10 Best Online Employee Scheduling Apps in 2020

Every single business owner knows how difficult and time-consuming the task of creating a well-rounded employee schedule is. And this responsibility is especially difficult when you’re stuck in the dark ages using pen and paper or manually adding hours on an Excel spreadsheet. 

How much time is wasted on manual job scheduling? Take a look at the image below.

Time wasted on manual job scheduling - Connecteam

Among the many roles of a manager in a business, one of the most important is scheduling the staff. After all, you can’t complete work without any workers. It’s vital that you put thought into the scheduling process and treat your staff professionally. – Small Business Chron

Automating the scheduling process offers you consistent results, lessens mistakes, reduces costs, boosts productivity, and improves employee satisfaction. Now doesn’t that sound like music to your ears? (Yeah, that was a rhetorical question!)

What is an employee scheduling app?

“Employee scheduling software is a workforce and scheduling management platform that helps owners and managers administer their hourly workers. Automating the process of creating schedules produces consistent results, manages labor costs, increases productivity, and improves workforce satisfaction. Its core function allows auto-assigning shifts, automating notifications for new schedules and shift changes, clock-in and clock-out features, timecard creation, and payroll file importation. – Finances Online

What are the benefits of using an employee schedule app?

  • Collaborative scheduling is easier.

Employees who have the power to set their own availability and manage shift trades are known as collaborative scheduling. Why does this matter? Because it allows managers to make sure that all shifts are covered and can approve time-off requests and input. When managers can share scheduling responsibilities with employees, they free up almost 80% of their time.

  • Remote access.

Virtually every single employee schedule app offers remote access so employees have full visibility and access to their schedule 24-7. By having instant access, employees can easily create a healthy work-life balance – catching mistakes or seizing open shifts happens in a flash. This level of satisfaction helps lower the turnover rate and boosts employee happiness as they have control over the schedule. 

  • Avoid overtime.

It is important that you comply with labor laws because the Department of Labor regulatory requirements and litigation spending is growing. Seyforth Shaw, LLP also reported that workplace action settlements reached a startling total of $1.75 billion and the settlement value has tripled in 2016 for wage and hour litigation. 

Overtime errors are at the top of wage and hour litigation threats, moreover, for non-exempt employees, overtime is at 40 hours, and each week worked cannot be averaged over a two-week span. Therefore overtime can’t be paid on the following week’s paycheck and you can’t exchange overtime for vacation time. That’s where an employee scheduling app makes life easier as it has alerts built in to prevent employees from working more than 40 hours a week. Some states also require you to provide a paid break and most apps have this programmed in. 

  • Better communication.

Miscommunication or lack thereof can lead to serious problems in the workplace, like employees quitting, poor customer service, and more. 

Forbes reported that two of the top five reasons that employees are so unhappy at work is because of communication issues. Using a scheduling app with built-in communication makes it easier for managers and employees to stay in touch by sharing updates instantly and filling open shifts quickly

  • More efficiency.

When you’re juggling more than a dozen tasks at any given minute, schedule changes can really throw the day out of whack. Especially when a lot of scheduling changes can happen when you’re not clocked in. With an employee scheduling app, you can schedule and track time while on-the-go! This way, you can manage schedules in real-time and can avoid the headaches. Additionally, your team will receive schedule updates straight away on their mobile phone so they’re constantly kept in the loop – this is so much more efficient when it comes to tracking the workflow and you aren’t bombarding your employees to discuss schedule changes.

There are a dozen more benefits of using an employee schedule app, but at this point in time, we want to focus on the best scheduling apps in the market – and there are plenty. We managed to create a list of the top 10 solutions in the market, we highlight their best features and the cost too so you can make the best business decision. 

10 Best Online Employee Scheduling Apps

1. Connecteam

Best for companies with deskless employees, small businesses, and Enterprise.

shift schedule app

With Connecteam’s employee schedule app, it’s all too easy to schedule shifts and dispatch jobs. Managers can simply create single, multiple, or team shifts, or can upload bulk files with Excel. Save valuable time with calendar view, drag & drop options, and easily copy last week’s shifts. Benefit from Connecteam’s in-app chat and employee directory to scale workforce operations. 

On top of it all, Connecteam even tags an employee’s GPS location when they clock in and clock out. Customize status updates when checking-in at the job location, so employees can check-in, reject, or complete their shift. Employees can also easily add shift attachments such as photos, videos, notes, and more. With Connecteam’s scheduling app, you can reduce labor costs, improve employee satisfaction, and avoid the chaos of ensuring a shift is covered.

Price: Starts at $29/month for up to 200 users.

Free trial: There is a free 14-day trial, after which you can continue with its free for life plan. 

Scheduling is made easy with Connecteam

Quickly and easily schedule shifts and dispatch jobs with the only scheduling app that offers true shift collaboration. Start for free to see what Connecteam can do for your scheduling needs.

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2. mHelpDesk

Best for field service businesses. 

mHelpDesk scheduling software

mHelpDesk is very similar to Google Calendar and Outlook but was designed especially for those in the field service business. A few core features of this employee schedule app include: quickly see everyone’s availability, easily schedule field technicians, automated assignment notifications, view job, and customer details, and eliminate overbooking and underbooking.

mHelpDesk can also integrate with Google Calendar, Home Advisor, and QuickBooks. 

Price: Contact a mHelpDesk representative to find out the quote for your business. 

Free trial: Yes, there is a free 14-day trial. 


3. Shiftboard

Best for the hourly workforce. 

shiftboard scheduling app

When it comes to scheduling, Shiftboard has a few key features that can be highly beneficial when you have hourly workers. For example, automated scheduling, schedule distribution, shift swapping, push notifications, two-way texting, mobile clock in and out, and more. 

