Best Free Employee Scheduling Software - Tested & Compared by Experts

If your employees work in shifts, using a software can save you plenty of hours. Besides scheduling, a good tool provides:

  • ✓ Time clocking
  • ✓ Team communication
  • ✓ Reporting

But honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We made a list with the greatest free employee scheduling software to help you find the best option for you.

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Free Employee Scheduling Software - Comparison

1. Homebase

Safety and health screening

Offline clock-ins

HR tools and professional HR support

Best for growing businesses

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Homebase is a simple scheduling platform with an intuitive interface and plenty of integrations. A free mobile app for employees and communication tools make the whole process transparent. Homebase also helps businesses with hiring and onboarding, and since recently it’s providing safety and health screening. It offers a free version and affordable paid plans, and all of it followed with top notch customer support.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

2. Sling

Newsfeed for company updates

Free plan allows communication and unlimited users + locations

PTO tracker

Best for remote work

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Sling is a free scheduling solution that makes planning shifts easy. Customizable features for scheduling as well as reports save time and money and make it perfect for remote work. Newsfeed lets employees know what is happening in the company. Sling offers a mobile app for both Android and iPhone. While paid plans offer additional options, the free plan itself is very rich with features, including unlimited users and locations.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

3. When I Work

Matches qualifications with shifts

Scalable

Photo clock-ins

Best for large businesses

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When I Work is a free employee schedule system that does wonders for human resources management. Its biggest differentiating feature is the scalability it offers. By allowing managers to match each shift with those available and qualified, it helps raise productivity and revenue, while lowering the time spent scheduling by 8x. Payroll integrations, photo clock-ins, and other features help businesses reduce their labor costs as much as 20%.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

4. 7Shifts

Enterprise dashboard helps guide business decisions

Drag-and-drop schedule builder and automated scheduling tools

Easy to keep track of everything through reports, feedback, and manager log book

Best for restaurants

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7Shifts is a great solution for restaurants. This scalable employee scheduling platform offers something for everyone. The free plan is perfect for small businesses. Restaurant chains can improve their numbers with advanced reporting that gives managers a bird’s eye view over everything. By tracking employee satisfaction, 7Shifts also helps prevent turnover.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

5. ZoomShift

Every change to the software is easy to understand and get used to

Schedules can be copied and used as templates

Affordable paid plans

Best when it comes to ease of use

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ZoomShift offers all the basic features businesses with hourly workers need. If you want a simple scheduling platform, that’s the one. On top of responsive support and constant improvements, ZoomShift provides timesheets that make tracking everything a breeze. Communication with employees is very simple. Overall, it’s a highly user-friendly software that makes scheduling, time tracking, and payments quick and easy.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

6. OpenSiMSim

Centralized messaging

Compliance tool protects your business from fines

Photo clock-ins prevent buddy punch-ins

Best for staying compliant to overtime laws and break laws

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This scheduling staff platform software was created both for small business and enterprises. Regardless of how big or small your company is, misunderstandings can happen, and compliance laws can get broken, resulting in huge fines. OpenSimSim’s features prevent that from happening. Free apps and options like photo clock-in and time-off requests make it a great choice for any business.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

7. FindmyShift

Exhaustive, interactive reporting

Plenty of integrations (Slack, Alexa, Google Assistant)

Highly customizable scheduling and payroll options

Best for busy managers

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FindmyShift is the perfect solution for those who value customization more than an intuitive interface. Even as a free shift-planning software, it has useful features such as drag & drop scheduling. Busy managers who want to easily manipulate scheduling and delegate some tasks will love this software. Between incredible integrations, exhaustive reporting, and top notch support team, it’s a choice you can’t go wrong with.

