Scheduling employees is an essential step in running a business. It’s important to have the right scheduling software to serve as your sidekick and alleviate one area of stress in the hectic world of business management, and in this high-tech, connected world, the ol’ pen and paper routine just doesn’t cut it. You need a scheduling app.
Still, searching through the array of apps that seemingly do the same thing can take a long time, and the stress of deciding which one comes with features that work best for your business can be a bit counterproductive (isn’t that what you’re trying to minimize?).
We took the guesswork out of choosing an online schedule maker and compiled a list of five great options so you can decide for yourself which one would make the process easier for you. Of course, we included our free scheduling app on the list and firmly believe it’s the best on the list. But don’t take it from us. Let the features do the talking!
Building your work schedule is quick, easy, and painless when you use Homebase’s free scheduling app. Our comprehensive tool takes away the unnecessary headache that’s associated with scheduling and allows you to:
- Drag and drop team scheduling: View the team schedule by role, time period, or employee and watch hours calculate automatically.
- Schedule your team anytime, anywhere: Publish work changes no matter where you are and no matter what device you’re using with the scheduling app.
- Put your schedule on autopilot: Easily copy over last week’s shift schedule, or use automatic scheduling, which takes into account your team’s availabilities and roles.
- Reduce no-shows and errors: Your team will always have an up-to-date schedule, and can update their availability or request shift trades, and you’ll be notified for approval. Then, Homebase will update the schedule in minutes.
- Stay connected: You can send the schedule to your employees via the text tool, email, and the mobile app and confirm they’ve received it, track time-off and availability changes, and manage shift trades and covers without phone calls.
- Easily manage labor costs: Homebase will total hours and overtime, and even subtract break times, input your sales data to make sure you’re hitting budget targets, and forecast your sales automatically with a connected POS.
Speaking of POS, Homebase integrates with the top companies, including:
Connected Calendar Software
Online calendar software such as Google Calendar takes offline calendar software schedule building to the next level by putting it all on the cloud. This means that instead of having to print off the schedule, you can give employees permission to view the calendar and they can then view it from any device.
Making changes to the schedule is easier this way because your team can alert you of any conflicts or proposed changes by making notes. Even further, you can give trusted employees permission to edit the document themselves so that shifts can be changed without you having to do it yourself.
You can also add events and attachments, as well as a world clock which is helpful if you have employees who work remotely in different locations of the world.
Still, cloud calendars were not necessarily designed to help with multiple employees, business scheduling or overlapping shifts.
Doodle’s simple scheduling app doesn’t offer many features, but it keeps track of when your employees are scheduled to work.
The app allows you to create a master document that is visible to you and the rest of your team, and changes are made in the master document so that when staff members view it, they always see the most up-to-date version.
The software is cloud-based, which makes it easy to distribute the schedule amongst your employees. All you have to do is text them the link and they can view it from any device.
Doodle isn’t very intuitive and doesn’t alert you to sort of errors such as double-booking an employee or overlapping shifts, but if you have a small business with only a few employees, this is a better option than pen and paper or a regular spreadsheet.
Shifty’s simple scheduling app allows you to schedule multiple shifts with multiple employees with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. You can also assign duties and tasks so your team has a to-do list to complete during their downtime.
The app’s features, interface and tools make scheduling more conducive for businesses with multiple employees than using an app such as Google Calendar, which wasn’t designed for building shifts.
However, distribution is still a sore spot for the app. The schedules must be emailed to each individual employee, and when changes are made different copies of the schedule are created, so you must confirm that everyone has received the same schedule and is up-to-date on every change.
The app also does not alert you when you’ve made scheduling errors such as double-booking an employee or scheduling a team member that has requested off.
Tracksmart can be an appealing option for businesses who have a high employee turnaround or require a lot of continuous skills training.
It’s composed of two major components: attendance and scheduling. The attendance feature comes with a dashboard that provides a big picture on staff attendance, tasks, employee time-off, important dates, and availability.
The scheduling tool allows employees to request time off, and managers can then approve or decline the requests based on schedule conflicts or upcoming events.The app also gives managers the ability to highlight or track employee performance, such as attendance.
While Tracksmart offers several useful features, Homebase is a much better option if you’re looking for a comprehensive app that will take all of the headaches out of employee scheduling.
Based on the different features each scheduling app provides, you should have a better idea of which one is the right fit for you. If you still need help deciding, we suggest Homebase– it’s free. It’s easy. And it’s seamless. Even better, dive in deeper with a free trial of our paid plans to discover the array of features waiting to make your business management that much easier.