employing more than 50 workers, on the other hand, can choose the custom version. Free customer support is available with all three subscription levels.

When I Work has an 'Essentials' version priced at $4 per user, an 'Advanced' version that costs $6 per user, and a 'Complete' version that carries a price of $8 per user.

7Shifts, on the other hand, has a free version, an 'Entree' version priced at $29.99 per location per month, and a subscription tier called 'The Works' that costs $69.99 per location per month. Each higher subscription tier provides features in addition to those that are part of the immediately lower tier. One can use add-ons like a task management solution for $12.99 per location per month, a manager logbook for $14.99 per location per month, and an operations overview solution for $6.99 per location per month.

Homebase also offers a free version. Its basic, free version caters to a single location and an unlimited number of employees. The 'Essentials' plan is priced at $14 per location per month, the 'Plus' plan costs $35 per location per month, and the 'All-in-one' version can be accessed for $70 per location per month.

Employee Scheduling FAQs

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1. What is the way that work time is classified?

Work time is the amount of time you spend doing paid work for the company that employs you.

Standard employee time is usually 40 hours per week, whereas overtime, or the amount of hours put in above the standard hours, refers to all work completed after 40 hours.

Different states in the United States take different approaches to the issue of overtime. In California, for example, overtime work includes the initial 8 work hours on the 7th day of the week as well.

2. Is time spent on call part of work time?

People who are 'on call' are not working in the strictest sense. These employees must, however, be available at the workplace in case they are required to participate in active work. In the opinion of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), although "all on-call time is not hours worked", some amount of on-call time indeed counts as hours put in by the workers. This work is then suitably compensated.

3. What is meant by paid vacation time?

Paid time off refers to the time employees stay away from work for personal reasons, but are still compensated. Paid leaves can take the shape of personal leaves, sick leaves, or vacation time.

4. What is the definition of a compressed workweek?

Employees having a compressed workweek work the usual 32-40 hours per week but on fewer workdays. Shifts are longer than usual in exchange for additional days off.

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