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Price

Features

Integrations

Support

Ease of Use

8. Shiftbase

Schedules can be created based on the maximum budget allowed

No need to approve new shifts and shift switches

Plus and minus hours, surcharges, and vacations are automatically calculated

Best for saving time and money

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Shiftbase provides plenty of features that save time and money. Customizable templates, easy creation and switching of shifts, as well as POS and payroll integrations make scheduling a breeze. Setting a budget limit, using color-coded absences, and calculating surcharges automatically saves money. And with a free plan available for up to 75 employees, putting Shiftbase on our list of best free staff scheduling software was a given

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Features

Integrations

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Ease of Use

How We Created This List - Our Methodology

We’ve compared plenty of companies searching for the best free software. Here’s what exactly we were looking for:

Ease of Use

The main point of having an online employee scheduling software is convenience. The best tool needs to be easy to use, with all the needed information readily available. This list only includes the software (both desktop and mobile) that’s easy to understand, navigate, and that makes scheduling shifts a breeze.

Main Features

  • Good shift-scheduling is a must, but a good solution needs to have some other features to impress like:
  • Digital clock-in – between geolocation and facial recognition, they make it easy to prevent buddy punch-ins, early clocking in, and overtime work.
  • Communication – a space where employees and managers can communicate about shifts and prevent any misunderstandings is crucial for productivity.
  • Reporting – the best online scheduling software should come with cost forecasts and help optimize labor costs.
  • Integrations – all labor scheduling software pieces on our list offer at least a payroll integration, and many offer additional ones as well.

Customer Support

No software is perfect. What’s important is that when a bug occurs, tech support is quick to solve it. What matters just as much is how responsive customer support is, and how much they can help. That’s why our best free employee scheduling software comparison list includes only those with high quality customer support.

Value for money

Here, we’ve compiled a list of free employee scheduling software solutions. The easy choice would be to go with open source employee scheduling software pieces as they’re almost always free. However, we decided to go with the best rated ones that offer a free plan, as well as affordable paid plans. That way, you get to choose which feature-to-price ratio fits your business needs and budget.

At a Glance

  • HR tools and professional HR support
  • Safety and health screening
  • Offline clock-ins
  • Easy to set up
  • Free mobile app for employees
  • Customizable pay periods
  • Hiring tool
  • No option to clock out for lunch breaks
  • Scheduler is a bit trickier to use on the app than on desktop

 

Since its founding in 2014, Homebase has been among the best employee scheduling software platforms year after year. Given its ease of use and variety of features, that’s no surprise.

Features

Homebase’s employee scheduling feature is easy to use for both managers and employees. Managers get to see who’s available and create shifts easily. As any good free app for scheduling, it notifies employees about new shifts or shift changes. Employees can also swap shifts with manager approval. The GPS time clock makes sure employees clock in when they should. The clock also tracks their performance and labor costs, and together with easy communication it allows for maximum productivity.

Homebase offers plenty of additional features as well:

  • Hiring and onboarding tools for easier human resources management
  • Tracking breaks and overtime to stay compliant with overtime laws
  • Possibility of contacting certified HR advisors

Homebase also sends work schedule calendar reminders to employees. Due to the pandemic, this free scheduling solution has introduced the Health & Safety screening feature as well. It’s extremely useful for any business with high occupational hazards as well. However, after September 1st, it will no longer be offered for free.

Besides an employee scheduling payroll software, other integrations include point-of-sale (POS) systems and job board partners.

Price

The free option supports more than 10 employees and includes:

  • Scheduling beyond 10 days
  • Mobile app for the employees
  • Clocking in
  • Hiring

Paid plans start at $14/month. While the free plan provides basic manpower scheduling and clocking in, paid plans offer reports, communication, HR advising, and more.

Customer support

The reviews for Homebase customer support are overwhelmingly positive. The company provides support from real people through phone and chat (9:30am – 7pm CT) as well as via email.

Why we chose it

We chose Homebase for this list because it offers a holistic approach to work. Besides being a great work schedule maker, having a practical time clock, and offering tedious reporting, it also provides human resources management services and job board integrations with Craigslist, Indeed, and more. It offers a whole variety of payroll and point-of-sale integrations as well, making it easy to have the entire business in one place.

