Employee scheduling software helps ensure you have the right people in the right place at the right time. I compared the 10 best employee scheduling software so you can find the best option for your business.

Getting the right employees to the right place at the right time is a challenge that businesses face every single day. Scheduling that’s 90% accurate simply isn’t good enough—one missed job or shift could cost your business a lot of money.

That’s why your business needs employee scheduling software that you can trust. The right scheduling software can help you deploy your employees with maximum efficiency and ensure that employees never miss a shift or job.

In this guide, I’ll review the top 10 employee scheduling software for 2024, broken into three categories: 

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Good for both job and shift scheduling

  2. Good for Quickbooks users

  3. Good for assigning and tracking tasks

Why trust us?

Our team of unbiased software reviewers follows strict editorial guidelines, and our methodology is clear and open to everyone.
See our complete methodology

37

Tools considered

25

Tools reviewed

10

Best tools
chosen

How I Chose the Best Employee Scheduling Software

To give you a more specific look into how I narrowed down my list, these are the key functions and features I looked for when reviewing time and attendance apps:

Importance core features

  • Best in their category: I divided the software into 3 categories. To make this list, the software had to be one of the best overall scheduling software in each specific category.
  • Auto-scheduling: This feature automatically generates schedules based on availability, preferences, and business needs to speed up the scheduling process and eliminate manual scheduling.
  • Flexible shift swapping: Employees should be able to trade shifts and get coverage for hours they can’t work. They should also be able to assign themselves open shifts, and managers should be able to approve or deny them.
  • Time off management features: You should be able to track and approve PTO on the go, track employee absences, and ensure you’re fully staffed from the software.
  • Compliance with labor laws: I looked for features that help managers comply with labor laws and regulations. This could include tracking overtime, scheduling breaks, or managing employee certifications or licenses.
  • Shift templates for manual scheduling: You should be able to save your employees’ regular working hours and reuse shift templates so you don’t have to manually create schedules every week.
  • GPS time clock with geofencing: Staff should have the ability to clock in and out from anywhere, so software that also has a one-touch mobile time clock is ideal. I also looked for software that comes with geofencing so you know employees are clocking in and out from their job sites.
  • In-app chat: The app should come with secure chat features so employees can message managers and each other with scheduling-related questions and collaborate on projects no matter where they are.

Best Scheduling Software for SMBs with multiple locations

  1. Connecteam — Good for both job and shift scheduling

    Connecteam’s all-in-one employee scheduling app provides all the tools you need to create and manage team schedules with complete ease and efficiency, even while on the go.

    Why I chose Connecteam: Connecteam offers small businesses all the tools they need to create employee schedules for multiple job sites. The platform is highly user-friendly and customizable and can be adapted to suit your unique business needs.

    Let’s take a look at some of the key features:

    Intuitive drag-and-drop shift scheduler 

    With the employee scheduler, you can create weekly schedules and simply drag employees’ names to fill in each shift. You can also automatically assign shifts based on employee qualifications, preferences, and availability.

    Connecteam comes with many scheduling template options, too, to make the process even faster, or customize your own however you need. You can also create and automatically assign recurring shifts. 

    Additionally, Connecteam has automatic shift conflict alerts that let you know immediately of any scheduling errors. This helps reduce labor costs by avoiding double scheduling, assigning the wrong employee to a shift, or assigning an employee who’s scheduled for PTO.

    task management app

    Auto-scheduling to eliminate manual scheduling

    With Connecteam’s auto-scheduling feature, you can make employee schedules in seconds. Instead of manual scheduling, simply predefine in the app how many staff you need per shift as well as which roles. Then, the auto-scheduler will create the schedule for you, taking into consideration employee availability, preferences, skillsets, and business need.

    You can also easily make any changes manually if you need to, drastically speeding up the scheduling process.

    GPS time clock and geofencing tools for better oversight

    The GPS-enabled employee time clock lets staff clock in and out right from their mobile devices at whichever job site they’re working. The GPS location tracking feature captures employees’ locations when they clock in and out, and you can use location tracking to see where your workers are while they’re on the clock, too. That way, you can be sure no one is committing time theft and getting paid for work when they aren’t actually on the clock.

    In addition, geofencing let you draw digital borders around job sites to restrict clocking in and out from that particular area. If a team member leaves the geofence while clocked in, both you and that employee will receive a notification.

    But rest assured: Connecteam never records employees’ locations when they’re clocked out.

