9 Best Employee Scheduling Apps For Small Businesses

Business
By Cristina Kuptzin-Johnson | 9 minute read

Adopting technology can be intimidating for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be. While there are complex digital solutions out there, starting with a small step could be the beginning of your digital transformation. The best employee scheduling apps for small businesses will include additional features that provide you with powerful tools to stay profitable and competitive.

In a study conducted by Deloitte found that 80% of U.S. small businesses are not taking full advantage of digital tools technology and are missing out on the financial benefits of using them (including almost four times as much revenue growth). One reason for this is small business owners and leaders believe it’s “not relevant for [their] business.” 

But every small business has employees, and employee scheduling is an important part of running your business. If you have employees in the field or at different job sites, it’s even more challenging to stay on top of your scheduling. That’s where employee scheduling software will help you.

Why Should You Implement An Employee Scheduling Software? 

Scheduling software saves time and money, but a survey by Software Advice found that:

33% of SMB use online calendars

28% of small businesses use employee scheduling software

17% use paper calendar

11% use HR software

12% don't use any type of scheduling

The majority were using online calendars such as Google Calendar. They work better than paper calendar but lack essential functions for smal businesses, such as automated scheduling and employee notifications.

When choosing an employee scheduling solution, there are certain things you should look for.


What To Look For In An Employee Scheduling Software 

Using a pen and paper or online calendars is a thing of the past. Each business is unique, with unique challenges but small businesses can save time with employee scheduling and increased productivity and transparency. Here are some features to look for in an employee scheduling solution.

Automatic Employee Notification

Creating schedules for your employees is only one part of scheduling; The employees need to be able to access their schedules to stay productive and on time. If you have employees in the field, it’s even more important for them to be able to access their schedules or be notified of shift changes. A good employee scheduling software allows you to send notifications either via email or mobile push notifications so your employees are made aware of any changes to their scheduled shifts.

Ease Of Use

User Experience (UX) for an employee scheduling app should be smooth and easy. Employees should be able to simply pull up their schedules and view them. Administrators should be able to quickly and easily create, manage, and change schedules without clunky, cumbersome software that eats away at their time.

User Interface

The purpose of adopting technology is to save time and money, and improve performance company-side. Your software should be easy to understand and use. Drag-and-drop technology makes it super fast and easy to create and edit schedules from the office without extensive training or complicated processes.

Job Reporting 

Tracking timesheets is crucial to having full visibility of how your business is running. This is especially true if your employees are providing services to your customers. It allows you to understand how long a certain job or task took, so you have a reference for future jobs.

Real-Time Data

Real-time data is increasingly important in today’s workforce and being able to access schedules in real-time improves customer service, increases productivity, and reduces the risks of errors. You can use an employee scheduling app to review existing schedules and stay on top of unexpected overtime.

Integrations

As the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 continue to grow, digital business solutions will need to be able to connect. An employee scheduling app that can also integrate with, for example, your accounting or time clock software, will enhance the value of the scheduling software.

Communication

When you have employees in the field or at different work locations, communication might be challenging. However, a robust employee scheduling app will allow you to provide job details right in the schedule, so they can pull up their schedules and find out key information about the job they’re scheduled to do. 

Reduce Errors and Mistakes

As with any manual process, mistakes and errors happen. However, using a scheduling software, everyone knows where they’re supposed to be and when. They can pull up their schedules on their mobile devices and know where to go, in real-time.

Improve Staff/Shift Decisions

When you have multiple job sites or clients, it helps to be able to send the right employee to the right job, plus you can use a scheduling app to reduce unwanted overtime. With a scheduling app, pull up your schedule, filter by job or employee, and send the best employee(s) to a particular job.

Help Manage Employee Attendance

Unexpected absences, late arrivals, early departures and sick employees are all more easily managed with a scheduling app. If an employee doesn’t show up, you can quickly make changes to ensure your jobs get done.

