Staff scheduling and planning the shift roster is a difficult task for any organization. It is time-consuming yet imperative, as overstaffing or understaffing can lead to overhead costs. On the other hand, too many overtime hours can exhaust workers and make them less productive.
For a productive work culture and higher efficiency, organizations can trust shift roster and staff scheduling tools. These tools can help manage workforce activities like swapping shifts, changing schedules, distributing schedules, and managing labor costs. This article discusses some of the best options (free and paid) for roster creation and staff scheduling.
Paper-Based Staff Scheduling Software Vs. Shift Roster Software
Paper-based staff scheduling simply needs a pen and a sheet of paper. There is no requirement for any training or knowledge of computer software or related systems. However, you cannot share the paper-based shift roster with all the workers easily. You have to create a copy for each employee and share it individually.
Paper-based staff scheduling is a highly time-consuming and repetitive process. You have to start from scratch every time for a new schedule. If you make changes, you have to repeat the process of creation, printing, and distribution.
On the other hand, there are modern-age shift roster software solutions. You can get shift roster software for free or by purchasing a subscription plan as per your needs. It might take some time to implement and understand the software; however, it’s a smart investment.
Shift scheduling software automatically creates work schedules for different shifts. Also, the staff schedule is distributed electronically to everyone digitally.
Staff scheduling software helps maximize productivity and optimize labor costs with shift roster and employee scheduling software. It reduces the use of paper and helps you go eco-friendly.
The software can be accessed on both desktop and mobile devices. Advanced shift roster software that caters to your industry can further simplify and streamline the process with additional features.
While paper-based staff scheduling may seem like a beneficial option to someone starting out, shift roster software saves time and money in the long run. The benefits of shift roster software far outweigh those of paper-based staff scheduling.
Key Features of Shift Roster Tools & Staff Scheduling Software
Some of the core features of shift roster tools and staff scheduling software are:
The main purpose of staff scheduling software is to automate the schedule creation process. The software takes all variables like budget, worker preferences and skills, and more to schedule the shifts. Auto-scheduler can do this automatically, even for multiple locations and seasonal demands.
Users can manage several types of shifts. Employees can set their availability and, in some cases, even book the open slots on their own for managers to approve. Advanced shift management software even sends alerts in case of conflicts.
The software keeps absence information for each employee. It also keeps track of holidays. There is a centralized dashboard where employees can raise time off requests for managers to approve.
Shift work scheduler helps prevent proxy attendance and ensures accurate reporting times. It also accounts for overtime, travel time, and so on. Some of them even support GPS tracking and biometric integration for verification.
The shift roster software stores all relevant information about each employee, including the location, availability, roster, and position in a hierarchy. Employees and their managers can view the necessary information whenever they want.
Budget and Payroll:
Staff roster software collects time and attendance data for payroll calculation. This makes the salary calculation for employees easier.
With staff scheduling software, employees can manage their own schedules through options like claiming open shifts, trading shifts, managing clock-in, and clock-out, among others.
Shift planning software provides in-depth reports for actionable insights in a dashboard view with real-time updates. The reports show the effect of scheduling plans on the overall organization.
The data is easy to visualize and share with other stakeholders in the form of images, spreadsheets, etc. This can help in identifying the gaps in the process.
Staff planning software supports several third-party app integrations. This includes workforce management software, payroll software, accounting software, HR software, and so on.
List of Best Shift Roster Tools and Staff Scheduling Software
- Acuity Scheduling
- When I Work
- APS Online
- Google Workspace
Humanity software enables employees to schedule their shifts on their own. Employees get reminders before their shifts, and managers get notified if they do not complete their shifts. Based on the availability of staff, time off requests get added automatically into the schedule.
Other features include a time clock for tracking worker hours, demand-based scheduling, auto-scheduling using custom variables like preferences, compliance management, among others.
You can also access Humanity software on the go via iOS and Android app. To ensure accurate attendance at the time of payroll processing, you can integrate this work scheduling software with HCM solutions like Bamboo HR, Workday, and more.
Humanity Software Price: Humanity software offers a free trial where you have access to all the features. The starter plan is priced at INR 220.746 for each user per month when billed annually.
There is a minimum charge of INR 5887 per month for both Starter and Classic plans. Pricing for the Enterprise plan is available on request.
Deputy work scheduling software enables users to create schedules and share them via SMS, app, or web. It is possible to build recurring schedule templates to save time, and you can add multiple breaks in shifts for rest times and meals.