    Connecteam's time clock feature manager view

    Shift swapping for seamless coverage

    Employees can easily trade shifts amongst themselves through the Connecteam app, and you can approve or deny the request. One thing I love is that the app only allows employees with matching qualifications and skillsets to swap shifts with each other to ensure that the shift is covered properly.

    Once approved, the schedule will automatically update to reflect the changes. 

    Add tasks, forms, checklists, and descriptions to shifts

    Connecteam makes sure that all your employees have all the information they need to do their jobs properly. You can add shift-specific tasks, forms, and checklists to shifts so employees cn see the information see as soon as they clock in for their shifts.

    That way, employees understand exactly what’s expected of them you can check in with their progress throughout their workdays.

    Connecteam app interface - forms and checklists

    In-app chat to communicate with your team 

    Even if you aren’t physically in the same place as your team, remain connected and available with Connecteam’s smart online team chat

    You and your staff can quickly and easily ask and answer questions, chat about schedules, tasks, and projects, and even share files and snap photos to share. 

    Easily manage employee breaks and overtime

    The app will automatically alert employees when it’s time for them to take a break. You can also set the app to automatically notify you when an employee approaches overtime.

    This helps you manage overtime pay, reduces the amount you spend on payroll, and helps ensure compliance with labor laws. 

    Integrations with popular payroll solutions

    The software directly integrates with Gusto, QuickBooks Online, Paychex and Xero for seamless payroll. Employee hours are automatically recorded onto timesheets for payroll, eliminating the need to manually add up hours and enter them into payroll software.

    Additionally, Connecteam has powerful HR tools to manage employee recognition, training and learning, employee milestones, and documents. You can also keep track of your employees’ training records, licensing expiration dates, qualifications, and interview documents. 

    Teams of up to 10 people can get Connecteam’s employee scheduling software free for life, and the platform’s paid plan starts at just $29/month for up to 30 users.

    I had people that we would just schedule for work and hope and pray that they show up. And now, we have an average of a 90-95% attendance rate.

    Christen Gros
    VP of Special Projects

    Pros

    • Add tasks, forms, checklists, and more to shifts

    • Integrates with popular payroll solutions

    • Automatic shift scheduling tools

    • One-click shift swapping

    Cons

    • Needs internet or wifi access to work

    Pricing

    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. QuickBooks Time — Good for Quickbooks users

    Available on

    Screenshot of the QuickBooks Time webpage

    QuickBooks Time offers employee scheduling software designed to make managing staff across multiple locations easier for small and medium businesses. Build and share work schedules, assign shifts and jobs, and grant access based on permissions – all from a central hub. The mobile app allows for on-the-go scheduling for added flexibility.

    The centralized platform ensures everyone has access to the latest schedules, regardless of location. Features like location tracking and mobile access further enhance coordination and streamline operations for geographically dispersed teams.

    You can set up automated notifications and alerts so everyone stays informed of scheduling changes. Employees receive reminders to clock in and out, and managers get notified of scheduling conflicts or unfilled positions when creating the schedule.

    I really like how customizable Quickbooks’ scheduling software is, allowing you to schedule by shift or job, set billable rates, and include detailed notes for each task. This ensures the software aligns with your unique business workflows.

    This software is particularly useful for businesses with geographically dispersed teams. See where your team is working with location tracking features, helpful for field service businesses or those coordinating tasks across branches.

    QuickBooks Time also integrates seamlessly with its own payroll software but also integrates well with Square, Paychex, Gusto, and more.

    Learn more about QuickBooks Time

    Key Features

    • Manual employee scheduler
    • Recurring schedules
    • Automatic alerts
    • Scheduling record storage

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Mobile app for on-the-go scheduling

    Cons

    • Employees can’t trade shifts
    • Doesn’t track leave requests

    Pricing

    Starts at $20/month + $10/user/month Trial: Yes — 30-day Free Plan: No

  3. When I Work — Good for assigning and tracking tasks

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the When I Work webpage

    When I Work offers a user-friendly scheduling software designed for small and medium businesses juggling staff across multiple locations.

    The software lets you create schedules for all locations, assign shifts and tasks to specific employees, and control access based on permissions. Managers can even adjust schedules on-the-go with the mobile app, ensuring flexibility for your team.

    When I Work also helps control labor costs by tracking employee availability and integrating it with sales or customer traffic data. This allows you to create data-driven schedules, ensuring you have the right number of staff on hand to meet demand, without overstaffing and incurring unnecessary expenses.

