Whether you’re a small business or a growing start-up, employees are the driving force behind keeping your customers happy and your business thriving. With so many people to count on, and some businesses running 24 hours a day, you have to make sure to keep on top of scheduling to keep things running smoothly. While people used to hire out the job of keeping track of all the available times and employees, or have a devoted five days a week HR department, nowadays everything can be automated with the help of the right program.
Just like when you shop for tools and supplies, you want to get the biggest bang without having to spend too much for the best results. The last thing you want to do is figure out exactly what your business needs, then spend hours searching through list to find what you need. With several programs with a great free trial period, it’s easy to look at our pros and cons list and figure out which one to give a try before committing to spending your hard earned money. With that in mind, here is our list of the best free employee scheduling software to start out with:
Available on Windows, Android devices, iOS and Linux, this cross platform program is great for people who have employees with multiple devices. The online clock that connects to the system allows seamless tracking on hours worked, the ability to import and export information, and the feature of allowing employees the ability to switch shifts when needed, this tool is a great one to start with.
The ease of use and the ability to have all slots filled by tuning it to the employee availability makes this a tool that unifies Management and employee goal of keeping things running smoothly. With a very low monthly subscription fee, this program is one of the most effective and cost effective for small businesses starting out.
You can find the link to their mobile version here. They have a version for both employers and employees.
Pros: Online time tracking, import and export to multiple platforms, employee shift switching, good for small and large businesses, 30 Day free trial to try it out, subscription is very cost effective.
Cons: Requires Internet connection for online features, trial is only 30 days
Cost: 30 day trial period for free, then cost $2 a month for starter and $4 a month for pro. You can find out more about pricing here.
With a massive online support system, tons of user created and site created YouTube videos to learn the ins and outs, and a smooth user interface, WhenToWork makes the learning curve easier when discovering all the perks of this program. With a supportive team of customer service representatives, and an in depth FAQ, help is always at your fingertips. This program is better suited to bigger businesses then smaller, with the overhead cost being a little steep for a start up.
If you have the funds, this program is perfect for businesses with a roster of ten or more employees, or businesses that span across time zones as it makes it easier to keep track of all employees across the board.
Pros: Create, view, change and track scheduling easy, tons of YouTube videos, testimonials from customers, free mobile apps, great customer support team, and online FAQ with in depth help
Cons: Cost is higher, prices vary based on number of employees being tracked
Cost: Free 30-day trial, then pricing varies depending on number of employees being tracked. Full chart of prices can be seen here.
With cross platform adaptability and noted businesses indorsments, this program makes syncing between devices quick and easy. Not only is one of the highest rated apps in both the Google store and App Store, it’s also optimized to run in Chrome, Firefox and Safari. The interface is super simple and easy to read, and because of its open interface it’s easier for managers and employees to communicate.
With a clean and easy to use website, and tutorial videos easy to find, this was made for the business on the go. Their technical support is also available online 24/7. It also allows the users to customize notice alerts and settings, and control which notifications they receive.
Pros: Multiplatform, free apps that sync with main database, Time Clock ad Timesheets, Timesheet Calculator
Cons: Pricing changes depending on number of employees, possible price changes in the future
Cost: Free for 14 days, then price ranges depending on number of employees and plan. Prices are listed here.
With start up businesses and small privet businesses having less capital to start, finding this free gem is sure to be a boon. With Dropster you can have employees fill out their available times, restrictions and request for time off and Dropster will adjust the line up with the available data. Seamless intergration allows for off-the-cuff changes to not stop you from having scheduling done, as the program uses all the employee input to its advantage.
Since this allows employees to have more direct contact with scheduling, this frees up time for managers and lowers overhead cost.
Pros: Easy to use, allows employee input, can adapt on the fly for call-ins, states it can save you 85% of the time normally used to schedule, easy to learn, clean interface
Cons: trial version is only 45 uses, can’t export list for possible use with another program
Cost: You get 45 uses for free before having to pay to continue; pricing varies depending on users licenses with more information here.
Noted as one of the Totally Free programs on this list, ABC Roaster have a simple, clean interface that allows for easy scheduling of employee activities. With the ability to import from PDF, HTML and Microsoft Excel, ABC makes it super simple to import already existing scheduling timesheets or import from most other systems into this one.
Instead of asking for payment, it is highly suggested to Donate to them, seeing how they develop this free program and make all the future updates free as well.