Shiftboard can integrate with numerous software solutions such as Oracle, Dropbox, ADP, Paycor, and more. 

Price: Plans start at $3/user/month. 

Free trial: At this time, there is no free trial but you can schedule a free demo. 


4. TSheets

Best for service businesses.

TSheets scheduling

TSheets has similar features as most employee scheduling apps in the market. Schedule by shift or by job, use drag & drop, send notifications about shift changes, easily copy the previous week’s schedule and more. Receive alerts about overtime or missed shifts so you can reduce labor expenses. TSheets has a cool feature, “Who’s Working”, so you can immediately see who is available for urgent jobs. 

Sync TSheets with Quickbooks, Google Calendar, iCal, and more. 

Price: Starts at $5/user and a $20 base fee every month, this plan is only available for 2-99 users. 

Free trial: There is a free 14-day trial. 


5. Homebase

Best for brick and mortar businesses.

homebase scheduling software

With Homebase, it’s easy to drag & drop team schedules, make changes from your mobile phone, easily copy last week’s schedule, or use automatic scheduling (takes into account team availability and roles). Employees can simply update their availability or request shift trades, which is sent to you for approval. Additionally, Homebase can total hours and overtime, plus it is capable of subtracting break times.

Integrate sales data from Clover, Toast, Square, and more. 

Price: Each plan charges per location instead of per user: Essentials costs $19.95/month for unlimited users per location, Plus costs $49.95/month for unlimited users per location, or Enterprise at $99.95/month for unlimited users per location. Otherwise, you can sign up for a Free plan but it only covers one location. 

Free trial: Yes, Homebase has a free 14-day trial.


6. Deputy

Best for small companies and multi-location businesses.

deputy scheduling software

When using Deputy, you really need to be tech-savvy and Deputy knows it – that’s why they request all of your pen and paper timesheets and scheduling ahead of time so that they can customize the employee scheduling app to meet your business needs. 

Some of their scheduling features include auto-scheduling; lunch and rest breaks; create, copy, or publish schedules; shift swapping, and find shift replacements. Integrate the software with POS and HR systems like Gusto, Xero, QuickBooks, Lightspeed, and more.

Price: Starts at $2.50/user/month and requires a minimum monthly spend of $10 per invoice. 

Free trial: There is a free 14-day trial. 


7. Sling

Best for all industry sizes and types. 

sling scheduling

Sling makes it easy to create employee schedules, plus manage time off, availability, and shift swapping. Schedule overtime, reduce absenteeism, and late arrivals, and you can also receive notifications of overlapping shifts or double-booking. Save scheduling templates so creating new ones is a breeze. 

Price: From the two pricing plans, you can pay either $2/month/user or $4/month/user. 

Free trial: While there is no free trial, they do offer a free plan for scheduling and communication. 


8. HotSchedules

Best for time management. 

HotSchedules software

HotSchedules has a simple interface that makes employee scheduling easier to manage. Employees can request to swap, release, or pick up shifts right from their mobile phone – as a manager, you have total visibility over this and can approve the change. From your POS system, you can receive labor and sales data which makes it simpler to create an accurate schedule. 

Price: From the two pricing plans, you can pay either $2/month/user or $4/month/user. 

Free trial: Yes, there is a free 14-day trial. 


9. When I Work

Best for small companies, non-profit, and multi-site businesses.

when i work schedule software

When I Work is the perfect solution as it’s totally free for less than 75 employees and you aren’t limited to one company location. However, it doesn’t let you schedule weeks in the future so that’s something to be aware of. Create a template so it’s easy to replicate the next week’s schedule, use drag & drop options, and see who is available and qualified for a shift. Send notifications on shift changes and manage all from mobile or desktop. 

Price: Pricing ranges from free to $2.25 per employee, per month, which is based on the exact features that you want. Time and attendance tracking can also be added for an additional $1.50 per employee, per month. 

Free trial: There is no free trial. 


10. Jolt

Best for the restaurant business. 

Jolt retail employee schedule

A few features on Jolt that can help with employee scheduling include schedule distribution, shift swapping, mobile access, messaging, reports, and an in-app time clock. Jolt makes it easy to achieve team accountability, compliance, and boost employee performance.

Price: Pricing starts at $99/month/location. 

Free trial: There is no free trial. 


Key takeaways of using online employee scheduling:

  • Tax and labor compliance. 

Make sure the employee schedule app complies with state and local labor laws, like overtime and sick leave.

  • Improves communication.

It’s important to stay in touch with your employees to ensure they can complete their shift. Send notifications to all your employees or relevant employees when changes to the schedule are completed or a new shift opens up. 

  • Reduce employee no-shows.

Your employees have personal lives which means that unplanned emergencies can happen so it’s important to be prepared. Using an employee schedule app makes it easy to replace the employee at the last minute

  • Consistency. 

You can face serious backlash when you misplace, overlook or forget time off requests – doing so damages performance and moral. Online employee scheduling helps you stay on top of this as you receive all requests digitally and employees get notified as soon as you approve or reject the change. 

We strongly recommend an employee scheduling app that makes it easy to create, change, and publish schedules in the click of a button. Say goodbye to piles of spreadsheets, using online employee scheduling saves you time and money so you can focus on the bigger picture. 

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Connecteam fits your scheduling needs

Ranked as one of the best scheduling apps, Connecteam offers unique tools that make scheduling easy and efficient, such as integrated in-app chat and shift collaboration that includes status updates and notes for every shift. With this unique approach to online employee scheduling, you save valuable time and money as you keep everyone on the same page. Find out why Connecteam is the only scheduling solution for your business.

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