    The software also identifies scheduling conflicts before they happen, allowing managers to adjust schedules or find replacements in advance.

    When I Work is great for empowering your team, too. Employees can view their schedules right from their phones, manage availability, submit time-off requests, and even swap shifts directly within the app. This gives your workforce more control and reduces the administrative burden on managers.

    Learn more about When I Work

    Key Features

    • Auto-scheduling features
    • Labor distribution reports
    • Scheduling templates
    • Task management

    Pros

    • Easy communication between managers and employees
    • Good customer service

    Cons

    • Users report it can be difficult to integrate with payroll software
    • Manual scheduling is more time consuming than other options

    Pricing

    Starts at $2.5/user Trial: Yes — Yes, 14-day Free Plan: No

  4. Deputy — Good for PTO management

    Screenshot of the Deputy webpage

    Deputy offers a straightforward scheduling software designed to simplify staff management for businesses, particularly those with multiple locations. The software allows you to manage all your schedules from a central location, ensuring everyone has access to the latest information regardless of location.

    The software streamlines schedule creation by allowing you to build and share schedules across all your locations. You can assign shifts and tasks to specific employees, and control access based on permissions. 

    Deputy also offers an innovative AI-powered schedule creation feature. It considers employee availability, skills, and sales forecasts to generate optimized schedules, potentially saving you time and reducing labor costs.

    Deputy also allows employees to swap shifts directly within the app after the schedule has been published. This creates flexibility for your team and reduces the burden on managers of finding last-minute replacements.

    I also really like that Deputy provides real-time insights for better decision-making. You can see how labor costs compare to sales figures, allowing you to optimize staffing levels to meet customer demand without unnecessary expenses.

    Learn more about Deputy

    Key Features

    • Shift swapping
    • Leave request management
    • Budgeting tools
    • AI-powered scheduling

    Pros

    • User-friendly mobile app
    • Keeps confidential information private

    Cons

    • Users report the drag-and-drop functionality is a bit slow
    • Limited built-in communication features

    Pricing

    Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance Trial: Yes — 31-day Free Plan: No

  5. Best Employee Scheduling Software for Large Organizations

    Humanity by TCP Software — Good for remaining compliant

    Screenshot of the Humanity webpage

    Humanity by TCP Software is a feature-rich scheduling software designed to streamline staff management for large teams.

    The AI-scheduler streamlines the scheduling process by automatically creating shift plans. It considers employee availability, skills, and past demand patterns to automatically generate optimized schedules. The software can also analyze data to predict future demand and determine the right staffing mix.

    You can create various shift types, too, from regular shifts to split shifts and on-call options. The software even allows you to assign specific tasks to each shift so your employees know exactly what is expected of them.

    Humanity also makes it easy to remain compliant with laws and regulations by providing tools to ensure your schedules adhere to local and national break time requirements, overtime limitations, and other relevant laws.

    Learn more about Humanity by TCP Software

    Key Features

    • Scheduling compliance tools
    • AI-powered scheduling
    • Shift planning
    • Reporting tools

    Pros

    • Easy to identify coverage gaps
    • Automatic notifications

    Cons

    • Users report there is a lack of formatting options
    • Can be glitchy

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. Shiftboard — Good for labor demand planning

    Screenshot of the Shiftboard webpage

    Shiftboard offers employee scheduling software designed specifically for larger organizations with complex needs. It also supports industry-specific situations such as production line changes, job rotations, on-call assignments, and shift changeovers.

    You can customize the software to your specific scheduling process, accounting for things like unique shift patterns, department requirements, and employee roles. Shiftboard utilizes a drag-and-drop interface for creating and editing schedules which simplifies the process when dealing with large numbers of employees and shifts.

    You can track and accommodate employee scheduling preferences, allow eligible workers to swap and pick up available shifts, distribute overtime fairly, and offer workers secure mobile access to check schedules, pick up shifts, and request time off.

    Learn more about Shiftboard

    Key Features

    • Automate shift assignments
    • Demand prediction
    • Timesheets and payroll integrations
    • Tools to reduce overtime costs

    Pros

    • Excellent reporting features
    • Easy to adjust schedules on the fly

    Cons

    • Outdated user-interface
    • No in-app chat feature

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  7. Skedulo — Good for job dispatching

    Available on

    Screenshot of the Skedulo webpage

    Skedulo was built specifically with large-scale businesses in mind. This workforce scheduling software streamlines the way organizations manage their workforce and operations. With customizable scheduling capabilities, managers can create, adjust, and oversee employee shifts efficiently so that each shift has enough employees scheduled to get the job done. 

