7 Best Shift Planning and Employee Scheduling Software in 2024

February 28, 2024
Hady ElHady
7 Best Shift Planning and Employee Scheduling Software in 2024

In every successful organization, there is a group of dedicated individuals who all contribute to driving the company towards its goals. But bringing together this team in perfect harmony is no easy task. It takes careful shift planning, smooth coordination, and having the right tools at your fingertips.

While efficient shift planning can bring many benefits to employers and businesses, inefficient shift planning and employee scheduling are equally harmful to your company's bottom line. They can greatly impact businesses, leading to significant financial losses and operational inefficiencies. In their pursuit of operational efficiency and increased productivity, companies are increasingly looking to technology for solutions.

This is where shift planning and employee scheduling software come into the picture! They are a game-changing solution that simplifies workforce management and maximizes your team's abilities. With the best staff scheduling software, you can let go of manual scheduling, never-ending spreadsheets, and eleventh-hour changes that cause frustration and stress.

However, with numerous options available in the market, business owners, HR managers, and team leaders might wonder how to choose the best one. In this blog post, we will discuss shift planning and employee scheduling software in detail. We will uncover their features and benefits and talk about the seven best staff scheduling software for your business.

What Are Shift Planning and Employee Scheduling Software?

Shift planning and employee scheduling software are digital tools that streamline the process of assigning shifts and managing work schedules. These solutions provide a centralized platform for managers to create, modify, and communicate schedules efficiently. By automating tasks and facilitating real-time communication, this software improves efficiency, reduces errors, and ensures optimal staffing levels.

Essentially, shift and staff planning software solutions act as a virtual command center for workforce management, allowing businesses to allocate resources, meet staffing requirements, and adapt to changing needs. These tools offer intuitive interfaces, customizable options, integration with other systems, and advanced reporting capabilities. These features allow businesses to streamline scheduling, enhance productivity, and drive better outcomes.

Features of a Good Shift Planning and Employee Scheduling Tool

Reliable shift planning and employee scheduling software should provide a wide range of features to accommodate the varying requirements of businesses in different industries. When considering shift planning and employee scheduling software for your business, make sure to consider the following essential features:

  • Intuitive User Interface: The software should feature an intuitive user interface, making it easy for managers to create and modify schedules efficiently.
  • Scheduling Capabilities: When searching for scheduling options, consider features like drag-and-drop, templates, and recurring shifts to streamline the process and create precise schedules effortlessly.
  • Customizability: Businesses require software with customizable features to meet their unique scheduling needs. Make sure the software you choose has many customization options. This will enable you or your HR manager to adapt the system according to their specific requirements and preferences.
  • Shift Swapping Functionality: The software should make it easy for employees to swap shifts, allowing them to adapt their schedules for personal preferences or unforeseen situations.
  • Self-Service Portals for Employees: They empower your employees to manage schedules, request time off, and swap shifts, reducing the administrative burden on managers.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Ensure your software can offer valuable insights into workforce trends with comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. This will help you make data-driven decisions to optimize scheduling practices, improving productivity and performance.
  • Seamless Integration: Easy integration with other software systems, like payroll and time tracking software, ensures smooth data transfer and workflow efficiency across various processes.

Benefits of Having the Best Staff Scheduling Software

Investing in top-notch staff scheduling software can bring about a revolutionary change in the way businesses manage their workforce. This can lead to a host of benefits, including increased efficiency, improved employee satisfaction, and, ultimately, better business outcomes.

Let's explore seven key advantages that come with implementing the best staff scheduling software:

1. Optimized Staffing Levels

The best staff scheduling software offers real-time visibility into employee availability, skills, and certifications. This helps businesses ensure they always have the right staff at the right time. With this software, managers can easily spot gaps in coverage and make proactive schedule adjustments to meet demand. This reduces the chances of being understaffed or overstaffed.

2. Increased Efficiency

Reliable staff scheduling software enhances efficiency by offering advanced features like drag-and-drop functionality, template-based scheduling, and automated shift assignments. This streamlines the scheduling process, saving managers precious time and effort. With reduced manual tasks and eliminated scheduling conflicts, businesses can operate more efficiently, allowing them to focus on their strategic priorities.

3. Effective communication

Clear and seamless communication is crucial for successful workforce management. With staff scheduling software, managers and employees can effortlessly communicate through automated notifications, messaging platforms, and centralized communication channels. This enhanced communication keeps everyone informed and connected, leading to improved collaboration, reduced miscommunication, and a more cohesive work environment.