At a Glance

  • Affordable paid plans
  • Newsfeed for company updates
  • Free plan allows communication and unlimited users + locations
  • Long term scheduling
  • PTO tracker
  • Engaging communication feature
  • Customizable data reports
  • Private messaging between employees that can’t be monitored
  • Setting it up can take some trial and error

 

Sling is among the most popular free employee scheduling software, especially when it comes to remote work. Managers love the task management feature – it allows them to describe what’s expected of workers in each shift. This Software-as-a-Service also supports multiple work locations on one account. Sling’s employee shift scheduling software gives managers a choice. When a shift opens, they can choose to approve requests themselves, or set a first come, first served rule. They can also save schedule templates for later use. But that’s not all:

Features

Sling also offers:

  • Time tracker
  • Labor costs
  • Communication
  • PTO tracker
  • Payroll integration

This scheduling software platform has an efficient time-tracking tool. At the end of each month, managers can see the hours and wages and approve them. Afterwards, they can take advantage of a payroll integration and save time giving salaries.
Another money- and time-saving feature is the PTO tracker. With this simple scheduling platform, it’s easy to navigate paid time-off requests. By seeing the remaining allowance, managers can easily accept or deny requests.
One thing that really helps teams work better is proper communication. Sling has a newsfeed where managers can post updates about the company and keep employees in the loop. Finally, with customizable labor data, adjusting future shifts for cost and maximum revenue becomes a piece of cake.

Pricing

Even though it part of the free shift planning tools crew, Sling covers unlimited users, managers, and locations. Here’s everything you get with the free plan:

  • Native iOS and Android apps
  • Shift scheduling
  • Shift offers
  • Available shifts
  • Time off requests
  • Shift alarms
  • Long term scheduling
  • News sharing

If you opt for a Premium plan, you’ll get the mobile time clock, labor costs management, and budgeting for a price of $2 per user per month. Finally, a Business plan offers centralized time clock, PTO tracking, and reports for $4 per user per month.

Customer support

Not only is this free app for scheduling full of useful features, the customer support is very responsive as well. You can reach them via email, phone, or live chat (expect a reply in a couple of hours). They have been known to incorporate user suggestions into their SaaS.

Why we chose it

The ease of use and specific features that separate Sling from the rest. For one, shifts and reports are customizable, which makes managers’ work much easier. It’s also among the best free staff scheduling software when it comes to free options. The free plan allows both communication and unlimited users + locations. Is there anything else to ask for?

At a Glance

  • Photo clock-ins
  • Streamlines the hiring process
  • Matches qualifications with shifts
  • Scalable
  • Supports multiple work locations
  • Payroll and HR integrations
  • Works on mobile, iPad, desktop
  • Free plan is somewhat limited
  • Occasional GPS bugs

 

This scalable employee scheduling platform allows you to start with one location and scale to hundreds of them in a matter of weeks. The scheduling feature lets managers match employee qualifications with shift necessities, ensuring maximum productivity and revenue. Besides this, When I Work offers a time-tracking software and applicant tracking as well.
Here’s more:

Features

Employee time tracking allows you to create an employee time clock on an iPad, mobile device, or desktop. Employees can clock in from their own devices and you get their attendance data right away. This free employee scheduling software has a photo clock-in option as well, as a way to prevent buddy punch-ins. Coupled with financial reports and payroll integrations, this feature can bring you:

  • 20% lesser labor costs
  • 8x reduction in time spent scheduling
  • 3x fewer employee no-shows

If you’re looking to grow your team, When I Work is a great solution. You can publish open positions directly on Google and Indeed job boards. Once you make your decision, a couple of clicks add the new employee to the schedule.

