Businesses large and small are doing less and less on paper these days, and it’s not just because we’ve grown to be an environmentally friendly bunch. Doing things online is generally quicker and more convenient than doing things the old-fashioned way, and employee scheduling is no exception. If you’ve yet to adopt an online scheduling service for your business, here are five good reasons to consider making the switch:

You’ll make fewer mistakes

Remember that time one of your employees asked to switch his shift and you forgot to update the schedule? It happens to the best managers all the time. But with an online service, you’re less likely to make that same mistake. Why? First of all, with the right program, your employees will be able to submit requests like that electronically. That way, you’ll be able to view them at your convenience and address them, rather than run the risk of forgetting to jot down something someone told you on the fly. Furthermore, let’s say an employee does catch you with a request while you’re running around doing other things. If you’re not at your desk, you can simply whip out your phone and update your schedule right then and there. It’s a better option than relying on your brain to retain that information till the end of a busy day.

Better back and forth communications with your employees

Here’s one major drawback of paper: It can get lost. An employee, for example, might write down his schedule somewhere, misplace it, and neglect to show up for a shift in the absence of having that information on hand. With an online employee scheduling app, you can send your employees’ schedules electronically to reduce the likelihood of absences. Not only that, but you can send out updates as needed, and your employees can do the same.

It’ll force you to be fair

Are you that manager who gives a handful of employees the best shifts without even realizing it? Are you granting your employees an equal amount of flexibility and time off? The great thing about online software is that you don’t have to strain your brain trying to remember who worked when last month and who took off for how long. You can simply access previous data, run reports, and make sure you’re being fair. And, you’ll have a leg to stand on if anyone accuses you otherwise.

It’ll improve your productivity

As a manager, your plate is perpetually full. So what would you rather spend your time doing – updating an archaic paper schedule, or seamlessly running your business from the convenience of your computer, tablet, or smartphone? The less time you spend dealing with scheduling issues, the more time you have to focus on other areas of the business.

You might even save money

Too much staff can be a bad thing when you’re paying for manpower you don’t actually need. Another major benefit of online scheduling apps is that they allow you track your employees’ time and see exactly what you’re paying them for. An online service like Homebase might also help your business save money by reducing overtime hours, which can otherwise wreak havoc on your budget.

Adopting online employee scheduling can take much of the hassle out of managing a schedule, and it’s easy to find a program that works for your business. So the next time you think about sitting down, finding a working pen, and writing out a schedule by hand, spend a few minutes learning more about the online options available to you. It’s an investment that’s bound to pay off.