4. Compliance and Accountability

When it comes to staff scheduling software, the best ones usually come with built-in compliance features. These features cover essential aspects such as labor law regulations, union rules, and industry-specific requirements. By incorporating these rules into the scheduling process, businesses can rest easy knowing they are following labor regulations and minimizing the chances of costly penalties or legal disputes.

Moreover, the software's detailed audit trails and reporting capabilities offer a great deal of accountability and transparency. They allow businesses to track changes, keep an eye on policy adherence, and identify areas that can be improved upon.

5. Data-driven Decision Making

Finally, with the best staff scheduling software, you can gain valuable insights using advanced reporting and analytics tools. By analyzing important metrics like labor costs, productivity levels, and employee attendance patterns, businesses can make informed decisions based on data. This helps optimize scheduling practices, identify trends, and forecast future staffing needs. As a result, businesses can proactively plan and make strategic decisions to enhance overall performance.

Top Online Staff Scheduling Software

Now that we have discussed everything else let's dive right in and explore seven top-notch online staff scheduling software options that are making waves in the industry. With user-friendly interfaces, powerful features, and seamless integrations, each of these platforms is designed to provide a distinct set of benefits that cater to the diverse needs of modern businesses.

1. Homebase

With its user-friendly interface and extensive range of features, Homebase has become a trusted solution for businesses of all sizes. Managers can easily create, modify, and communicate schedules in real time, making it a go-to tool for streamlined operations. It's a cloud-based platform that seamlessly synchronizes employee scheduling and time-tracking, streamlining schedule creation and management for managers. With an easy-to-use dashboard, businesses can efficiently manage multiple locations, add employees, edit schedules, and communicate with their teams if needed.

With Homebase, businesses have the convenience of importing schedules from previous weeks, setting employee wage rates, and ensuring compliance with labor laws. To provide maximum flexibility, Homebase is also available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. It seamlessly integrates with other workforce management apps such as payroll, POS, and applicant tracking systems, offering businesses an all-inclusive solution.

By integrating with POS systems, users can effortlessly view labor costs per shift, reducing overhead expenses. Furthermore, managers gain valuable insights by accessing sales data, allowing them to identify key employees who contribute to driving sales. We are also thoroughly impressed with Homebase's offers of a two-way communication system for employees. This feature allows them to message one another, pick up shifts for their colleagues, or propose shift swaps.

Pricing: Homebase's Basic plan is completely free for you. Its paid plans start at $20 per month for an unlimited number of employees.

2. Zoho People

Zoho People, within the Zoho suite of business applications, provides a comprehensive HR solution that includes powerful scheduling features. What sets Zoho People apart is its ability to adapt to different businesses and industries with its customizable templates.

You can design and customize periodic rotations per your company's unique scheduling structure. You'll also have the option to include allowances. Additionally, you can conduct employee reviews and receive comprehensive 360-degree feedback to assess performance. This allows businesses to create schedules that perfectly match their unique needs and industry requirements.

With Zoho People, you can effortlessly gather attendance data from various sources, avoiding any mistakes caused by manual input. The platform offers the flexibility to personalize schedules, leave types, and timesheets to fit your needs. A great thing about Zoho People is that it promptly addresses any employee inquiries, streamlines HR tasks with automated email alerts, and configures intelligent workflows.

Zoho People seamlessly integrates with other Zoho applications like Zoho CRM and Zoho Books. It offers businesses a centralized platform to manage all their HR and scheduling needs.

Pricing: The monthly plan begins at just $1 per employee per month.

3. Sling

Sling is a free employee scheduling software that is perfect for small to mid-sized businesses that operate in shifts. Whether you're in retail, restaurants, education, or construction, Sling is here to help you focus more on your people and less on paperwork.

No matter if you have a team of one or a hundred, Sling makes scheduling a breeze unlike any other free options available. It's the simplest way to schedule and communicate with your employees, and the best part is it's completely free!

This excellent retail staff scheduling software provides you with all the necessary and user-friendly tools you'd expect from a scheduling tool. You can create to-do lists and assign them by name, group, location, or position. You can even set due dates and receive reminders as the completion time approaches.

It also has a fantastic app for you. What's more, with Sling, you can get guidance on avoiding conflicts. With up-to-date availability and time-off requests, Sling keeps you informed and even sends notifications for overlapping shifts or double bookings.

Pricing: With Sling, you can access a free plan with limited features. Its paid plans start from $1.70 per user per month.

4. TimeClock Plus

TimeClock Plus is a fantastic time and attendance software that eliminates the hassle of managing your employees' time and schedules. What impressed us the most is how flexible it is for both admins and users. As an admin, you have complete control over configuring specific rules for your employees and easily handling multiple pay periods and overtime rates. The software also offers advanced capabilities like shift swapping, allowing employees to trade shifts with colleagues seamlessly.