Price

When I Work is among the best free staff scheduling software for midsize businesses. With the free plan, you can do simple scheduling and communication, for one location and up to 75 people. Paid plans start at $2 per user, and offer scheduling beyond 10 days, multiple schedules and locations, schedule templates, and much more. To get the enterprise scheduling software and receive access to their API, you need to contact them and negotiate the price.

Customer support

You can reach When I Work’s support by filling out a form on the website or sending an email. Its support team has always been quick and responsive, so your issue will likely be solved in no time.

Why we chose it

We decided to have When I Work on this list because it’s a fairly simple scheduling platform, and incredibly scalable as well. It’s perfect if you work across multiple locations and have plenty of employees. And since it works on mobile, iPad, and desktop, and has photo clock-ins, this software definitely deserves a spot on our list. It’s no surprise Finances Online gave it the Expert’s Choice award in 2019.

At a Glance

  • Easy to keep track of everything through reports, feedback, and manager log book
  • Enterprise dashboard helps guide business decisions
  • Drag-and-drop schedule builder and automated scheduling tools
  • Plenty of features to choose from
  • Offers cloud-based operational history
  • Advanced reporting
  • Free plan only offers limited features
  • Expensive compared to some other scheduling software

 

Speaking of enterprise scheduling software, we have to mention 7Shifts. This is by far the best free restaurant scheduling software, making sure your employees’ productivity and satisfaction rates are as high as possible. Just look at the features:

Features

7shifts believes in go big or go home. It offers:

  • Scheduling – a drag-and-drop schedule builder and Auto-Scheduler save plenty of time. The software also sends an alert whenever there’s a split shift or overtime issue.
  • Time clocking – this labor scheduling software offers editable timesheets and punches. Together with a payroll integration, it makes time-tracking and payments a breeze.
  • Communication – everyone in the team is automatically updated on new shifts or shift changes, all on their free mobile app. You can also send public announcements about new menus, special promos, or anything else you deem important.
  • Labor costs control – 7Shifts’ ROI calculator lets you know how much each schedule costs.
  • Task management – create employee-specific tasks that only they can see to improve productivity. As soon as the task is completed, you’ll get an alert.
  • Manager log book – share shift notes with other managers so everyone is on top of what’s going on. Thanks to this free cloud-based employee scheduling platform, your restaurant’s operational history is always available to you.
  • Reports – you can easily review labor data for overtime hours, breaks, and more to ensure compliance with region-specific labor laws.
  • Enterprise dashboard – tracking total sales, labor percentage, and sales per labor will show you which opportunities to take advantage of for maximum revenue.
  • Employee engagement – this efficient scheduling system also lets you see who is the most productive and who has most dropped shifts or sick days.

Pricing

If you’re looking for a free scheduling software for your small business, 7Shifts’ free plan is a good choice. You get scheduling, basic reports, a simple time clock, employee engagement, and even employee health check on free Android and iOS apps. The downside is that you can’t use it on more than one location or more than 10 employees.

Need more than what the free version of this scheduling program offers? Paid plans start at $19.99 per month, per location, and they are definitely worth it. You’ll get advanced reporting, live chat and email support, point-of-sale integration, SMS notifications, manager log book, overtime regulation and break alerts, and much more.

Customer support

The only way to reach their support is by submitting a ticket on the website. That’s not ideal, given that sometimes you need a quick solution and a person to talk to right now. However, once they review your ticket, they are quick to help.

Why we chose it

We chose 7shifts because this free job schedule software is among the rare ones that easily prevent turnover by keeping track of employee satisfaction. Manager log book allows complete transparency between managers, and the enterprise dashboard helps pinpoint new business opportunities.