    One of the standout features of Skedulo is its auto-scheduling feature, branded as the Skedulo MasterMind. This tool takes into consideration various factors such as employee availability, skill set, and geographic location to optimize task and job assignments for a more balanced workload distribution.

    Additionally, Skedulo includes advanced dispatching features that facilitate the assignment and management of jobs. This is particularly useful for businesses that need to respond promptly to service requests or manage on-the-go tasks. The dispatching system ensures that the right person is sent to the right job with all the information they need to complete it effectively, enhancing overall service quality and efficiency.

    Learn more about Skedulo

    Key Features

    • Time management
    • SMS and push notifications
    • Team communication
    • Scheduling and dispatching

    Pros

    • Simple to navigate
    • Robust task management tools

    Cons

    • Users report that the app experienced bugs sometimes
    • Some employees find the app to have limited features

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  8. Best Scheduling Software for Restaurants and Hospitality

    HotSchedules by Fourth

    HotSchedules by Fourth — Good for: Optimizing productivity

    Screenshot of the HotSchedules by Fourth webpage

    With the intuitive drag-and-drop scheduler, you can create team schedules with ease. HotSchedules by Fourth also offers shift forecasting so you can create more accurate schedules with the right number of staff members to avoid over and under-scheduling. 

    Employees can easily swap, drop, and pick up shifts in a user-friendly app, as well as request time off. The app integrates with Google Calendar, too, so they can easily combine their work and personal schedules. 

    The app comes with individual messaging as well as blast broadcasting to reach all employees at once. End-of-shift surveys are another helpful feature to boost team engagement and make more productive decisions by helping you spot turnover risk and giving staff a safe space to voice opinions.

    Learn more about HotSchedules by Fourth

    Key Features

    • Drag-and-drop scheduling
    • Forecasting and reporting
    • Multi-unit store view
    • Scheduling templates

    Pros

    • Comes with a multi-store view to see multiple schedules at once
    • Good customer service

    Cons

    • More expensive than other solutions
    • Can be more difficult to use for non-tech savvy individuals

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  9. 7shifts — Good for automatic notifications

    Screenshot of the 7shifts webpage

    7shifts is a great option because it’s easy to use and very visually pleasing. I found that the scheduling tool was intuitive and simple to set up, which really cut back on the time it takes to make schedules. 

    With a drag-and-drop scheduler and lots of customizable scheduling template options, you can create accurate schedules free of errors. Both managers and staff can view schedules from their mobile devices so it’s always accessible, and staff receive automatic reminders and notifications with schedule changes in real-time.

    You can also track your costs with built-in visual budget tools and get sales forecasts, which you can also split between different departments.

    Learn more about 7shifts

    Key Features

    • Shift swaps and time off requests
    • Employee scheduling for all departments
    • Automatic notifications
    • Budget and forecasting tools

    Pros

    • Easy team communication
    • Intuitive user interface

    Cons

    • Some users reported difficulty managing team member data
    • Can be difficult to export reports in the right format

    Pricing

    Starts at $29.99/month/location, up to 30 employees Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: Yes — Up to 1 location & 30 employees

  10. Sling — Good for creating customizable scheduling templates

    Screenshot of the Sling webpage

    Sling’s restaurant scheduling software comes with a drag-and-drop scheduler, which allows managers to assign shifts by simply moving employee blocks into specific time slots on a digital calendar so it’s easy to see who is working when.

    I also really like that Sling offers the ability to customize scheduling templates for different types of shifts or typical work weeks, which can then be reused. 

    Sling also incorporates safeguards to prevent scheduling errors. The software automatically checks for conflicts such as double-booking or scheduling someone outside of their availability. It alerts you of these conflicts as they arise, helping to ensure that the final schedule is free from mistakes and overlaps.