You have the option to share posts across the entire company or department. Managers get notified automatically when a staff member completes the task assigned to them. There is a single dashboard to manage unavailability, approvals, and so on.
Other features include leave management, time clock, shift swaps, employee demand forecast, among others.
Deputy scheduling software works on Windows, iOS, Android. It can integrate with numerous third-party software like Dropbox, Paycor, Lightspeed, ADP, among others.
Deputy Software Pricing: It offers a free trial of 31 days. The price for Scheduling, Time, and Attendance plan starts at INR 184.025 per user per month for a monthly subscription.
Workforce scheduling software allows users to create flexible shifts without compromising with the workflow. You can use forecasted demands to prepare staffing for promotional events, seasonal spikes, and so on.
Qualified workers can be automatically identified and contacted for unexpected vacant shifts in a single click. You can create templates for recurring schedules to save time. Schedules for each employee can be created based on different constraints like preferences, qualifications, time limits, performance, etc.
You can also add meal breaks and rest breaks in non-peak hours. Workforce software is highly configurable and helps in automating custom rules that meet legal requirements. With the audit trail, you can check the timing of previous changes.
It is also GDPR compliant to ensure data privacy. This staff planning software also offers integration with third-party ERP and HCM solutions.
Price: Pricing is available on request at techjockey.com.
Acuity Scheduling software is easy to use and supports multi-location scheduling for different time zones. It has features like rollover of appointments, which enable users to schedule in emergencies.
The reporting dashboard gives detailed reports of performance, appointments, and unapproved absences. You can embed the scheduler into your website or share your calendar with clients through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Other features include client self-scheduling, follow-up emails, text reminders, and so on.
Acuity shift planning software is popular among online course creators and consultants. It also offers customization for branding. You can manage financial transactions with Square, PayPal, or Stripe. It works with MailChimp, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Zoom, MS Office 365, and other integration options.
Acuity Scheduling Pricing: This staff planning software is available at a 7-day free trial. The pricing starts at INR 1034.180 per month when billed annually in the Emerging plan. You can go for Powerhouse or Growing plans too.
TSheets or QuickBooks Time is an employee scheduling and time tracking software used by retail, healthcare, event management, and other industries.
You can create daily, weekly, or monthly schedules easily with the drag and drop feature. Employees get notifications and alerts whenever there are any changes in their work schedule.
You can also save the schedule template for recurring use in this staff roster software. Access to features is role-based, and only those permitted can assign or create shifts.
The TSheets app can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices. With GPS-based time tracking on the app, you can monitor the location of employees during their shifts. In case of employee absence or late check-in, managers get notified.
TSheets Pricing: You get a free trial for 30 days. Pricing starts with a Premium Plan at INR 738.700 per month, which doubles after 3 months. You can also go for the Elite plan. A base fee of INR 590.960 must be paid for any plan.
HR professionals use Paycor software to create daily or weekly custom rules based on the organization’s requirements. You can also set minimum rest times to ensure that you are legally compliant and achieve high productivity. You can edit the schedules anytime with the shift scheduler and save templates for speeding up the process.
Managers can send reminders via email to employees. The software can also analyze the data and help reduce labor expenses by aligning staffing needs with suitable workers. It has advanced reporting features to help HR managers understand variables like time and costs. It can even help in budget planning by forecasting future costs.
Paycor work schedule planner has a mobile app for employees to get notifications and access their schedules. Employees can also set their availability and choose their pick-up times through the Paycor app in real-time.
Paycor Pricing: Paycor pricing starts at INR 7307.091 per month for less than 40 employees if you opt for the basic plan.
Planday shift scheduling software lets users create weekly or monthly shift rosters based on the skill of workers and save them as templates for reuse. You can easily view employee-wise time duration and corresponding salary details on the dashboard. This makes it easy to optimize the schedule and reduce the overall cost.
With the employee self-service feature, staff members can adjust their schedules on their own, while managers can simply approve or reject the requests. You can message individual employees or groups. It has a mandatory read feature for critical notifications. The software works with ADP, Tenzo, Fortnox, Visma Lön, Xero, and so on.
The Planday app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices so that workers can stay up to date. It includes features for payroll processing, communication, vacation management, time tracking, and more.
Planday Pricing: You can get a 30-day free trial before purchasing this staff roster software. The starter plan is available at INR 172.389 per user if you get the annual subscription.
Kronos is an AI-powered scheduling and labor forecasting solution for ensuring balanced workloads. There is a centralized location for accessing shift rosters, time-off data, holiday lists, and more.