At a Glance

  • Affordable paid plans
  • Creating shifts, following clock-ins, and counting wages/hours is easy with timesheets
  • Schedules can be copied and used as templates
  • Every change to the software is easy to understand and get used to
  • Very user-friendly interface
  • Constant improvements and upgrades to features
  • Timesheets make keeping track of wages, hours, and shifts easy
  • Free plan only lasts 14 days
  • Not too many features to choose from

 

When it comes to ease of use, ZoomShift is among the best software solutions out there. You can pull hours and wages in minutes and make last-minute changes to shifts. The interface is extremely easy to use, which is always important. It doesn’t stop here:

Features

This free employee scheduling system has both Android and iOS apps. They offer:

  • Scheduling
  • Time clock
  • Timesheet

But it’s their accuracy and ease of use that separate ZoomShift from the rest. With the scheduling option, you can drag-and-drop schedules and create weekly schedule templates. Contact employees directly via event announcements, group chats, or private messaging. You don’t have to worry about miscommunication. If everything gets overwhelming, giving supervisor and manager rights to another user is a breeze. No wonder ZoomShift is among the best online scheduling software out there.

ZoomShift’s time clock notifies and reminds your employees about upcoming shifts through email, push, and text. This software offers both web and a mobile app clock. You can also block early clock-ins or overtime, and fix punch-in mistakes with ease thanks to timesheets. With GPS tracking and whitelisting of IP addresses, you can make sure your employees are clocking in from the correct location.
If you dread creating payrolls, then this free employee scheduling software is perfect for you. In just a few minutes, you can export all the information you need. Easily count wages and total hours, and find mistakes between the expected and actual hours. Finally, use payroll and POS integrations this software offers and make the job even easier for yourself.

Price

When it comes to free shift-planning software, ZoomShift offers a 14-day free trial for all its plans. The basic paid plan is very affordable at $2 per active team member, per month. With it, you get the basic scheduling options, timesheets, time clock, as well as shift requests. More expensive plans offer shift rules, GPS time clock, overtime warnings, activity logs, priority support, and more.

Customer support

Like with many other free employee scheduling software solutions, the only way to contact the support team without an Enterprise plan is via email. However, even without the priority support, you can expect an answer in a couple of hours. ZoomShift’s users are highly satisfied with how promptly and efficiently their requests are answered.

Why we chose it

ZoomShift is on our list not due to some special features no other software has – it’s not standing out with anything new. This workforce scheduling and management platform offers features you can’t do without, and it improves them with constant updates, tweaks, and changes.
However, it is incredibly easy to use and navigate, which saves time in daily tasks.

At a Glance

  • Photo clock-ins prevent buddy punch-ins
  • Punctuality reporting
  • Compliance tool protects your business from fines
  • Centralized messaging
  • Staying compliant with overtime laws
  • Tracking labor costs, sales, and employee productivity
  • Employee contact tracing
  • Paid plans are on the more expensive end
  • Load times can be a bit slow

 

If you’re looking for an award-winning employee shift scheduling software that puts emphasis on compliance, OpenSimSim is the one for you. Besides offering scheduling, time clock, team messaging, and even employee contact tracing, this software is most famous for its compliance tool. It puts OpenSimSim among the best SaaS-based employee scheduling platforms out there. With this software, you’ll ensure your employees take a break when needed. Besides that, compliance tools allow you to put special pay rates for public holidays and overtime, to make sure you’re in compliance with overtime laws. Here’s what else you can expect:

Features

  • Some other notable bonuses include:
  • Free mobile and desktop scheduling apps
  • Seeing who’s working right now
  • Time clock for tablets (iPad and Android)
  • Selfie clock-in to make sure there’s no buddy punch-ins
  • Tracking labor costs to stay under the budget
  • Following sales to track employees’ productivity
  • Broadcasting messages, image sharing, read receipts, and centralized messaging
  • Punctuality reporting
  • Payroll and POS integrations

Price

There are plenty of useful options that OpenSimSim offers. Even as a free job schedule software, it has a lot of great features. The free plan allows up to one location, one department, and 10 workers. Among the top features you get are availability, time-off requests, time clock, time cards, and in-app messaging. Paid plans start at $12.99 per month, and they are well worth it. Between overtime reports, auto break allocation, and certification management, there’s not much else you might need.

