Table of Contents
Even before the remote work explosion, employee scheduling was a hassle. According to human resources software consultancy Matchr, managers can spend up to eight hours every week making the next week’s schedule. Now that so many employees are working from home and other sites, it’s even more difficult to optimize schedules.
Giving employees more control over their schedules is a win-win. The interactivity of online job scheduling apps makes it easy to update employee availability and track time in timesheets or time clocks right from their mobile device. It also helps managers or business owners redirect up to 80% of their time to more productive tasks.
8 of the best employee scheduling apps for businesses
If you’re looking for an app that can keep all of your employees on the same page — and save you some time — check out this list of seven great work scheduling apps.
Used by massive healthcare providers like Kaiser Permanente, Humanity is an excellent mobile app for any business in the service industry. In addition to healthcare, call centers, hospitality businesses, and restaurants all use Humanity to optimize employee scheduling.
A top-rated app for both iOS and Android, one big advantage of Humanity is its ability to forecast your company’s staffing needs. The platform claims its flexible and rule-based programming can create an error-free schedule while accounting for a wide variety of employee scheduling requirements.
One of the biggest problems Humanity has solved is aggregating all scheduling-related data into a single tool. We've eliminated the need for spreadsheets that are cumbersome to find, most oftentimes not updated, and require a lot of manual time to use.”
Operations and Project Management Consultant
Humanity also automatically makes sure you’re compliant with the latest labor laws regarding scheduling, overtime, and breaks.
Another workforce management app that simplifies creating staff schedules creation, Sling (recently acquired by Toast) lets you use schedule templates and notifications to manage multiple employee schedules at once.
The scheduling tool sends notifications if you double-schedule someone, and helps you cut down on no-shows and late arrivals with employee shift tracking. Sling has a news feed feature that keeps everyone updated, and employees can sign up for the shifts they want to work and that best fit their schedules.
[Sling] is excellent for team messaging, individual messaging, keeping employees in the loop via "News feed", tracking PTO requests, and detailed labor cost tracking. It is our core communication tool and is enjoyed by all team members.”
President | Sales Leader
Sling also lets you add employee time off and “unavailable” slots into the schedules you build, a crucial scheduling feature for people working from home. Built-in messaging lets you organize team communication by conversation or by project.
Calendly makes it incredibly easy to schedule work events like interviews and meetings. The platform streamlines the process of finding when people are available to meet. Users simply program the mobile app with their availability, and Calendly ensures there are no scheduling overlaps. It even leaves gaps between meetings to ensure you get a breather.
Scheduling a meeting with a remote or hybrid workforce? Send the invite out to all team members via email and let them choose the most convenient time. Or, use Calendly’s Meeting Polls feature to let everyone vote on their preferred time. The app’s automation adds the event to whatever calendar you’re using. (Calendly features integrations with most major platforms, including Google Calendar.)
[Calendly is] excellent for finding meeting times to collaborate with partners within and outside of the company. [It] prevents all the back and forth emailing trying to schedule calls.”
Amanda P. (G2 Review, January 2, 2022)
Quality Assurance Manager
Calendly lets you check the availability of contractors and clients as well, so you can schedule sales calls or meetings with vendors at times that work for everyone. You can even host multiple people at once for training sessions or webinars.
Small businesses with a single location that need free work scheduling software should consider Homebase. It focuses on hourly shift trades such as food service, retail, hospitality, medical, and veterinary. The free basic version of Homebase includes timesheets, employee scheduling, and messaging functionality. Other pricing tiers add paperless (and spreadsheet-free) payroll, team communication, and HR functions.
Managers use a drag-and-drop UI to build employee schedules and then share them through text message or email. Homebase’s workforce management tools provide visibility into labor costs by tracking employee hours and overtime. The platform works well with other business tools, featuring integrations with POS systems including Clover, Square, and Lightspeed.
Homebase makes it easy for [shift swaps] to happen. It's as simple as finding the shift, clicking a button to find a sub and then selecting other staff members. It even goes as far to show who is available or already working that day, to make it even easier.”
Homebase can also provide end-to-end HR functionality. In addition to scheduling, payroll, and communications, the platform offers tools that post to job boards and manage applications, help new employees e-sign onboarding forms, strengthen compliance, and file tax documents.
5. Shiftboard ScheduleFlex
Service providers with hourly or shift-based workers can use Shiftboard ScheduleFlex as an online job scheduling platform. (Shiftboard also offers SchedulePro for production-centric businesses.) Its features include automated employee scheduling, schedule distribution, shift swapping, push notifications, two-way text messaging, time clock entries via mobile device, and more.
