No matter what type of business you’re in, scheduling is the crux of your success. You need to make sure employees are where they need to be at the right times to serve your customers and clients. In addition, you’ve got to track time and breaks so you can keep your payroll and accounting current. Here are 10 free employee scheduling tools to keep your business running without breaking the bank.
Old School Options
Some people just like to do things old school. For scheduling, that means some form of pen and paper. It can work for some businesses. It doesn’t require any knowledge or skills other than reading and writing and can be posted in a common area for employees. Here are three ideas.
1. Paper Schedules
The old stand-by for many businesses, a paper schedule can be pretty easy to use. You can use a list of employees and hours, a grid or some form of color combinations if you want to get really fancy. Post it where employees are sure to see it, such as the breakroom or by your timeclock and you’re golden.
2. Wall Calendars
A form of the paper schedule, a wall calendar can be a visual aid for scheduling. Just list the employees working each day with their times and everyone knows who should be working and when. Like other paper schedules, the calendar can be weekly or monthly for reading ease.
3. Dry Erase Boards
Dry erase boards have been a staple for many types of businesses. While not pen and paper, it can serve the same purpose for scheduling. Using a grid or calendar style, you can easily make changes by erasing just what you need to without disturbing the rest. And, people don’t have to try to read messy mark-throughs when changes are made.
More Modern Scheduling Options
While old school scheduling options are fine for some, today’s business landscape isn’t always conducive to that type of scheduling. With remote teams, multiple locations and people who aren’t tied to specific locales or time frames, scheduling often needs to take on a more mobile face. Here are six free options that fit more modern times.
Nearly everyone in the world uses email now. It’s connected to our phones, watches and other smart devices and is accessible almost anywhere. Emailing schedules only takes a minute and can be shared with a tap to everyone who needs it. Free email accounts are abundant, but some of the top ones for business are Yahoo and Gmail.
5. Google Docs
A member of the Google family of software, Google Docs is a modern version of the pen and paper schedule. All you need is a free Google account and you can create free schedules in Google docs and then share or print them as needed. With the ability to lock them or let others edit the doc, you have the control over who can make changes as well as who can view them.
6. Open Office
Open Office is another free word-processing software option. Just like Google Docs, you can create, print, share and send all the schedules you want. Open Office also incorporates features to lock or edit documents for document control.
7. Google Sheets
The digital form of the paper spreadsheet, Google Sheets lets you create schedules from an employee schedule template. You can customize them with all the bells and whistles you can in a document but you have a grid to help you keep things organized. You also have features that do the math for you so you can easily keep track of hours, determine pay and perform other accounting functions.
8. Google Calendar
A sharable and editable calendar, Google Calendar gives you all the options of a paper calendar but with the ability to share it with anyone you want or need to. It can be viewed online or on mobile devices. You can also customize schedules with reminders so employees no longer have excuses that they didn’t know when they work.
A digital workspace, Dropbox lets you organize your files and share them in one central place. Whether your schedules are a document, spreadsheet or some other type of file, you can store them in Dropbox. You can either give employees direct access to the schedule files or send them a link to a specific file via email or messaging. It’s safe and gives you control over your files even when they’re shared.
An Even Better Answer: Free Scheduling Software
What if you could have all of the convenience of these free tools without having to coordinate between different programs and software? Free scheduling software is your answer!
Homebase is free scheduling software that combines scheduling, time clocks, hiring and team communication all in one easy to use tool. The app can be downloaded right to employees’ phones so you don’t have to keep track of cell phone numbers or email addresses. All the information is there in the app to keep everyone organized all the time. Labor costs are automatically tracked to make payroll and accounting a breeze. And, Homebase even keeps track of compliance with local employment laws. It’s your all-around, one-stop free tool to prevent scheduling issues.
Want to know more about the benefits of using Homebase? Visit us at https://joinhomebase.com/ today!