Customer support

If you need to contact the customer support, you can choose between talking to a bot or sending an email. The good news is, the OpenSimSim’s support team is very responsive, and the tech team takes a proactive approach to fixing bugs.

Why we chose it

Whether you’re looking for an employee shift scheduling software/freeware, or are willing to pay for it, you can’t go wrong with OpenSimSim. Free scheduling apps, photo clock-in, and plenty of ways to communicate with employees are just part of the great things the tool offers. The one feature that separates OpenSimSim from the others is the compliance tool. This employee scheduling tool monitors breaks, as well as holiday and overtime pays, sending real-time alerts. You can even apply auto-penalties for missed breaks. Together with payroll and POS integrations, it’s a truly complete solution. Plus, it wasn’t built for specific company types – any business can profit from it.

At a Glance

  • Highly customizable scheduling and payroll options
  • Exhaustive, interactive reporting
  • Plenty of integrations (Slack, Alexa, Google Assistant)
  • Excel-like timesheets for easier use
  • Multi-cell editor
  • Customizable time-off requests
  • Paid plans are relatively expensive
  • It isn’t always intuitive

 

This rostering software has the perfect features-to-ease of use ratio. Each of FindmyShift’s features has something that separates it from other software platforms. Wanna know what it is?

Features

FindmyShift can help you with:

  • Scheduling – spreadsheets make it look like you’re working in Excel, and they allow a lot of customization. Multi-cell editor lets you change anything quickly and easily.
  • Time and attendance – no need to change expected hours for actual ones. Instead, actual hours are exported as timesheets.
  • Reporting and payroll – hours, wages, and shifts are shown across 40 interactive charts. They are highly customizable as well: enter any pay/hours combination and Findmyshift takes care of it.
  • Reminders and notifications – FindmyShift provides a Slack integration and makes it incredibly easy to organize your employees, different events, or simply raise their spirit. This free employee scheduling software offers other notable integrations such as invoicing, HR, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.
  • Time off management – time off is displayed directly on the schedule, and all time-off requests are private to prevent employee conflict. You can also delegate time-off responsibilities. On top of all, any time-off request can be categorized (day off, maternity leave, etc.)

Price

FindmyShift has an amazing free plan. It offers:

  • Drag & drop scheduling
  • Time clock
  • Timesheets
  • Email, SMS, and push notification
  • Shift reminders for up to five employees
  • One week forward planning
  • Historical data for one week backward

If the free scheduling program doesn’t satisfy your needs, paid plans start from $26.25 per team. You’ll get real time reporting, templates, and plenty of customization. By opting to pay annually, you’ll save 20%, and the company also gives discounts to customers with multiple teams.

Customer support

FindmyShift offers plenty of ways to contact its support team. You can message them via the live chat or call them between 8am and 8pm (BST), Monday through Friday. If your request is not that urgent, feel free to contact them via Twitter, email, or even post. Its support team is very quick to respond whichever option you choose.

It’s great to see a software that offers so many customer support options, given that the competition can lack in that department.

Why we chose it

FindmyShift absolutely deserves a spot on our list of best free employee scheduling software for 2020. For one, it offers plenty of customization when it comes to creating schedules or time-off requests. The option to delegate some responsibilities frees up busy managers’ schedules and eases the workload. FindmyShift’s reporting is top notch with 40 interactive charts, and it has the widest range of integrations out there, including those for Slack and Alexa.

