Best Employee Scheduling Software | 4 mins read

How to Find the Best Employee Scheduling Software

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Best Employee Scheduling Software


Like most business processes, scheduling employees can take up a lot of time and energy. Managers need to review employee availability, time-off requests, and labor budgets to ensure they have a productive schedule. To streamline this process, many companies are adopting technology tools made for scheduling. The best employee scheduling software also has features that will automate shift planning and boost productivity.

Pros and Cons of Employee Scheduling Methods

There are many techniques business owners can adopt to make employee schedules. Some of the most common methods include the following.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Traditional Paper and Pen

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Paper-based scheduling involves handwriting time tables, charts, and calendars. Managers using this method will manually write employee names, their duties, and breaks on a sheet of paper.

  • Pros - This method is cost-saving and less complex, compared to other techniques. Employees just need to write down their availabilities and shift preferences and turn them in to the schedule manager.

  • Cons - A disadvantage of manually creating schedules is its high chance of human error. For example, managers can easily overstaff shifts, schedule too much overtime, or not comply with labor rules. Additionally, when the business grows with more staff members, it can be more difficult to create schedules.

Excel Spreadsheets or Google Sheets

Small businesses and restaurants will often depend on Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheets for shift scheduling. This process is more modern, in contrast to paper and pen methods.

  • Pros - Using an online word processing program for scheduling will allow for more accessibility. Employees and managers can access schedules straight from their phones or remote desktop. Excel and Google also have algorithms that will help automate compensation calculations.

  • Cons - Using online spreadsheets requires a lot of manual data entry and diligence. This can take up a lot of time and energy for management teams. Similar to traditional handwritten techniques, this process can result in human errors.

Employee Scheduling Software

Workforce management software with scheduling functions is the latest tool for shift assignments. Managers can purchase a program via subscription and automate their entire work scheduling process.

  • Pros - Scheduling software systems streamline staffing, ensuring shifts have the right balance of employees at all times. It also helps reduce errors with its automation technology and intuitive design. In turn, managers can optimize their payroll processes, cut labor costs, and ensure labor compliance. These solutions also have other features that restaurants and other service companies can leverage, such as team messaging and real-time notifications.

  • Cons - Unlike previous methods, scheduling software can be costly, depending on a business's budget. Additionally, businesses that are looking to transition from Excel or paper methods will have to restructure their scheduling processes to use the software.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

How to Know You've Found the Right Employee Scheduling Software

There are many different types of employee scheduling software solutions in the market. What sets most of these systems apart is their cost, intuitiveness, and purpose. A key way for managers to know if they have selected the right software for their business is its features. Some of the best modules that employee scheduling solutions need include the following.

Employee Management

Employee scheduling software should have a labor-management tool that centralizes all key information. This includes employee names, availabilities, and duties. Companies with multiple departments and locations can use this module to manage staff from all their worksites. Having all information synced into one system will make it easier to cross-reference and allow for schedule-related decisions at any time.

Schedule Maker

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An integral component of a scheduling system is a schedule maker. The best systems will automatically create schedules based on employee availability, labor budgets, and time off requests. With this, the software removes any guesswork from the scheduling process. Other features of a schedule maker include a drag and drop interface, calendar view, and schedule templates. These modules make it easier to build and view shift assignments.

Shift Management


A robust scheduling solution will offer users the ability to manage their shifts through the interface. This includes picking up open shifts, changing employee availability, swapping shifts, and requesting time off. It should also give managers warnings when there are scheduling conflicts and when employees need shift replacements.

Mobile Compatibility

The right software allows managers and users to access the interface on mobile smartphones and laptops. Managers can use this feature to make schedules while on the go. Employees can also view and change their schedules comfortably from any remote location.

Data Reporting and Analytics

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Scheduling software with data reporting and analytics will provide management with valuable insights about their scheduling, labor costs, and employees. This module often includes dashboards, easy-to-read trend analysis, and custom reports. Managers can use this information to improve scheduling and labor management.

Key Takeaways to Best Employee Scheduling Software

  • Employee scheduling software is an online solution that automates shift planning and assignment.
  • There are different methods for scheduling employees, such as pen and paper and Excel.
  • The most common and modern way to create work schedules is employee scheduling software.
  • Some of the key features this software solution should have include employee management and data reporting.

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