You may have come across When I Work if you’ve been looking for employee management software. It’s a popular choice for managers who want to make their business more efficient by streamlining their scheduling and time tracking tasks.
But When I Work has some drawbacks. Compared to other options on the market, it has a limited range of features and integrations — so it might not do everything you need it to. Plus, it charges per employee, which means growing businesses will find their costs increase as they hire more staff.
Our take? You might want a similar platform with extra features and more affordable pricing. We look at the best When I Work alternatives, including costs, features, and best use cases, to help you make the most informed decision.
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The best 8 When I Work alternatives
- Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
- Deputy: Best for customizable scheduling
- Sling: Best for time zone differences
- QuickBooks Time: Best for mobile workforces
- Paychex: Best for personalized service
- ClockShark: Best for project management
- Paylocity: Best for company culture
- Buddy Punch: Best for monitoring remote workers
1. Homebase: Best all-in-one solution for small businesses
If your concern is both When I Work’s limited features and its pricing, Homebase is your answer. With our robust free plan, you get access to basic scheduling, time tracking, and employee management tools. And that’s for up to 20 team members at one business location.
Homebase also offers payroll, onboarding, and HR tools in its paid plans. That means you can get everything you need in one place and won’t have to juggle several different applications. And because we offer a choice of three paid plans and only charge by location, we can fit the budget of most small businesses.
Collecting employee availability and writing timetables can be time-consuming. That’s why Homebase and When I Work offer a range of scheduling tools to speed up the process. You can:
- Have employees input the hours they can’t work
- Auto-populate shifts based on role, department, and availability
- Create and save templates for instant use
- Post open shifts for team members to claim
- Let employees swap and cover shifts
Homebase’s scheduling tool also requires fewer steps to set up than When I Work’s. That might not seem like an important difference, but it can save you vital time when you’re rushed off your feet and need to make last-minute changes.
Small businesses with tight profit margins need to save every penny. That means using time tracking software like Homebase and When I Work to correctly record hours and make sure you only pay employees for hours they actually worked. Both systems use GPS time clocks that automatically verify your team’s location when they clock in and record their arrival times.
But Homebase has a serious advantage over When I Work because it can save you time and money. As our platform has a built-in payroll feature, you can automatically sync your scheduling and timesheet data instead of having to switch between apps.
Getting payroll right is key to creating an excellent employee experience and avoiding compliance issues. Homebase provides a built-in accounting system that syncs with timesheets, automatically calculates wages, and distributes paychecks. Our platform can calculate taxes and file them with all the relevant authorities, too.
Homebase also integrates with eleven of the most popular payroll apps on the market, including QuickBooks, Gusto, and Paychex. That means if you already have an accounting system in place, you can probably find it on our list and sync it with the rest of your Homebase tools.
What makes Homebase a great When I Work alternative is our larger range of integrations. We have 32 in the following categories:
- Point of sale (POS)
- Business tools
- Job boards
This means you can use Homebase without giving up the platforms you already know and love. For instance, if you run a restaurant, you might be interested in our integration with industry-specific software like Restaurant365 to take advantage of features like asset tracking and tip payment.
Unlike When I Work, Homebase offers a free plan with all the basic scheduling, time tracking, and employee management tools. We also have three paid plans:
- Essentials for $24.95 monthly, for more advanced scheduling and time tracking tools.
- Plus for $59.95 monthly, for features like time off and clock in controls and late alerts.
- All-in-one for $99.95 monthly, for the full range of business insights, labor cost controls, and HR and compliance tools, including live access to qualified human resources professionals.
Homebase payroll is available on a separate plan for $39 per month plus $6 per employee. Bonus: Users can save 20% on their overall cost when they sign up for an annual plan.
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2. Deputy: Best for customizable scheduling
Based in Australia, Deputy is an employee management platform that helps businesses streamline scheduling, time tracking, and communication. Its complex tools make it a popular choice for tech and engineering firms that often work on different projects with varying timelines. With Deputy, users can create custom schedules that take their deadlines, staff availability, and skill sets into account. However, small businesses with simple operations like shops and restaurants may find the complicated features to be a turn off.
