Best Employee Scheduling Apps: 6 Options Your Team Will Love

Scheduling employees can often feel like an uphill battle. Coordinating availability, sending confirmations, handling rescheduling requests—all these tasks can quickly become overwhelming! 

Thankfully, the best employee scheduling apps make scheduling easier, more effective, and efficient. Not only that, but they make it easier to schedule on the move. That can be important when your team works remotely—or when you do.

In this article, we look into a few of the best employee scheduling apps out there. We talk about the features of each app and their shortcomings to help you figure out the best option for your business. Plus, we’ll talk about integrations that can make managing your team easier on the move. Ready to get started?

What is an employee scheduling app?

An employee scheduling app allows you to send schedules and updates to your employees instantly—and digitally. An employee scheduling app is often (though not always) an additional integration for employee scheduling software that you and your employees install on your phones to facilitate ease of communication.

Employee scheduling apps were created to solve a very specific problem: making sure employees knew when they were scheduled to work. Time was that employee schedules would be written onto paper and posted on the employee bulletin board. It was up to the employees to look at the schedule and remember what it said—and if schedules needed to change, employees and managers would play phone tag.

By using an app, you ensure that your team:

  • is notified about their schedule the second it’s available,
  • are aware of changes to their schedule well in advance, and
  • can check their schedules anywhere, anytime—as long as they have their phone on them and the app installed.

In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep employees up to date on scheduling changes. The best employee scheduling apps also have communication functions built in so your team can communicate conflicts to you directly—and amongst each other.

Certain apps can take all kinds of additional pains out of scheduling when they integrate with software with scheduling automation features. 

Why your small business needs a free scheduling app.

Stop me if this sounds familiar: Aaron called in to say he can’t make his 10:00 a.m. shift tomorrow, while Rhonda has called to say she needs to swap a shift next week. Fortunately, Sam is asking for more shifts—but can only work weekends. After you’ve sorted them all out, you’ve spent an hour on the phone when you should have been finishing inventory.

When employees turn your lovingly constructed schedule into Swiss cheese, there’s a lot involved to making it whole again. Revising, re-posting, and notifying employees of schedule changes is just the tip of the iceburg. There’s data entry, report-pulling, coordination with payroll…

Scheduling apps put a stop to the chaos by making notifications automatic. With direct messaging capabilities, your team will know instantly when their schedules have changed. They can even fill shift gaps amongst themselves—without using you as the middleman.

Even free scheduler apps can save your business money and save you frustration by allowing you to re-allocate resources and efficiently manage labor costs. They can even help you make smarter business decisions by sending you reports on who worked when—making even payroll more efficient.

What to look for in a scheduling app. 

While many scheduling apps seem similar on the surface, each offers key features that could make all the difference to your business operations.

To choose the app that’s the best fit for your business, ask key questions to evaluate its usefulness to you. Some of these questions might include:

  • Does the app provide the features your business needs? This could include task assignment, time tracking, payroll integration, notifications, and collaboration tools.
  • Is the app user-friendly? An intuitive interface can reduce the learning curve and increase adoption among your team.
  • Can the app handle your needs as your business grows? It’s important to choose a solution that scales with your business.
  • Does the app integrate with other software you use? Integration with tools like payroll, accounting, or other software can streamline workflows.
  • Can you customize the app to fit your business processes? The ability to tailor the software to your needs can improve efficiency.
  • What kind of support does the vendor provide? Look for reliable customer service to help you troubleshoot any issues that arise.
  • Is the pricing structure suitable for your budget? Consider both the upfront cost and the long-term value the app provides.
  • Does the app provide adequate security measures to protect your data? This is crucial, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information.
  • What are other users saying about the app? Reviews and ratings can give you a sense of the app’s reliability and performance.

With the proper due diligence, you should have no problem finding the best scheduling app to fit your business. We’ve even reviewed six of the top apps out there to help you assess and narrow down what to look for when picking one out.

Our top 6 employee scheduling apps.

#1:  Homebase

Homebase’s free employee scheduling app—yes, we said free—can accommodate up to 20 employees, making it a great starting point for your business through early stages of growth. With basic scheduling and time tracking functionalities, your employee management woes will melt away with this easy-to-use mobile interface.