Improve Productivity

When employees know where to go and when, they are more likely to be on time and do the job right. When shifts (or employees) change, there is no need for employees to wait on their schedule because you can change the schedule and notify them of changes, immediately. 

Scalability

Your scheduling software should be able to scale with your business as it grows. Whether you have 10 or 1,000 employees, you should be able to manage their schedules easily.

What Is Best Employee Scheduling Software For Small Business?

There are multiple options available for an employee scheduling software and which one you choose, will depend on your business’s needs and size.



1. ClockShark

Best for: construction and field service companies

Built with the construction and field service industries in mind, ClockShark provides an easy-to-use employee scheduling solution with a drag-and-drop schedule creator that even beginners can use. Creating and managing schedules can be done in minutes, and you can use filters to view single employees, particular jobs, certain customers, or a range of other filters to make viewing certain things easier and faster.

No more time wasted with manual entry. Improve accountability by letting everyone know where they’re supposed to be, and when.

ClockShark allows you to create and edit schedules from any PC, tablet, or mobile device, and you can send instant notifications to employees - either via mobile push notification, email, or both - to alert them to schedule changes.

Employees can access job details from their mobile devices through their schedules, so they know who the customer is, what the job is, and any other important details about the jobs they’re scheduled to do.



Key Features

Easy drag & drop

Automated scheduling

Employee notifications and reminders 

Available via mobile or desktop

Detailed job description

Attach photos and files



Pros

Easy to use, no training needed

Mobile app in English and Spanish

Automated system with real-time data

Create work shifts in minutes

Easy drag-and-drop editor

Instantly notify your crew of any shift updates

Let employees clock in and out right from their schedule

Give employees access to job details inside their shift

Know how much time is spent on each job

Assign a location or department an employees shift



Cons

May not be the best option for companies outside the construction trades and field service industries



Pricing

Starts at just $3/month per user+ $20/month base fee.

Free 14-day trial.

Save Time and Money with ClockShark

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2. Zoho Shifts

Best for: desk employees

Zoho Shifts is an HR solution that includes an employee scheduling software. It allows you to track team attendance, schedule shifts, manage time stamps, from one place. Field or remote workers can access their schedules from their mobile devices, and you can set up special permissions for different employees to access.



Key Features

Employee notifications

Time-off requests

Shift swap option



Pros

Less expensive

Customizable

Good tool for measuring performance



Cons

Not user-friendly

Limited customer support

Limited integrations



 Pricing

Starts at $10 per 10 users/month. Billed annually. 



3. Sling

Best for: notifications of overlapping shifts

Sling provides an employee scheduling solution that allows you to create schedules and manage time off. You can get notifications of overlapping shifts and late arrivals.



Key Features

  Time Off

Shift trade requests

Shift alarms



Pros

  Get notified of overlapping shifts or double-booking

Let employees sign up for shifts

Load shift templates

Enable shift exchange



Cons

  Issues loading the app

Unreliable shift notification



Pricing

Starting at $2/month per user.



4. Buddy Punch

Best for: shift templates

Buddy Punch is a time-tracking software with an employee scheduling solution built in. You can create and edit schedules from any PC or mobile device using drag-and-drop, and notify employees of changes to their schedules. Buddy Punch also allows you to incorporate time limits to avoid weekly overtime or automatically clock employees out when their shift has ended.



Key Features

  Time off management

Shift templates

Shift notifications



Pros

Track time-off requests

Drag & drop shifts

Assign a location, department or position to an employees shift

Employees can access schedule from their phones or desktop



Cons

 Difficulty editing timesheets

Not user-friendly

No option to see timesheet reports of all employees at once



Pricing

Starting at $2.99/month per user + $19 base fee. Billed annually. 



5. When I Work

Best for: copy and paste previous shifts

When I Work lets you quickly create schedules and manage your teams. From their mobile devices, employees can access their schedules, view their tasks for the day, request time off, or ask to change shifts. Administrators can approve or deny these requests, and manage time off for employees.