Additionally, TimeClock Plus provides powerful reporting and analytics tools, providing valuable insights into labor costs, overtime trends, and productivity metrics. Its integration with payroll systems guarantees accurate and timely processing of employee hours, reducing administrative tasks and minimizing errors. Furthermore, TimeClock Plus offers mobile apps for both managers and employees. The app offers remote access to schedules, time tracking, and communication features, making it an ideal solution for businesses with remote or mobile workforce requirements.

Pricing: Pricing details are available upon request.

5. When I Work

When I Work is an incredibly versatile employee scheduling software that aims to make workforce management a breeze for businesses of any size. Its intuitive interface and user-friendly features are designed to simplify the process of creating, editing, and distributing schedules. When it comes to repetitive scheduling, WhenIWork offers the convenience of designing shift templates or using simple copy-paste features to duplicate submitted information.

Additionally, the software offers convenience to employees by enabling them to view their schedules, request time off, and effectively communicate with their team members through the mobile app. With this app, adding or removing employees is a breeze. Plus, you can communicate quickly using the in-app messaging system. If there are any issues or changes with your schedule, you'll receive prompt feedback.

This fosters a sense of collaboration and transparency in the workplace, making it a valuable tool for businesses to streamline their scheduling processes.

Pricing: Its plans start from $2.50 per user.

6. 7Shifts

7Shifts is your specialized employee scheduling software built exclusively for the restaurant industry. Its tailored features are designed to tackle the unique scheduling challenges restaurants face. Whether it's managing multiple shifts, accommodating employee availability, or handling last-minute schedule changes, 7Shifts has got you covered.

Its intuitive drag-and-drop scheduling makes it a breeze for managers to create and adjust schedules to match fluctuating demand. But it's not just about making scheduling easier for managers. The software also empowers employees with our mobile app. They can easily swap shifts, request time off, and communicate with their team, all in one convenient place. This enhances collaboration and boosts employee engagement.

So, if you're a restaurant owner or manager, 7Shifts is the invaluable tool you need to optimize your scheduling processes and improve operational efficiency. However, note that 7Shifts is only suitable for very small restaurants with five or fewer employees. So, if your workforce is larger than this, free employee scheduling software might not be for you.

Pricing: Along with a completely free plan, 7Shifts offers several budget-friendly pricing options as well. Its plans start from $29.99 per month.

7. FindMyShift

FindMyShift is a helpful web-based free staff scheduling software that makes scheduling easier with its intuitive drag-and-drop calendar interface. True to its name, FindMyShift helps you find the perfect person for any job at any time. The software is designed to meet the needs of businesses in different industries, including retail, healthcare, hospitality, and more.

With its user-friendly interface and customizable features, scheduling becomes a breeze. Managers can effortlessly create, share, and manage schedules with ease. FindMyShift also provides powerful scheduling capabilities like shift templates, recurring schedules, and multi-location support, making it an ideal solution for businesses with complex scheduling requirements.

The software also has some great time-tracking features. Employees can easily clock in and out, and managers can keep an eye on attendance and hours worked in real time. FindMyShift's communication tools make collaborating between managers and employees a breeze. It keeps everyone informed and engaged. So, whether you are looking for healthcare staff scheduling software, event staff scheduling software, or construction staff scheduling software, FindMyShift can be a fantastic choice.

Pricing: FindMyShift offers a completely free plan. Its paid plans start from $25 per team per month.


In conclusion, the right shift planning and employee scheduling software can have a huge impact on efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction in your organization. The top contenders in this field offer user-friendly interfaces, powerful features like drag-and-drop scheduling, shift swapping, and advanced reporting capabilities. They provide a variety of benefits to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, whether you're a small startup, a large enterprise, or in a specialized industry like restaurants or healthcare. You can find a scheduling solution that suits your unique requirements.

However, effective workforce management goes beyond just scheduling. It's also about identifying and nurturing top talent to drive your organization forward. That's where HiPeople comes in!

HiPeople offers a comprehensive solution with an AI-powered talent assessment tool and an extensive Talent Assessment Library. The platform covers a wide range of hard skills, soft skills, and cognitive abilities. These include Advanced Java Assessments, Communication Skills Tests, Critical Thinking Assessments, and more. With HiPeople, businesses can make informed hiring decisions and build high-performing teams. So, if you are looking for top talent to fuel your organization's growth, HiPeople is here to help you succeed. Get Started for free today!