Simplify schedule creation and management. Our mobile app enables staff to easily manage their schedules, trade shifts, submit time off requests, and communicate with the team.

And did we mention it’s free?

We also offer integration with many top payroll systems, making running payroll as easy as clicking a button.

#2:  Planday

Planday is a comprehensive employee scheduling solution that offers granular hierarchy options for structuring employees into groups and departments—and, of course, an app for easy communication. Build your schedule by filtering by employee, role, or section.

Features include schedule templates, auto-scheduling, color coding for tracking employee hours, and an app for employees to manage their shifts and availability. While it lacks in-app data visualization, it allows exporting customized reports to Excel.

#3:  Agendrix

Agendrix offers scheduling, time tracking, and team management features, with a user-friendly schedule builder for creating and assigning shifts. Great for phone or tablet, it facilitates group or private conversations and serves as a central hub for announcements and training information through a news feed.

Employees can clock in from various devices, manage their shifts, request time off, and handle shift trades within the app. Agendrix also provides additional purchasable modules for resource management, premium attribution, and a phone-number-based punch clock. It allows for the expansion of your HR platform by adding payroll, HR reporting, advanced employee profiles, and document management.

#4:  Sling

Sling’s employee scheduling app boasts an intuitive interface, role-based scheduling, customizable templates, and an auto-schedule feature for easy shift assignment. Sling’s core focus is on day-to-day employee management. It includes a Tasks tab that allows managers to create tasks and attach them to shifts, ensuring employees are clear on their responsibilities.

Additionally, Sling helps in avoiding scheduling conflicts by tracking and alerting scheduling issues, thus ensuring efficient staffing and compliance with labor laws. The app even includes a news feed for company-wide need-to-knows.

#5:  Findmyshift

Findmyshift is a user-friendly scheduling app with a minimal learning curve. Its intuitive interface allows managers to schedule employee shifts efficiently, including features like typing shift times directly into the schedule, using keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting shifts, drag-and-drop functionality, color-coding, and note-adding.

While it lacks grouping by role or department, it offers ample filter options. For employees, it simplifies shift swapping and provides a unified communication platform. Managers can send text messages to employees via the app. That said, Findmyshift lacks some advanced features like role-based scheduling and robust reporting.

#6:  Workfeed

Workfeed is a modern employee scheduling software solution equipped with automation features for schedule creation and rule-setting capabilities for shift management. It allows managers to control shift swapping and set availability, and offers insights into employee metrics like sick days, shift drops, and retention rates.

Though lacking extensive drag-and-drop functionality, its interface allows schedule viewing by role and time frame, ensuring adequate coverage. Employees can clock in via app or terminal, and use the group chat for shift swapping.

While its simplicity suits smaller teams, larger businesses might find the limited filter views on the scheduling page overwhelming, potentially leading to a cluttered experience.

Get it settled with our free employee scheduling app.

Ultimately, finding the best employee scheduling app depends on your specific business needs, the size of your team, and your budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple, straightforward solution or a robust system with advanced features, Homebase can streamline your scheduling process, boost productivity, and enhance team communication.

With the right tool, you can transform the daunting task of scheduling into a seamless and efficient process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: running your business.

Ready to try the best free employee scheduling app? Try Homebase today!

Related posts

Travel Time Pay for Hourly Employees: A Guide for Small Business Owners

If you run a small business where your workers are paid by the hour but also have to travel for…

Read article

Simplify Your To-Do List Using Advanced Automation

As a small business owner, your to-do list can quickly become a source of stress and frustration, rather than a…

Read article

How To Start A Small Business in 2024: 12 Simple Steps To Jump Start Your Dream

Considering starting a business in 2024? You’re not alone. There are over 6 million small businesses in the US, and…

Read article

11 Restaurant Website Features You Need in 2024

Having a restaurant website in 2024 is a non-negotiable for food and beverage businesses. We won’t sugarcoat it: competition is…

Read article

14 Best Salon Scheduling Apps in 2024

Whether you own a service-based salon that relies on appointments or operate a product-based business that hosts special events or…

Read article

Restaurant Business Plan Template: Grow Your Business the Right Way

Planning the best way forward for your new restaurant can be a daunting task. Whether you’re living the dream of…

Read article
Effortlessly schedule and track your team's time with Homebase.
Try our basic plan free, forever.
Try Homebase for free