The platform lets on-site and remote employees enter time via mobile app, QR code, call-in, and other options. The app’s scheduling features helps employees organize PTO and other time-off requests, shift swaps, and search for qualified subs. Users also can send notifications and messages through email or text message directly from the app.
[Shiftboard] solves the issue of needing several people updated all at once. With staffing needs picking up, speed is key in communication.”
Staffing and Recruiting Agency
Shiftboard ScheduleFlex lets you manage all employee schedules, whether full-time, part-time, contract, project-based, hourly, remote or volunteer. The app manages all staff details, including certifications, skills and performance ratings. ScheduleFlex also has integrations for numerous business software solutions such as Oracle, QuickBooks, ADP, and Paychex.
Connecteam is an employee scheduling app for large and small businesses with remote workforces. The app’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to assign and distribute employee schedules quickly.
Users can duplicate tasks, drag-and-drop them into position, and use pre-programmed bulk actions to populate fields quickly.
If you’re managing on-site essential employees, this app clocks their GPS location when they clock in and out for time tracking. It also allows them to accept, reject, and check in for shift scheduling.
A message board feature lets people make status updates throughout the day. Employees can even add team schedule attachments like photos, videos, and notes if needed, so everyone stays updated in real time no matter where they are.
I can keep my team up to date with current events with the updates feature. I love being able to broadcast updates to my team. I have not found an app that is as user-friendly as Connecteam so far.”
Daniel D. (G2 review, May 25, 2022)
Small business CEO
Another great tool for service industry businesses, HotSchedules provides a high degree of visibility and control when organizing employee schedules. This app also uses schedule templates and a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to schedule employees.
Employees can see their schedules, clock in, and clock out through the app. They can also shift swap or pick up open shifts right from their phone, while managers can track all schedule changes in real time.
HotSchedules is a fantastic way to keep all the staff schedules / time off organized. I also like the way the staff can swap schedules. When someone needs to call out, they can have others pick up the shift, and the shift does not struggle by a call out or no show.”
Client Services Supervisor
HotSchedules also collects labor cost and sales data from your POS system, making it easy to determine the busiest times and staff up accordingly. Interactive functions like messaging and surveys allow you to communicate with your team members and make sure they’re well enough to work — an especially important consideration these days.
ClickUp is a powerful all-in-one productivity platform designed to help teams stay on track, streamline processes, and oversee projects of any kind. With hundreds of dynamic time management features including customized timesheets, reporting, and drag-and-drop scheduling, teams across industries rely on ClickUp to efficiently follow through on every action item.
Multiple views in ClickUp including Calendar, Gantt, and Timeline view make it possible to visualize individual or team workloads from every angle. Plus, you can see all upcoming events, meetings, and reminders alongside the rest of your work in ClickUp using two-way syncing with other calendar apps.
ClickUp is an incredibly flexible platform that truly revolutionized how I worked. The ability to customize the system to fit my workflows was a major selling point when I first looked into it and something that has been invaluable ever since."
Whether you're tracking billable time, rescheduling due dates, or determining where your effort goes in a day, ClickUp is a great schedule management tool for mid-sized businesses who want to get more done, in less time. Access these time-saving features plus unlimited tasks, 100MB of storage, and over 1,000 integrations when you sign up for any ClickUp pricing plan, including Free Forever.
How to pick the best employee scheduling software
In addition to saving time, work scheduling apps are better at keeping business owners organized. Pen-and-paper schedules get messy, complicated, and wasteful. They can also get lost or misplaced.
Many of the scheduling apps on this list track requested time off, sick days, and breaks so you stay compliant with the law and up to date on what your staff needs. With the huge variety of apps out there, it’s easy to find one that fits your business.
You probably already know your pain points when it comes to work scheduling. If you don’t, take some time to chart them out. Are you most concerned with scheduling meetings that all team members can attend? Keeping track of staff schedules as they work different shifts?
Find the app that addresses your needs best. If multiple apps work, try them out — a number of them have free trial options.
When you find the right employee scheduling software for your business, you save time and money, and you reduce stress — for both you and your staff.
Get started with Calendly
Ready to make your scheduling process more efficient?
Webinar: Getting started with Calendly
New to Calendly? Join this webinar to learn how to get started with help directly from the experts!
Top 5 life planner software tools
Read Time: 8 minutes
Don't let daily life defer your long-term goals and priorities. Get planner software you can trust.
Top 10 team management software tools
Read Time: 8 minutes
Get recommendations for top team management apps, including project management and internal comms.
Don't leave your prospects, customers, and candidates waiting
Calendly eliminates the scheduling back and forth and helps you hit goals faster. Get started in seconds.