- Scheduling: Create timetables to suit your business type. Automatically fill shifts based on availability, training, and labor costs.
- Time tracking: Ask staff to use geofencing or facial recognition to clock into shifts. Then, approve timesheets individually or in batches.
- Compliance tools: Receive alerts when team members approach overtime or need to take breaks. Also, get employees to confirm they’ve arrived late or finished early and keep a record to reduce disputes about inaccurate time entries.
Deputy has a free 31-day trial and three paid plans. Scheduling and Time & Attendance are the same price because they offer the same support, just for different features.
- Scheduling for $3.50 per user per month to access auto-scheduling, templates, and break management.
- Time & attendance for $3.50 per user per month for timesheets, the time clock, and performance management.
- Enterprise with custom pricing for companies with over 250 employees.
You can combine the Scheduling and Time & Attendance plans for $4.90 per user per month.
3. Sling: Best for time zone differences
Sling is a cloud-based employee management platform that lets you create schedules, track hours, and communicate with team members. What makes it a worthy When I Work alternative is its World Clock feature. This lets you manage schedules across different time zones, making it a great option for international businesses. For instance, if you’re in the US, your employee is in the UK, and your client is in Japan, it’s easy to find a meeting time that suits everyone. You’ll also avoid getting confused and accidentally penciling in staff or clients for calls at antisocial hours.
- Scheduling: Decide whether to view and schedule shifts based on employees’ local time or your own time, so it’s easier to see who’s available for work.
- Time tracking: Allow staff to clock in and out of work using their mobile phones or turn a desktop device into a kiosk.
- Team communication: Use filters to message individuals, custom groups, or the entire team.
- Task management: Write to-do lists for employees and receive a notification when they’ve checked off every item.
Sling has a free plan with basic scheduling and communication tools. Apart from that, it has two plans:
- Premium at $2 per user per month for time tracking, geofencing, and clock in controls.
- Business at $4 per user per month for reporting features and leave management.
4. QuickBooks Time: Best for mobile workforces
QuickBooks is primarily an accounting software that helps businesses track their expenses and make transactions. Its range of bookkeeping tools has made it popular in the IT and financial services industries, which often involve complex transactions and reporting.
However, one of QuickBooks’ unique selling points is the location tracking system in its employee management software. This tool makes it a good fit for mobile workforces like delivery crews or construction teams who might claim mileage or get paid for time traveling. And because you can check what routes staff are taking or whether they’ve gone offsite, you can verify they’re working efficiently.
- Scheduling: Assign hours and specific jobs to each team member.
- Time tracking: Let teams clock in offsite. Also, receive updates on people’s locations via GPS tracking to verify travel time and mileage.
- Payroll: Auto-calculate payments, transfer wages on the same day, and file taxes. Use QuickBooks’ 24/7 expert support for guidance.
- Payment processing: Accept payments with a variety of different cards and methods.
QuickBooks has four paid plans for its bookkeeping, payment processing, and HR features:
- Simple Start for $30 per month for basic accounting tools
- Essentials for $55 per month to access bill management
- Plus for $85 per month, which includes inventory management
- Advanced for $200 per month to get extra invoicing tools, training, and staff expenses
Employee management features are also available as separate plans:
- Payroll prices range from $45 to $125 per month
- QuickBooks Time has two plans for scheduling and time tracking tools, which are $20 per month plus $8 per employee or $40 per month plus $10 per employee
5. Paychex: Best for personalized service
Often, growing businesses plateau when their needs become more complex, but they don’t have the budget for internal HR personnel and accountants. If that sounds like you, consider a solution like Paychex. This platform can create custom plans for your specific context and offers expert advice on HR, compliance, and bookkeeping.
Additionally, Paychex’s benefits and insurance management features are good for low-turnover industries like construction and administration, where employees benefit most from long-term schemes.
- Payroll: Automate taxes and payroll while experts monitor compliance to ensure you don’t break federal, state, and industry laws.
