By Ty Collins
Even before we were all working from home, employee scheduling was a hassle. According to HR software firm HR Payroll Systems, managers can spend up to eight hours every week making the next week’s schedule. Now that many of us are working remotely, schedules can be even more difficult to map out.
Giving employees more control over their schedules is a win-win solution. The interactivity of scheduling apps makes it easy for people to update their availability and log work hours right from their phones. It also gives the manager or business owner up to 80% more time in their week.
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 six great work scheduling apps.
Connecteam is an employee scheduling app for businesses of any size with remote workforces. The app’s 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. It also allows them to accept, reject, and check-in for shifts.
A message board feature lets people make status updates throughout the day. Employees can even add schedule attachments like photos, videos, and notes if needed, so everyone stays updated in real-time no matter where they are.
Used by massive healthcare providers like Kaiser Permanente, Humanity is an excellent app for any business in the service industry. In addition to the healthcare field, call centers, hospitality businesses, and restaurants all use Humanity for employee scheduling.
A top-rated app in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store, one big advantage of the Humanity app is its ability to forecast your company’s staffing needs. The app’s makers claim that its flexible and rule-based programming can create an error-free schedule while accounting for a wide variety of employee scheduling requirements.
Humanity also automatically makes sure you’re compliant with the latest labor laws regarding scheduling, overtime, and breaks.
Calendly makes it incredibly easy to schedule work events like interviews and meetings. Users simply let the app know their availability, and Calendly ensures that there are no scheduling overlaps. It even leaves gaps between meetings to ensure you get a breather.
Putting a meeting together with a remote workforce? Send the invite out to everyone via email and let them choose the best time. Then, the app automatically adds the event to whatever calendar you’re using.
Calendly lets you check the availability of contractors and clients as well, so you can schedule sales calls or meetings with freelancers at times that work for everyone. You can even host multiple people at once for training sessions or webinars.
Another app that aims to make building employee schedules as easy as possible, Sling lets you use templates and notifications to manage multiple employee schedules at once.
The app notifies you if you double-schedule someone, and helps you cut down on absenteeism and late arrivals with 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 also lets you add time off and “unavailable” slots into the schedules you build, a crucial feature for those of us working from home offices. A built-in messaging feature lets you organize conversations by team or by project.
Another great tool for service industry businesses, Hotschedules allows for a high degree of visibility and control when organizing employee schedules. This app also uses templates and a drag-and-drop interface for quick schedule building.
Employees can see their schedules and provide input right in the app. They can also swap or pick up shifts right from their phone, and the manager can keep track of it all in real-time.
Hotschedules also collects labor and sales data from your POS system, making it easy to see what times are busiest and staff up accordingly. Interactive functions like messaging and surveys allow you to communicate with your people and make sure they’re okay to work — an especially important consideration right now.
Doodle is unique in that it lets meeting and event participants vote on meeting times. If you want to schedule a work meeting over Zoom, for example, you’d create a Doodle poll and everyone could submit their availability.
Once the best time is chosen by everyone, the meeting is confirmed, and Doodle adds it to everyone’s calendar. It even syncs your meetings and events across devices to prevent conflicts.
This app also provides a messaging function to request contact information like emails and phone numbers. A dashboard function displays all your open Doodle polls for easy access, with information like the title of the event, number of participants, and number of time slot options prominently displayed.
In addition to saving you time, work scheduling apps help keep you organized. Pen-and-paper schedules can get messy, complicated, and wasteful. They can also get lost or misplaced.
Many of the scheduling apps on this list keep track of time-off requests, 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 what your pain points are when it comes to scheduling, but if you don’t, take some time to chart them out. Are you most concerned with scheduling meetings that everyone can attend? Keeping track of staff as they work different shifts?
Find the app that addresses your needs best. If there are multiple apps that work, try them out — a number of them have free trial options.
When you find the right scheduling app for your business, you save time and money, and you reduce stress — for both you and your staff.
Ty is the head of digital acquisition and content at Calendly.
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