Starting your own business is exciting, but now that the day has finally arrived, you probably have a lot on your plate. And right up there on your to-do list is the hurdle of managing your employees’ shifts.
Are your current employees wrestling with their current shifts? Is scheduling turning into a headache for both you and your HR team? If the answer is yes, then shift scheduling poses a problem for your business.
Whether you’re a startup or an already-established business, employee shift scheduling apps can help you a great deal. If you’re used to doing this manually but are exploring the possibilities of automatically optimizing your workforce management, you’ll find in this article the best employee shift scheduling apps currently on the market.
Understanding employee shift scheduling software
Despite the many user-friendly software available, 38% of businesses in the US still use manual systems like timesheets and punch cards. However, even in a company with 15 employees, manual shift scheduling can become a time-consuming process.
That’s exactly why employee shift scheduling apps were created. They replace old-school methods and can automatically create work schedules based on the employee's skill and availability. Consequently, this will free up your time, allowing both you and your employees to better juggle between work and personal life.
But there’s more this software can do for you:
Streamline communication. While everyone’s talking about how technology has caused people to become distant in their personal lives, nobody’s talking about its positive impact on business communication. For example, these scheduling apps make it easy for you and your employees to stay updated and discuss work changes.
Reduce mix-ups in schedules. Managing work shifts manually not only takes time but is prone to errors. It can result in someone showing up for a shift they weren’t scheduled for. This can all be avoided by simply automating the process.
Empower your team. When employees are being handed fixed timetables, it can make them feel like robots stuck in a rigid routine. But with shift scheduling apps, they can actually have a say in when they work, making them feel more appreciated.
Combine its benefits, and you’ll see that employee shift scheduling software is all about improving business efficiency. And undoubtedly, this is what you, and all other businesses out there, are after, considering the fast-paced lives we’re living.
7 best employee shift scheduling apps
While they’ve all been designed with one main goal in mind, different employee shift scheduling apps can satisfy different business needs. You’ll find below some of the best on the market, along with their perks and benefits, to help you overcome challenges that are specific to your business. Let’s find the right fit for you.
1. Deputy - Overall best
Founded in 2008, Deputy has proven itself as a top choice over the years. The app is continuously updating, and it’s hard to even find an aspect it doesn’t excel at. Its features aren’t endless but are more than enough to catch the attention of anyone looking to automate the shift scheduling process.
Deputy is easy to use, even if it’s your first time using such apps. Now, its features go beyond just basic shift planning and swapping. This app makes sure you adhere to labor law compliance, enhances communication with your team, and keeps a record of each employee’s performance during a certain period of time.
It’s available on both iOS and Android, so you can keep track of your employees’ work schedules even when on the go. Deputy’s premium version is available at $4.90 per month, making it a great value for your money.
Who’s it best for:
Both small businesses and enterprises are fit to use Deputy’s services. However, its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features make it a perfect choice for small businesses with no more than 50 employees.
2. Agendrix - Best for scheduling restaurant shifts
Yet another easy-to-use employee shift scheduling app that you can try for free for up to 21 hours with no credit card required. The website’s design is sleek, and they’ve managed to mirror its features on its dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android.
Agendrix excels in accuracy. You can rest assured that employees’ timesheets will be filled out in real-time, so you can always track when someone clocks in and out. It’s also a great app for scheduling restaurant shifts, as it allows you to communicate with your team easily and find replacements quickly when needed.
It’s important to note that Agendrix has an overall positive reputation, as most users are satisfied with its services. It’s an all-in-one place app that, after your free trial period, comes at $3.75 per user per month, offering access to all of the essential shift scheduling features.
Who’s it best for:
Yes, it’s definitely a great choice for restaurant owners due to its accuracy. However, Agendrix isn’t targeting restaurant owners only. Its versatile punch clock and automated time-tracking features are suitable for both retail and remote businesses, regardless of their size.
3. Connecteam - Best for planning and sharing work schedules
The name suggests exactly what this app offers - a chance to connect with your team on a deeper level by allowing them to have a say in when they work. It offers plans for both small businesses and enterprises starting at $20 for 30 users per month.
This budget-friendly software excels in employee management. Not only does it allow you to manage your team’s schedule and track their work hours, but it also helps you accurately calculate payroll and adhere to tax compliance.
It simplifies the entire process of shift scheduling. You can align shifts with a click, duplicate them, and use templates. Connecteam users receive real-time notifications regarding their employee’s work shifts and availability. Like all the above mentioned, Connecteam is also available for both desktop and mobile use.
Who’s it best for:
Businesses of all sizes can use Connecteam and enjoy its numerous shift scheduling features for business efficiency. However, startups or small businesses with up to 10 employees might find it especially attractive, as they can use it for free.
4. Homebase - Best user-friendly app
But that’s not all this app is good at. Besides being easy to navigate, it also offers a modern app for both iOS and Android users. Additionally, Homebase can be integrated with other employee management apps, such as payroll and applicant tracking systems.
It classifies itself as an all-in-one app, and rightfully so. Its shift scheduling features are suitable for everyone looking to promote work-life balance, be it an HR professional, a business owner, or an independent contractor.
Homebase’s pricing plans come in tiers based on your shift scheduling needs. Small businesses with up to 20 employees have the chance to try its basic services for free, while the rest can choose from other packages starting at $20 per month.
Who’s it best for:
Homebase shift scheduling software has been specifically designed to cater to small businesses’ needs. Its tools are comprehensive and allow you to pay employees’ wages and track their working hours.
5. Skedulo - Best for field service management
Skedulo should be your go-to choice if you’re looking to manage your workforce in one centralized application, regardless of whether they’re in the office or on the field. Its forte lies in allowing you to schedule employees’ shifts based on where they live to ensure they’re never late and can also save on travel expenses.
Skedulo is scalable. It will grow as your business grows. It’s perfectly designed to fit your business’ shift scheduling needs regardless of the number of your employees. The pricing plans are different for schedulers and mobile workers, but the exact amounts aren’t stated on the official website.
Who’s it best for:
It’s best for businesses with a mobile workforce where employees, such as field service, healthcare, or logistics, are always on the move. If your business involves field-based work, then Skedulo should be on your radar.
Enhancing efficiency with employee shift scheduling software
Regardless of the size of your business, managing employees’ shifts is an inevitable task. It can be a real chore, especially for those who still rely on timesheets and punch cards.
However, I like to say that there’s a solution for everything, and the same goes for employee shift scheduling. We live in a technology-driven world, so even if you’re an old-school business owner, you can benefit from modern solutions such as employee shift scheduling apps to enhance your business efficiency.