- Time tracking: Let staff clock into their shifts with biometric data like iris scanners and facial recognition to eliminate buddy punching.
- Benefits: Choose from various benefits packages, including health insurance and retirement funds. Have employees self-enroll during the onboarding process to reduce administrative work.
- HR and compliance: Get expert advice on specific industry challenges.
Paychex’s monthly paid plan starts at $39 plus $5 per employee.
6. ClockShark: Best for project management
Construction and maintenance businesses may appreciate the cloud-based time tracking system, ClockShark. Its task management and job pricing tools are well-suited to the unique challenges of their industries. For instance, ClockShark lets you track labor costs by job, which means you can have multiple projects underway but still know exactly how much to charge each client. This could save you from stressful disputes over bills and negative feedback.
- Scheduling: Drag and drop the shifts and tasks you want to assign employees. Then, ClockShark will automatically notify them via its app.
- Time tracking: Let staff clock in and out from work wherever they are. Also, set up questions to ask them when they finish a shift to check they’ve completed all their tasks.
ClockShark offers two paid plans:
- Standard for $16 plus $7 per employee per month for basic time tracking tools.
- Pro for $30 plus $9 per employee per month to add clock out questions and departmental management.
7. Paylocity: Best for company culture
Paylocity combines staff management and experience tools to help your business run more efficiently and improve work culture. This has made it popular with health care and non-profit businesses, which can be more physically and mentally demanding than other industries. For instance, burnout is common among healthcare workers, and difficult cases may contribute to nonprofit workers’ low morale and depression. Paylocity’s employee experience tools help you uncover your team’s specific challenges and promote a work culture that supports mental well-being.
- Scheduling: Create or edit shifts and your team will receive updates as you go.
- Time tracking: Choose from a range of timekeeping methods, including photo capture, thermal scanning, and badge readers.
- Employee experience tools: Conduct surveys to discover what team members need to enjoy their work. Also, encourage coworkers to praise each other for a job well done.
- Payroll: Automate paying wages and filing taxes. Manage payroll in over 100 different countries worldwide.
- Learning management: Import ready-made training courses or build your own. Then, assign them to employees and track their progress.
Paylocity pricing isn’t readily available.
8. Buddy Punch: Best for monitoring remote workers
Buddy Punch is a time tracking software that’s designed for businesses of all sizes. It’s especially beneficial for companies with desk-based clerical workers. The Buddy Punch time clock can measure the duration of shifts for salaried workers and check their IP address to verify they’re at their workstation — not out and about. That means you can monitor the progress of freelancers and remote teams more easily.
- Scheduling: Assign shifts and instantly publish them to the Buddy Punch app.
- Time tracking: Choose from different clock in methods, like QR codes, facial recognition, or passwords.
- Payroll: Sync your timesheet data with payroll and auto-calculate wages and tax payments.
Buddy Punch provides three paid plans:
- Standard for $19 per month plus $3.49 per employee to access reports and break management.
- Pro for $19 per month plus $4.49 per employee for scheduling, templates, and extra reporting tools.
- Enterprise with custom pricing.
Payroll is a separate add-on that costs $39 per month plus $6 per employee.
Why Homebase is the best all-around When I Work alternative
Although When I Work is one of the leading employee management solutions out there, it’s not the best fit for every small business. You may find the lack of essential features and integrations prevents you from doing everything you need to. And the charge per employee may make its costs too high or unpredictable.
If this is true for you, Homebase is probably your best alternative. We offer all the essential employee management features a small business could need:
Plus, we’ve partnered with a range of integrations, so you’re even more likely to find the setup that suits your business the best.
Best of all, we have flexible pricing, so you can select the option that works best for your budget. If you’re just starting out or already have an accounting system set up, there’s our robust free plan. But if your business is well-established, we have a choice of three paid plans at competitive rates that charge per location — so your costs won’t rise as you hire more staff. That means you can stick to your budget no matter what, but still run your business efficiently.
Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.
**The information above is based on our research on When I Work alternatives. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in March 2023.