At a Glance

  • Plus and minus hours, surcharges, and vacations are automatically calculated
  • Schedules can be created based on the maximum budget allowed
  • No need to approve new shifts and shift switches
  • Features that save time and money
  • Color-coded absence types
  • Affordable paid plans
  • Same employee can’t be put at multiple locations
  • Absences and scheduling options can get confusing

 

Our list of the best free employee scheduling software wouldn’t be complete without Shiftbase. It has created with one goal in mind – to save time and money. Among its clients you can see names like Marriott, Superdry and ibis.
So it must be good, right? Here’s what we think:

Features

Shiftbase comes with a lot of goodies:

  • Scheduling option shows editable templates and allows setting standard and repeating shifts.
  • Supervisors can send shift invitations and let the first employee who accepts get the shift, without needing to approve it.
  • Employees can swap shifts without approval as well.
  • Specify the shifts you need for each day and don’t worry about meeting the desired occupancy. Adjust occupancy based on weather and employee skill sets, creating an efficient scheduling system.
  • Clocking in saves employees’ time by letting them do it over a mobile app, PC, or time clock.
  • Choose the automatic clock-out after a certain period and round clock times
  • Vacation hours are accumulated automatically, and employees can see their vacation balance.

This workforce scheduling software saves money as well, thanks to:

  • Calculating plus and minus hours automatically, as well as surcharges
  • Allowing the creation of a schedule based on expected labor costs. If the maximum budget is exceeded, Shiftbase sends a notification.

Besides saving time and money, Shiftbase offers features such as:

  • Free apps for Android and iPhone
  • Absences colored by the type
  • Link via iCal
  • Clock-ins based on GPS and IP address
  • POS and payroll integrations via existing integrations or their API

Price

Shiftbase is among the best team scheduling software out there. While the free plan is available for five teams, one department, and up to 75 employees, it only offers employee scheduling. Paid plans are very affordable: they start at only €2,75 per active employee and add features like time tracking, plus/minus hours, absences, basic reports, integrations, etc.

Customer support

Whether you contact them via chat, phone, or email, their support team is very quick to respond. When it comes to live chat, they’ll likely respond in under five minutes. Such speed is definitely appreciated and the many ways to contact support also left a very good impression.

Why we chose it

Shiftbase is the final SaaS-based employee scheduling software on our list. Given how much time and money it saves thanks to its useful features, adding it was a no-brainer. Shifts can be accepted at a first come, first served basis, employees can swap shifts – and all of it without supervisors needing to approve anything. Add to that budget limits and automatic calculations of plus and minus hours, and you get a highly useful workforce scheduling software.

Buyer’s Guide - How to choose Employee Scheduling Software?

Every company can benefit from an employee scheduling tool. Choosing the perfect one for your company, however, doesn’t just lie in finding one with most features. The best construction employee scheduling software is not the same one you’d get for, say, healthcare agencies. Here are all the things you need to keep in mind in order to choose the best possible workforce management tool for your business.

  • Company size

If you don’t have many employees, and they only work in one location, you don’t need a scalable work schedule maker. But if you have 100 employees in three different locations, you need to look for enterprise-friendly software solutions.

  • Company needs

Not every company needs a bunch of features in their scheduling software. Are you a relatively small company that just needs some more organization? Then a simple scheduler and a digital time clock will likely be enough for you – something for efficient staff management. However, if you’re a growing business and need plenty of reports to determine what works and what doesn’t, a simple scheduling platform won’t do. Instead, you’ll look for a solution offering sales histories, forecasts, etc.

  • Ease of Use & Mobile Accessibility

Online employee scheduling software platforms were created to make things easier. If you get something with a large number of features, but a poor interface, you’ll end up confused and create more work for yourself. Mobile accessibility is quite important as well, as it saves both managers and employees’ time.

  • Costs & Affordability

Even if you think you’ve found the best employee scheduling software platforms out there, unless you can afford it, it’s all for nothing. Look for the balance of features and price that best fits your business needs. Pay attention to hidden costs as well. For example, most of these scheduling platforms show a monthly price that only applies if you pay for the whole year at once.

  • Integrations with tools and systems your business is already using

If you’re already using Slack, getting a workforce scheduling software that integrates with it makes sense. Why waste time changing something and adding extra solutions when you don’t have to? Same goes for other types of integrations. Using a scheduler that takes advantage of tools you already use is easier, quicker, saves time and money.