Key Features

 Time off management

Trade shifts

Shift templates



Pros

Easy to use

Ability to copy and paste shifts



Cons

Issues loading the app

Auto scheduling feature is not reliable

Hard to see entire schedule

The app interface is not as good as the desktop



Pricing

Starting at $2.50/month per user.

Note: Extra charges apply to each plan, depending on use.



6. Sage HR

Best for: employees can advice availability

Sage HR is a human resource tool that includes an employee scheduling option. You can create, change, and manage schedules from any PC or mobile device and employees can access their calendars from anywhere, with their mobile phones or tablets. They can also add the preferred times they want to work and make a note of the times they’re unavailable, from their smartphones. 



Key Features

  Time-off management

Pre-defined shift template

Self-service access for employees



Pros

  User friendly

Group shifts into areas

Drag & drop shift management

Employees can advice availability



Cons

  Lack of accurate reports

No flexibility

Limited functionality



Pricing

Starting at $5.50/month per user.



7. Skedulo

Best for: healthcare industry and HIPAA compliance

With Skedulo, you can create and edit schedules for remote workers and filter jobs based on their status. You can reduce travel time and make sure the right employees are given the right jobs, to improve customer service and reduce travel expenses. Skedulo allows you to set specific priorities so you can automate your scheduling and communicate with workers through their mobile app. Details about each job, including pictures and notes, can be added to the schedule, too.



Key Features

 Automated Scheduling

Drag & drop

HIPAA compliant



Pros

Good for the heathcare industry

Easy to use



Cons

Can be complicated when scheduling dynamic schedules



Pricing

Starting at $59/month per user.



8. homebase

Best for: overtime alerts

Homebase is a scheduling tool that makes scheduling shift work for employees easy.  Employees can see when to work and track their scheduled shifts, submit their availability, see who’s free to cover shifts, and request trades. 



Key Features

  Drag & drop

Overtime alerts

Automated scheduling

Shift trade requests



Pros

  Easy to use

Employees can log their availability or preferred shifts

Supports time-off requests



Cons

  Small glitches and bugs with the app

Lack of constant app updates



Pricing

Starting at $20/month per location. 



9. Monday.com

Best for: remote workers

Monday.com provides a scheduling feature that allows you to streamline your workflows and prioritize jobs and tasks each week. Using their time-tracking feature, you can also review where you spent most of your time, improving your productivity.



Key Features

  Shift notification

Available on desktop and mobile devices



Pros

 Offers a free version

Syncs with Google Calendar

Easy to use



Cons

 Complicated to set up

Frequent pricing increases

Not as ideal for firms with field crews



Pricing

Free for up to 2 users. 

Which Is The Best Employee Scheduling App For Your Small Business?

Every business is unique but if you have employees, you need to be able to manage their schedules in a way that saves you time and money. A good employee scheduling app will make scheduling quick and easy so you can spend more time focusing on growing your business.




Compare the Best Employee Scheduling Apps For Small Businesses



PricingFree Trial
Starts at just $3/month per user+ $20/month base fee.

Starts at $10 per 10 users/month. Billed annually. 

Starting at $2/month per user.

Starting at $2.99/month per user + $19 base fee. Billed annually. 

Starting at $2.50/month per user.

Starting at $5.50/month per user.

Starting at $59/month per user.

Starting at $20/month per location. 

Free for up to 2 users. 



FAQ For Scheduling Apps



What is the best way to schedule employees?

As technology continues to evolve and grow, having a cloud-based, real-time software solution for scheduling is becoming more popular and necessary. 

What is an employee scheduling app for small businesses?

An employee scheduling app for small businesses is a simple, efficient way to manage employee schedules from the desk, without any complicated processes.

What's the best employee scheduling app?

While there are plenty to choose from, we believe the versatility, ease-of-use, and customer support are just a few things that set ClockShark apart. Since it’s specially designed for the construction and field service industries, it solves a lot of problems for these organizations that other scheduling solutions don’t.



8,000+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

Get started today.