    Learn more about Sling

    Key Features

    • Scheduling templates
    • Drag-and-drop scheduler
    • Error flagging
    • Time off management

    Pros

    • Intuitive and easy to use
    • Time tracking is simple and accurate

    Cons

    • Team members can’t drop shifts and post them for coverage
    • Customer service needs improvement

    Pricing

    Starts at $1.70/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

Compare the Best Employee Scheduling Softwares

Topic Start for free HotSchedules by Fourth
Reviews
4.8
4.7
4.5
4.6
4.3
4.4
4.4
4.4
4.7
4.6
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at $20/month + $10/user/month
Starts at $2.5/user
Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $29.99/month/location, up to 30 employees
Starts at $1.70/user/month
Free Trial
yes
14-day
yes
30-day
yes
Yes, 14-day
yes
31-day
yes
no
no
no
yes
14-day
yes
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
yes
Up to 1 location & 30 employees
yes
Use cases
Good for both job and shift scheduling
Good for Quickbooks users
Good for assigning and tracking tasks
Good for PTO management
Good for remaining compliant
Good for labor demand planning
Good for job dispatching
Good for: Optimizing productivity
Good for automatic notifications
Good for creating customizable scheduling templates
Available on
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

What is Employee Scheduling Software?

Employee scheduling software is a digital tool designed to help businesses organize and manage their workforce schedules efficiently. It automates the creation and maintenance of shift patterns, manages time-off requests, and ensures compliance with labor laws. 

This software typically features real-time updates, allowing managers and employees to make immediate adjustments to their schedules. It also often includes mobile accessibility, enabling staff to view their schedules, swap shifts, and communicate with management from anywhere. The goal is to streamline the scheduling process, reduce administrative workload, enhance productivity, and improve overall employee satisfaction by offering a transparent and flexible scheduling system.

How Does Employee Scheduling Software Work?

Employee scheduling software streamlines the process of managing work shifts by automating the assignment of shifts based on pre-set criteria such as employee availability, skills, and labor laws. The software typically allows managers to create and edit schedules through a central interface, which employees can access to view their shifts, request changes, or swap shifts.

Notifications and real-time updates keep everyone informed of changes, so everyone is on the same page no matter where they are working. Advanced systems can also integrate with payroll and HR software, ensuring accurate record-keeping and compliance with labor laws.

How Much Does Employee Scheduling Software Cost?

The cost of employee scheduling software can vary based on features, the size of the workforce, and the pricing structure. For example, Connecteam offers a free-for-life plan for up to 30 users, with premium plans starting at $29 per month for up to 10 users.

Shiftboard tailors its pricing to organizational needs, requiring a custom quote, indicating a variable pricing model based on functionality and user count​. 7shifts focuses on restaurants and offers plans starting at $17.99 per location per month, scaling up with additional features and higher user limits.

Benefits of Employee Scheduling Software

Improved efficiency

Scheduling software automates the scheduling process, drastically reducing the time it traditionally takes to create and manage employee schedules so managers can focus on other operational tasks.

Reduced labor costs

The software optimizes staffing levels to match operational demand, which helps in reducing unnecessary labor expenses. You can control and potentially lower labor costs by ensuring that staffing is neither over or under what is needed.

Enhanced communication

You can improve the flow of information between management and staff. With real-time updates and mobile accessibility, employees can stay informed about their schedules and any changes, no matter where they are.

Increased compliance

Scheduling software helps businesses adhere to labor regulations by automatically enforcing rules related to overtime, breaks, and minimum rest periods between shifts. 

Employee empowerment

Employees can have more of a say in their schedules by giving them the ability to submit availability, swap shifts with colleagues, and request time off. This level of control can lead to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Insightful analytics

Employers get valuable insights through detailed reports and analytics on staffing and operational efficiency. Businesses can then make better-informed decisions.

FAQs

What is the best way to schedule employees?

The best way to schedule employees is to use dedicated employee scheduling software. This software makes it easy for managers to assign employees to shifts or jobs. If you need to make changes, you can reassign employees and notify them immediately.

Can you use Excel to schedule employees?

Small businesses with only a few employees might be able to schedule employees in Excel. However, relying on Excel could be difficult for businesses with more employees or complex scheduling needs. It’s better to invest in employee scheduling software than risk missing an important job.

Is there free employee scheduling software?

Many employee scheduling software come with free plans for a limited time. However, Connecteam is a free employee scheduling software for businesses with 10 or fewer employees. Businesses with more than 10 employees can try out Connecteam free for 30 days. Paid plans start at just $29 per month for businesses with up to 30 employees.

The Bottom Line On Employee Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling software is absolutely essential for businesses that need to manage a lot of employees, a lot of shifts, and jobs in multiple locations. Reliable scheduling software ensures that your business always has the right employees in the right place at the right time.

We think Connecteam is the best solution for most businesses. It offers a drag-and-drop scheduling interface, built-in communication tools, payroll integration, and much more. With Connecteam, supervisors and employees can work together seamlessly to ensure shifts are always covered.

Try out Connecteam today to see how it can help your business schedule employees.