The home page lets you quickly check staff status. It also makes complying with complex scheduling rules easier. You can meet company-specific contracts and agreements as well as country-based regulations.
Kronos shift roster tool can predict both high volume and low volume demands which improves scheduling accuracy. This shift planning software analyses previous patterns and aligns with location requirements, market changes, and business goals.
Managers also get interactive reports which help them analyze issues and opportunities. The data is shown in an Excel-like format and can be used to create graphs, charts, and more.
Both employees and managers have complete access to all the features on the Kronos app for the shift roster. This makes it possible to view schedules and select shift preferences on the go.
Kronos Pricing: Custom pricing for this shift scheduling software is available on request at techjockey.com.
WorkSchedule staff scheduling software is used in sectors like retail, healthcare, among others. You can define a default schedule and use it as a template with a rotation cycle of any period you want.
Workschedule lets managers assign the most suitable employees for each shift automatically.
The staff gets reminders and schedule change alerts via text and email. You can export the time tracking data directly into payroll systems like ADP, QuickBooks, PayChex, and so on.
WorkSchedule work schedule planner also has a mobile app where you can create multiple schedules at one time. You can use the app to listen to your schedule through automated voice if you are unable to read it on the go.
WorkSchedule Pricing: This shift work scheduler offers a 30-day free trial. There are different paid plans for monthly, one-year, and two-year subscriptions depending on the number of employees. Pricing starts at INR 1770.648 per month if there are fewer than 20 employees for two years.
When I Work
When I Work scheduling tool can be quickly implemented for any number of employees and locations. It enables managers to quickly match shifts with workers based on their availability and qualifications in a cost-effective manner. You get notified when a shift is picked up. You can also send instant updates to employees to avoid missed shifts.
Schedule templates from When I Work software help avoid schedule creation from scratch. You can set thresholds and get alerts for time limits. The auto-scheduling feature lets you create schedules with a single click.
Further, the labor forecasting feature helps in the real-time management of the labor budget. The shift work scheduler also offers numerous shortcuts to help employees quickly make scheduling changes.
You can access this staff planning software on Android and iOS devices to check team availability and status of tasks, manage time off, and fill or switch shifts.
When I Work Pricing: You can get a free trial or schedule a demo. The pricing starts at INR 147.406 per user for up to 100 employees.
APS is cloud-based scheduling software that caters to the hospitality sector, healthcare sector, manufacturing industry, non-profit organizations, and many others. There is no limit on the number of templates. You can create multiple templates for different departments, periods, and so on.
APS online shift scheduler is highly configurable, and you can plan multiple shifts for each employee. You can even assign several employees to the same shift. Employees can view their schedules on both desktop and mobile.
APS shift roster software provides total labor costs to help avoid understaffing or overstaffing situations. You have instant data on the number of employees needed for a shift in case of open shifts.
You also get in-depth reports showing the difference between actual working hours and the ones scheduled. Other features include clock enforcement, conflict/ late/ variance alerts, and so on.
APS Online Pricing: Pricing of this shift work scheduler is available on request at techjockey.com.
Free Shift Scheduling Software for Small Businesses
Asana is a free staff scheduling software for Kanban-style task scheduling to ensure the timely completion of projects. You can create custom rules for automatically setting due dates, assigning tasks to members, and so on. Kanban boards help in viewing the progress of ongoing tasks for multiple projects.
Using the timeline view, you can create a work schedule before starting a project. This plan considers all task dependencies in the workflow and can be shared with all project stakeholders.
With the calendar view, you can review and reschedule tasks for ongoing projects. It is easy to keep track of progress, find potential issues, adjust shifts, and see what tasks different members are working on in real-time. Another option is a list view to organize tasks, check due dates and high priority tasks, etc.
Check Asana Reviews for more insights
Asana shift scheduler offers integration with Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Slack, Jira, among others. If you integrate it with the Skedpal app, your calendar to-do list will be scheduled automatically. You can access Asana shift roster software via iOS and Android apps too.
Asana Pricing: The basic plan for this staff scheduling software is free for up to 15 people. Pricing for annual paid plans begins at INR 809.249 for each user per month. Eligible nonprofit organizations can get up to 50% discount on paid subscriptions.
Sling is an employee scheduling software, especially for the restaurant and retail businesses. You can use shift templates to create shifts quickly. Shift alarms help ensure that you meet your deadlines. It even notifies about double bookings and overlapping shifts to avoid confusion.
