Best Employee Scheduling Software: Top Picks for 2024

Creating employee schedules can be a juggling act. You need to understand your staff’s availability and fairly balance shifts. You also have to make sure that your business always has enough coverage without running into overtime issues—and you need to make sure that your staff knows about the changes.

Doesn’t that all sound like a lot of work? As a small business owner, you know better than most how quickly these small tasks can eat up your time! Fortunately, there’s employee scheduling software to help you shoulder the load.

If you’re not familiar with employee scheduling software, we’re here to help; and if you’re an old hat at using software but looking for a change, we’ve got you there, too.

In this guide, you’ll discover the best employee scheduling software solutions for 2024. We’ll share what you need to know to improve scheduling—and take a few of those pesky tasks off your plate. Plus, you’ll get the details to find the best employee scheduling app that meets your needs and budget.

Let’s take a look!

What is employee scheduling software?

Employee scheduling software streamlines shift management. It’s a digital tool for creating and coordinating staff schedules. Good scheduling software includes a way to communicate with team about scheduling changes. Advanced features, meanwhile—including applicant tracking when making new hires—are what can take work scheduling software from good to great.

Other important information employee scheduling software might provide is visibility into labor costs and margin forecasts. When all the most important information about running your business is all in one place, you’re more likely to lead your team—and your business—into growth.

In short, look for scheduling software that delivers a complete solution for small business management. Today’s businesses are figuring out how to do more with fewer resources while still staying in compliance with laws and regulations. The great news is that scheduling software can help with that.

Why your business needs employee scheduling software.

When you implement an employee scheduling solution your day-to-day business, you’re more likely to meet the unique scheduling needs of your team, for your business, and in your industry.

Software is just one tool to help ensure shift coverage, while also empowering employees to take some of the scheduling process into their own hands. Here are just a few more benefits this kind of software can offer you.

Increase efficiency.

Automated scheduling saves administrative time. When your team can notify you of a needed shift change right in the app—and when you can make that shift change happen in the same program—your precious time is saved. Smart, easy, and efficient scheduling helps businesses run more smoothly.

Reduce labor costs.

Do you have trouble finding the right staffing levels as your business’s needs fluctuate? Optimize coverage and eliminate overstaffing with data about when income is outpaced by labor costs. Some employee scheduling software even allows you to set budgets and get alerts for overspending, keeping labor costs in check.

Improve accountability.

Centralized attendance records promote transparency. Software with time tracking helps with managing staff availability and generating timesheet reports. When you’re able to track employee clock-ins/outs and requests easily, everyone on your team—including you—can be on the same page instantly.

Engage your employees.

Not having a good scheduling process in place can be tough on the business. Employees who can’t easily check their schedule may get frustrated—or may not show up.

Make information more accessible by delivering schedules right to your team’s mobile devices. The software also allows employees to swap shifts via the mobile app all on their own—no need to involve you as the middle man.

Did you know that employees with better work-life balance are more productive and engaged? Work schedules that workers can access at the touch of a button contribute to this balance. That can lead to a more satisfied and efficient workforce—and long-term employee retention.


Staying in compliance with laws and regulations is one of any business’s biggest priorities. Employee scheduling software can provide alerts for scheduling conflicts, ensure compliance with labor laws, and help you avoid overtime you didn’t mean to schedule. Meal breaks and PTO are also accounted for by the software, so you can see who on your team isn’t taking their breaks—and who needs to take less of them.

How to find the best employee scheduling software.

With so many options available, it can be hard to make the right decision. When looking for your next employee scheduling solution, you’ll want to keep an eye out for features that meet the unique needs of your business.

Do you need software that helps you manage multiple locations? Do you have seasonal labor needs? How about a remote team? Different software will provide different benefits, but there’s sure to be one that works better than the rest.

Here’s how to narrow down your list of scheduling software options.

List your must-have features.

Start by listing your must-haves. If you’re having trouble listing more than one, think about current pain points in your scheduling process. Do you have trouble measuring labor demand? Are your labor costs out of this world? These pain points make forecasting even more important. What problem do you need your software to solve?

Get feedback.

Solicit feedback from your managers and employees. In-app time-off requests are a valuable feature that allows employees to submit and manage their requests; is this useful to your team? What scheduling problems do they need help solving? Which features would make their jobs easier? Their input can empower you to choose a system that works for everyone.

Consider your budget.