Pros: Totally free, import multiple forms, simple interface, export clean easy-to-read schedule, can put in employee constraints for easier adjustments
Cons: Continued work in progress, not as many flashier features of paid-for programs
Cost: Free Indefinitely
With an online interface, Clockit makes it easy to check schedules and change timesheets on the go. You can create and share rosters, get team input for faster and more integrated scheduling, manage leave request as they happen and keep track of time on the clock from anywhere with a internet connection. Built for smaller businesses, this program covers from 4 to 10 employees at a time.
Pros: Have employees clock in from anywhere with an Internet connection, inexpensive, ideal for small businesses
Cons: Internet required, no apps for mobile devices, only works for 4 to ten members, features are extremely limited
Cost: $8 for the program.
ShiftPlanning allows you to eliminate the amount of human error possible in your timesheets by allowing the program to input allowances, take into consideration the constraints of employees, and centralizing all of your important HR scheduling in one place. The integrated time clock allows for seamless tracking of trends in employee attendance and tardiness.
Along with scheduling and time clock tracking, you can also process staff payroll without worry of human error, eliminating over or underpaying your staff. You can also pull reports in real time and print them out easily for perfect updating of records in no time.
Pros: Notifications of scheduling changes to employees, takes minutes to run, integrated time clock, reference all important HR documents in one place, easily keep track of payroll, mobile device friendly
Cons: Cost per month is higher then most, limited to paying options
Cost: 30 day free trial, after which prices vary depending on plan.
Created with restaurants in mind, HotSchedules is an all-in-one scheduling, communicating and management app. Features such as time-off request, availability, along with sales and guest date from point-of-sales, you can make informed decisions on who and when to schedule employees. Founded in Austin, Texas, this app has been in progress, adapting to the city since the 1990s.
This app will allow you to keep track of minutes; the site states it can save you $200 to $400 dollars per pay period. By cutting the amount of time required to sort out files, this app can save you time but that is relative to the time you would normally spend filling out spreadsheets and time clock organizing.
Pros: Mobile supported, relatively cheap price for smaller businesses, notifications and online 24/7 support
Cons: Isn’t very highly rated, app fails or crashes according to reviews, is more expensive if you have more then 50 employees at a time
Cost: 30 day free trial, after which pricing varies depending on number of employees
From Food service to retail, this program is noted as being able to work across a variety of industries. With open employee involvement, employees can sign up for open shift, use their mobile device to check their schedule, or call the scheduling hotline for help, tell employers their availability online, request time off and their working preferences from their mobile device. This program makes it easy to schedule day and night shifts, keep track of employee preferences and access the workschedule.com 24/7/365 from any device that can connect to the net.
With Payroll integration that allows seamless merging with SurePayroll, ADP, PayChex, or QuickBooks, this program makes it easy to track hours and keeps all your HR files organized and easy to follow.
Pros: Works with all types of businesses, can be accessed from any internet connection, allows employees to put in for time off via mobile device, has apps for multiplatform, 24/7 customer service
Cons: More expensive for larger businesses, learning curve for newer members, only can use the Payroll with approved programs
Cost: 30-Day free trial, then it pays for based on number of employees. According to their charts it’s cheaper to prepay for a year then monthly, but you can read it here and decide.
With mobile app and the ability to send notifications to employees, Tsheets is one of the best ways to keep employees updated on scheduling changes and on time. With a drag-and-drop interface that allows for simple adjustments, Tsheets makes it easy to keep employees updated to their shifts with notifications directly to their mobile device. Real businesses testimonials make it easy to see why they like this app.
With the ability to get a month’s scheduling done in a single day, a clean interface that is simply to use and has intuitive controls, it’s easy to get scheduling done in less time. With the optional GPS tracking, time card options and job and shift scheduling, this app is perfect for the business on the go.
Pros: GPS On the clock tracking, saves time, low cost considering all the features, good online support, help with setup and training, perfect for delivery businesses
Cons: Cost more for larger businesses
Cost: Free 14-day trial, after which is a base price of $20 for the first month and $4 a month. Pricing varies depending on number of employees using the program. Pricing can be found here.
Find What Fits Your Business
Running a business is hard enough without worrying over having the right people for the shifts you need, so go ahead, take a long look at this list and find what fits your style, and your budget. With these programs and apps you are sure to find the right fit to keep your business moving forward. If you have comments or suggestions for add on please feel free to leave comments, and we’ll add them to our listing.