Employees can communicate with each other via messages/newsfeeds and share images, videos, and other files. This helps in ensuring that everyone is informed about new developments.
With the Sling shift roster tool, you can also create to-do lists, set their due dates and reminders for task completion. Other features include timesheets, geofencing, auto clock out, Google calendar sync, swap shifts, among others.
Sling staff scheduling software offers integration with third-party apps like Gusto, Shopify, Square, etc. Employees, supervisors, and managers can also use the Sling app for iOS and Android.
Sling Pricing: This free work schedule planner is for unlimited users and locations. Paid plans start at the rate of INR 147.200 for every user per month.
Wrike is a cloud-based, free staff scheduling software for small businesses. Wrike shift roster tool allows users to create tasks and connect them based on dependencies. You can plan project timelines and track the deadlines. You can even integrate a task timer, mark additional working days and vacation days, among others.
Gantt charts from Wrike allow team members to view project progress. Other task visualization features include spreadsheets, consolidated timesheets, and Kanban boards. You can make changes in the schedule based on real-time reports and analytics.
Wrike work schedule planner has in-built tools for collaboration among team members. It can integrate with apps like Trello, Gmail, and Slack. It also offers 1-10 GB cloud storage for each user, depending on the plan.
Wrike Pricing: It offers a free monthly plan for task management. For paid options, there is a 14-day trial. The pricing starts at INR 721.378 for each user per month in the Professional plan. You can also purchase a business and enterprise plan for additional features.
Homebase employee scheduling software offers templates to create half-day or full-day shifts quickly. You can make weekly adjustments and use the option of overtime. When you publish a schedule, all team members are notified via emails, texts, and app.
Employees also get reminders of upcoming shifts. Employees can trade shifts to fill slots on their own based on the free hours, add their availability, and request time off. Managers only have the task of approving.
Other features of Homebase’s free staff scheduling software include shift feedback options, safety alerts, labor cost optimization, and so on. It also offers integration with POS and payroll systems.
Check Wrike Software Reviews for more insights.
Homebase shift scheduling software integrates with Google Calendar, Gusto, Evernote, ADP, QuickBooks, Gmail, DropBox, and so on. This work schedule planner also works on Android and iOS.
Homebase Pricing: The basic plan of this free shift roster tools’ is for one location only. Paid plans start at INR 1033.935 per month for each location. You can also get a 14-day free trial.
Google Workspace is a productivity software suite. This shift planning software provides access to spreadsheets, calendars, and so on in the cloud. You can create your collaborative spreadsheets and use HR-based scheduling templates. This can help in reducing repetitive tasks and quicken the shift roster process.
With Gmail integration, it is easy to send schedules and other notifications to employees. Google Workspace shift roster software can also integrate with Google Slides, Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive, among others.
Managers and employees can view the schedules and shift rosters from a central location and make changes on the go.
Check Google Workspace Reviews for more insights.
With add-ons like Shift Scheduler from Google Workspace, you can automatically create the schedule in a spreadsheet.
Google Workspace Pricing: It is a free shift scheduling software for eligible educational institutions. Others can take a free trial of 14 days. The pricing of this staff scheduling software begins with Business Starter Plan at INR 125 per user every month.
How to Find the Best Shift Planning Tools and Work Scheduling Software
To find the best tool for shift planning and work scheduling, figure out your core issues. Then, based on your requirements, look for the solutions that have the following:
User-friendly interface: The staff roster software must have a user-friendly interface on both desktop and mobile. It should offer shortcuts, schedule templates, and an intuitive dashboard to easily create schedules and view relevant data.
Compliance: The shift roster tools should be compliant with the latest rules and regulations of the region, such as overtime and minimum wage laws. It should also suit the standards set by the company or partners in agreement regardless of the complexity.
Employee self-service: Employee self-service helps employees feel more in control of their schedules as they get the choice to pick up, trade, or drop shifts on their own. The employee self-service option also reduces the burden on managers as they simply have to approve requests.
Integration: The shift work scheduler must easily integrate with your HR and payroll systems to calculate the salaries of workers based on their working time.
Cost-effective: If you choose paid plans for scheduling automation tools, they should meet your industry/vertical-based demands. Choose the shift scheduling software that offers all the relevant features to your organization in a cost-effective and easily scalable plan.
Many vendors also provide demand forecasting and other reporting features, which help optimize schedules for cost savings.
These were some of the best shift roster tools and work scheduling software in the market. The tools work on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, facilitating easier implementation.
Whether you are a startup or enterprise, choosing the right scheduling software can significantly increase productivity.