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a software solution. Remember, the right software can lead to cost savings in the long run. Many providers offer tiered pricing, so you can start small and scale up as needed. Even better, there is enough free employee scheduling software out there that your needs may be met at no extra cost.

Read reviews.

Case studies and user reviews are a great place to learn about the pros and cons of an app. It can be particularly helpful to hear from others that are in the same industry as you what worked—and didn’t work—for them.

Check integrations.

Make sure your chosen software can integrate with your existing systems. Future integrations may also be something to bear in mind—for example, adding a time tracking tool may help you optimize staffing levels down the road. Among other things, integration helps you avoid costly errors that can come with managing data across systems by consolidating all you need to know in one place.

Evaluate customer support.

Look into the level of customer support each online employee scheduling software offers. Will you have access to help when you need it? Consider factors like support hours and response times. It’s also helpful to have access to resources like a knowledge base, so you can get your questions answered off-hours.

Our best employee scheduling software solutions.

Looking for the most effective options on the market? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at some of these popular solutions. 

1. Homebase 

Homebase is a flexible and easy-to-use scheduling solution. Homebase lets you auto-populating your timetable, using unlimited templates, and even let staff self-schedule by claiming open shifts.

Your team is notified instantly when you publish schedules on the Homebase mobile app. From there, employees can view their hours, request covers or trades, and read notes about their shifts. And when emergencies come up, you can quickly message custom groups, individuals, or the whole team to organize last-minute schedule changes.  

Homebase has a free plan—that’s right, free!—with all the essential features you need for one small business location, no matter how many employees you have.

2. Deputy

Deputy shines with data-driven scheduling. Its auto-scheduling considers sales patterns and demand signals when making its picks. This optimizes your staffing during busy periods and helps you control labor costs.

This software is also good for dynamic scheduling. You can make changes to your timetable and let staff trade and cover shifts—all without creating extra administrative work. That’s ideal for businesses like bars and restaurants where your staffing needs can fluctuate.

Deputy doesn’t have a free plan, but it does offer a free trial. There are also three paid plans. If you decide this is the right scheduling option for you, it’s possible to scale up and get more features. Businesses with over 250 employees can also get a custom plan. 

3. Sling

Sling software makes team scheduling simple with features like multiple schedules, shift tracking, and staff availability. It improves the scheduling experience by allowing you to filter and assign shifts in a few clicks. Sling’s automatic shift reminders can increase your team’s on-time arrivals and productivity.

Sling offers a comprehensive employee directory so you can view and group team members based on position, location, and department. This is especially useful for managing multiple business locations.

Sling has a free plan with basic scheduling tools and templates. You can also upgrade to a paid plan to get more features. Note, however, that its paid plans are priced per employee.

4. Planday

Planday has scheduling features that may work best for complex organizational structures. It’s perfect for businesses with multiple locations or departments, for example, since it lets you create custom views for each part of your operation.

This software offers a high level of flexibility. When you set unique templates for different work environments and manage them all from one central dashboard, you have a high degree of efficient control over your staffing.

Planday considers skills and compliance rules when suggesting a schedule. Staff can also manage their own availability and shift trades through the app. There’s a 30-day free trial you can use to evaluate the software. As your needs grow, you can also upgrade to more advanced features.

5. Findmyshift

Findmyshift stands out in its simplicity. The interface is clean and intuitive. Creating schedules is as quick and easy as using shortcuts or drag-and-drop. This is ideal for businesses that want straightforward scheduling without a steep learning curve.

This software focuses on the basics, but it does them well. You can easily copy shifts and track time off. It also includes communication tools like group chats and message boards, but it lacks some advanced features. 

There’s a free plan for up to 5 users. Paid plans are priced per team, making it one of the more affordable options. This can be a great starting point for smaller businesses that are just starting with digital scheduling.

Streamline scheduling for your small business.

There’s a great array of employee scheduling software options out there, but the best ones will automate common tasks and save you time. When the software shows you all you need to know all in one place, you’ll know you’re handling your business’s demand accurately.

Use scheduling software to free up valuable time and resources to focus on what really matters: growing your business and achieving your goals. Don’t let scheduling be a source of stress. Embrace technology and let it support this part of your operation.

The Homebase app is designed for small businesses like yours to make scheduling and other management tasks simpler than ever. Minimize stress, stay compliant, and ensure your business always has coverage when you start with our employee scheduling software—absolutely free.

Get started today. 

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