20 Free Employee Scheduling Software Tools | 2022
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If you have more than one employee, you need employee scheduling software for small business. In this article, the workforce management experts at Sling compare available apps to help you find the best solution for your company.
Employee scheduling has gone well beyond the simple act of placing names in time slots to now include advanced practices, such as:
The best employee scheduling software for small business incorporates all of those elements (and more) into one powerful app that helps you manage and optimize your workforce for maximum productivity and efficiency.
Some old-school managers swear that the word processor is the best employee scheduling software simply because they’ve been using it for a long time (and they haven’t really tried anything else).
But apps like Microsoft Word and Apple Pages were created with the written word in mind. They certainly weren’t meant for scheduling, nor do they make the process any easier. That puts them just a small step above pen and paper — the most basic scheduling tool there is.
While a word processor like Word or Pages may be just a small step above pen and paper, a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers could be considered a small jump above the very basic method.
That makes a spreadsheet app a more common replacement but still not ideal as employee scheduling software for small business.
One of the benefits of a spreadsheet app is that it isn’t restricted by the formatting problems that plague word processors. Spreadsheet apps allow users to resize rows, columns, and even individual cells in a much simpler and more-straightforward manner.
That doesn’t mean that it won’t take you a fair chunk of time to get everything right for your schedule, but the process should be considerably easier with a spreadsheet app.
As employee scheduling software goes, Google Docs is pretty much the same as a word processor.
The nice thing about Google Docs is that it’s cloud-based. This means employees can access the schedule at any time or in any place. For you, it means distribution is easier, as is receiving change requests and making alterations.
Google Sheets is a step up from Google Docs in that it already has the columns, rows, and cells formatted and ready to go. This removes one big step from the scheduling chore and makes Sheets one of the first work schedule apps that many turn to.
Google Sheets gives you the flexibility and ease of alteration that comes with a spreadsheet, along with the streamlined distribution and alteration that comes with cloud-based apps.
Spreadsheets, though, were created for database manipulation and accounting. As a result, Google Sheets doesn’t address many of the most common employee scheduling needs.
Google Calendar combines the simplicity of a calendar view with the accessibility of a cloud-based work schedule app. For you, the manager, the calendar view means the process of scheduling will be simpler and more intuitive.
For your employees, the calendar view makes the completed schedule easy to understand, reducing confusion over who works when.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that Google Calendar can be difficult to use if you have more than a few employees. It, like so many other calendar apps, was created to schedule activities for a single user.
Because of that, it doesn’t have many of the features that a growing business might need.
Calendar software like Microsoft Outlook can be an excellent replacement for pen and paper, word processors, spreadsheets, and their cloud-based counterparts.
While Microsoft Outlook is a large step in the right direction, it still shouldn’t be classified as the best employee scheduling software for small business.
For one thing, Outlook was made to coordinate the activities of a single user. Because of that, it can be a bit difficult when you need to schedule more employees than you can count on one hand.
For another thing, Microsoft Outlook wasn’t created with overlapping shifts, rotating shifts, night shifts, and other complicated scheduling practices in mind. Remember: It was intended for one person who could only be in one place at a time.
Trello is another free tool that you can use to make organizing your team easier. Trello, though, is more of a task or to-do list than a full-service employee scheduling tool.
Yes, you can attach documents, spreadsheets, and files to Trello cards, but this is more of a distribution channel than an app that can actually streamline and simplify the scheduling process.
Doodle is a simple employee scheduling app that can be pressed into service as a way to keep track of the shifts your team members work. This app doesn’t offer many features, so multiple shifts and other complicated scheduling may exceed its abilities.
But for a small business with only a few employees, this may be a nice transition from pen and paper (or spreadsheet) toward a more advanced scheduling solution.
For those who want more focused employee scheduling software, the Inch app is the perfect task management and time tracking solution.
While it doesn’t work as a weekly, monthly, or quarterly shift scheduling solution, it does excel at keeping your employees focused on day-to-day tasks, simplifying communication, and allowing your team to perform a wide variety of tasks from their tablet or phone, including:
Sling is scheduling software designed specifically with you, the busy manager, in mind.
The Sling app combines the simplicity of a calendar view and the easy distribution of cloud-based technology with a whole host of other features that will transform scheduling into the easiest job you’ve got.
You can check off the essential components at the top of this article because Sling has them all. That makes Sling the best employee scheduling software for small businesses.
In addition to multiple-location control, easy time-and-attendance functionality, and clock-in, clock-out geofencing, Sling is packed with intuitive tools — like employee and task color coding, recurring shifts, and time-off notices.
Sling even allows you to quickly and easily notify your employees about no-shows and available shifts with advanced communication features and push notifications sent directly to their phones.
On top of all the tools dedicated to the employee scheduling process itself, Sling also acts as your own scheduling personal assistant. Sling will keep an eye on your work and notify you when there are conflicts (e.g., overlapped shifts or double-booked employees) in your schedule.
You can also monitor labor costs and paid time off in real time as you schedule. This cuts down on the number of changes necessary after the schedule is complete and allows you to create the best restaurant schedule the first time through.
These features (and many more) make Sling the best employee scheduling software for small businesses of all types and sizes.
Another benefit of the best employee scheduling software for small business on the market today is that you can try it for free without obligation.
It only takes a minute to register and receive:
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.