  • Customer support reliability

Even with the best business scheduling software, there will always be things that confuse you, bugs that appear out of nowhere, etc. That’s why it’s important to know tech support will take care of it ASAP. What use is a great software if you can’t use it for days on end due to unresponsive customer support?

  • Security

Knowing what kind of personal data your scheduling software platform stores and how well it’s protected is imperative in this day and age. You also want to know your data won’t be lost by mistake. In general, having a cloud-based client data storage is the ideal solution. Thanks to the automatic backups, it prevents any data loss and keeps it secure.

Free Employee Scheduling Software At A Glance

Although all the software we listed is great, they’re not univesally suitable. So, to summarize, here’s which software to choose according to your needs:

  • Homebase: Best for growing businesses
  • Sling: Best for remote work
  • When I Work: Best for large businesses
  • 7shifts: Best for restaurants
  • ZoomShift: Best when it comes to ease of use
  • OpenSimSim: Best for staying compliant to overtime laws and break laws
  • FindmyShift: Best for busy managers
  • Shiftbase: Best for saving time and money

Benefits of using Employee Scheduling Software

As mentioned before, every company, regardless of its size, goals, and budget, can benefit from a workforce scheduling software. Even if you only have a couple of employees, misunderstandings and conflicts about shifts can easily happen. With an employee scheduler, you prevent that from happening. Choose who works when, accept or deny requests, and have it all easily accessible for all your employees. On top of that, scheduling software saves you time – in just a couple of clicks, you have a weekly schedule ready to go.

Another way a rostering software prevents conflicts and misunderstandings is through a communication tool. Having it all in one place – scheduling as well as messaging – makes life easier. That’s why all of the best-rated employee scheduling software pieces on our list provide communication tools. Between basic messaging, newsfeeds, and a Slack integration, you can choose what’s right for your company and how best to put an end to conflicts and raise team spirit.

Keeping track of how big everyone’s wage is and how much each schedule costs your business is a lot easier with a workforce management tool. By entering everyone’s wage and the forecasted number of hours for the week, you’ll know if your business can take it or not. However, having only those on minimum wage do all the work isn’t sustainable, either. There are plenty of work schedule makers that let you put the maximum budget, match the employees’ skills with specific shifts, and help you create a sustainable schedule week after week. Meanwhile, digital clocks make sure everyone works the right number of hours by preventing buddy punch-ins and ensuring your employees are in their workplace as they clock in.

Finally, keeping track of who’s working overtime, who’s on leave, who skipped their break – all of these things are very important for your company. Trying to remember it all, however, creates unnecessary confusion. Instead, you can just open the schedule and reports and have it all in one place. Some of the free employee scheduling software pieces on our list even send an automatic reminder to those who didn’t take their break or to managers whose employee is nearing the overtime limit, keeping them compliant with overtime laws. These scheduling platforms also give you an overview of everyone’s hours. You can easily see whose productivity is highest, who’s slacking, and proceed accordingly. With sales histories and financial reports at your fingertips, you’ll also see which schedule brings in most revenue.

Key Takeouts

As you can see, whether you have retail stores, work in the services industry, or do something else altogether, your company can benefit from the best business scheduling software for your needs.Having an employee database with all the necessary info – wages, skillset, availability – and being able to create a weekly schedule in minutes saves both time and money. How exactly does it save money? Well, there’s no easier way to keep track of labor costs than setting a budget and getting regular labor reports. On top of that, having your employees clock in when they should, from where they should, ensures there’s no time theft in your company. Managing shift changes and time-off requests can get time consuming, unless you have a mobile app that lets you do it on the go. And if there’s a neat integration or two – payroll, POS, or even Alexa – how can you say “no” to a workforce scheduling software?

We created this list of free employee scheduling software after a lot of careful research. We read the reviews, tested the features and made sure these software platforms’ paid plans are affordable as well. So whichever you choose, we hope you found our list helpful.