Create and track your employees’ schedule with ease using employee scheduling software.
Creating an employee schedule with the age-old pen-and-paper method may get the task done, but will take a lot of your time. You may also have to repeat the whole process in case of unexpected absences.
As a restaurant owner or facilities manager, you certainly can’t afford to spend hours tracking employee availability and creating or re-creating schedules. Here, employee scheduling software can take the burden off your back.
An online employee scheduling solution creates, maintains, and tracks your employees’ working hours and shifts. These solutions come with features such as calendar management, employee database, shift swapping, time tracking, among many others.
In this article, we’ve listed the top five free employee scheduling software, in alphabetical order, based on user ratings and reviews to help you pick the right solution for your business.
7shifts: Comes with job builder
7shifts is a cloud-based restaurant staff scheduling software that lets you create and assign shifts and manage employee schedules. The software comes with employee schedule templates that you can customize to fit your needs.
With the 7shifts mobile app, employees can track their shifts on the go as the app sends reminders for upcoming shifts or any changes in the work schedule. Employees can also enter their time off requests and manage shift swaps with ease using the app.
The solution’s task management option lets you create and assign tasks based on shifts. By adding updates or instructions to the created tasks, you can help your employees understand what they are expected to do.
You can easily create and post job openings with the help of 7shifts’ job builder. Once posted, the software tracks applicants and their application status.
- Activity dashboard
- Employee database
- Payroll management
- Performance management
- Time & Attendance
$0.99 per user, per month
Connecteam: Offers people management features
Connecteam is an online employee scheduling tool with a lot of related operations under one roof. Tasks such as employee scheduling, filling online time sheets, creating digital forms/checklists, and task management can be done using this shift scheduling tool.
The solution has geolocation tracking and geofencing options that allow you to track work hours spent on the job, gain real-time visibility into staff activity, and see who has clocked in and out.
Connecteam is also available for mobile devices so that you can stay connected with your teams at all times. This employee scheduling app lets you chat with your employees, share updates and announcements, collect their feedback, and share important documents with them.
This solution also makes HR and people management activities easy by streamlining the employee engagement process. You can schedule training sessions, organize quizzes and distribute documents within the application to ensure employee satisfaction and growth. Additionally, you can identify employee milestones and organize events for their recognition.
- Activity dashboard
- Approval process control
- Attendance tracking
- Calendar management
- Collaboration tools
- Communication management
$3.82 per user, per month
Homebase: Simplifies payroll process
Homebase is a free employee scheduling software that lets you create and organize employees’ schedules even when you are on the go.
It sends out automatic notifications to the employees about any updates on their work schedule, such as a shift change, and alerts them about their upcoming shifts. Employees also get the flexibility to cover and trade shifts.
The time clock features of this scheduling tool help you with employee time tracking. You can prevent early check-ins and get alerted when an employee approaches overtime. You can set overtime rules and store time cards within the solution to remain compliant with labor laws.
Homebase simplifies the payroll process by converting time sheets into hours and calculating wages and taxes. It also sends out the payments to employees and the state. Another perk for employees is that Homebase allows them to request early access to their wages to handle financial emergencies.
- Activity tracking
- Email management
- Employee database
- Time and attendance
- Time-off management
$14 per month
OnTheClock: Creates automatic data backup
OnTheClock is a web-based time clock software that helps you with scheduling employees’ shifts and time tracking. Employees can conveniently clock in and out using a variety of ways such as mobile clock app, web browser, biometrics, kiosk, and group punch.
With geofencing and GPS location, you can control where clock-in-and-out times are recorded. As an admin, you can also punch out your employees if they ever forget to do so.
OnTheClock automatically generates payroll reports by calculating time cards. The solution can also integrate with many payroll software including QuickBooks, Xero, and ADP.
Even if you’re on the go, you can access OnTheClock on your mobile or tablet devices. Since all the data is automatically backed up on the cloud at all times, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary software downloads.
- Automated scheduling
- Payroll Management
- Resource management
- Self service portal
- Vacation/Leave tracking
$3 per month (3-10 users)
Sling: Helps control labor costs
Sling is a cloud-based employee scheduling solution that lets you schedule employees’ shifts and stay in touch with them at all times. You can create a shift schedule and assign different tasks to your employees and clarify what needs to be done during each open shift.
The messaging feature of this scheduling app simplifies team communication. You can send individual messages or group messages, keeping everyone informed. You can also share important information and announcements on the newsfeed which everyone can easily access.
On Sling, you can set labor cost budgets and preferred hours, and track your labor expenses during a specific period. You can also generate daily, weekly or monthly reports to analyze labor data, determine inconsistencies, and strategize future operations efficiently.
- Availability management
- Calendar management
- Employee management
- Employee scheduling
- Mobile access
- Online punch card
$2 per user, per month
To choose the right employee scheduling software for your business, consider the following points before making your decision:
- Availability across all business locations: Most employee scheduling software have different versions as per the number of business locations they serve. So, if you have a multi-location business, look for a solution that you can utilize at all your locations.
- Access on multiple devices: If you and your employees travel frequently for work purposes, then you need an employee scheduling app that can be accessed from any device. Therefore, analyze how frequently your people are on the go and if there’s a need to invest in such a solution.
- Business reports and analytics: Reports and analyses of labor costs, task completion, work time, and absences can give you an in-depth view of your scheduling efficiencies. Hence, opt for a solution that comes with report generation features so that you can make business decisions based on data.
Here are some questions that you should ask your vendor to have better chances of finding the best employee scheduling software for your business:
Is the solution user-friendly?
Because of the number of features employee scheduling software can have, it can be tricky for users to navigate through them especially when they don’t require all of them. Such a solution will not serve you better as the users may end up making wrong entries. So, ask your vendor about the complexity of the interface. If possible, request a demo and test it yourself.
Can the software be scaled up as the business grows?
With time, your business will grow and you’ll hire more employees. Therefore, you’ll need a solution wherein you can easily add more employees. So, before you make the purchase, ask the vendor whether their solution allows additional users or will there be additional costs to do so.
Can the software be integrated with payroll systems?
An employee scheduling software with payroll integrations will make it easier for you to pay wages to your employees. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending hours calculating time cards and determining your employees’ work hours. Hence, inquire your vendor about payroll integrations in their solution.
To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people such as you.
In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.
At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.
To be considered for this list, products had to:
- Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of Feb. 23, 2022). We selected the five products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
- Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our employee scheduling software market definition: “Employee scheduling systems help to create, track and manage employee schedule as well as approve employee vacation/leave requests.”
“Best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews (as of Feb. 23, 2022).
“Most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade (as of Feb. 23, 2022).
Disclaimer: We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of Feb. 23, 2022. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings’ value in the product card may not reflect the ratings’ value at the time of analysis.
Product research for this article was conducted by Himanshi Arora.