Running a business is no doubt an extremely difficult task. Often times, a small business is even harder to run. From accounting and paying your bills, to stocking shelves or maintaining a website. It all falls on your shoulders. It all becomes even more difficult if you have employees to manage. But a free employee scheduling software can help.
Technology has changed the way we do business in so many ways, and employee scheduling is no exceptions. Previously, you may have hired a third party human resources provider to manage these tasks for you. But today, we are lucky to have an abundance of free employee scheduling software to choose from. Some options are totally free, while some have free trials available. We are going to go over the best free employee scheduling software options online, but first let’s go over some basics.
- 1 What is employee scheduling software?
- 2 Why should you use an employee scheduling software?
- 3 The best free employee scheduling software
- 3.1 ZoomShift
- 3.2 Planday
- 3.3 FindMyShift
- 3.4 WhenToWork.com
- 3.5 ABC Roster
- 3.6 Droster
- 3.7 ClockIt Employee Scheduling Software
- 3.8 ShiftPlanning
- 4 Conclusion
What is employee scheduling software?
Employee scheduling software allows business owners to easily create, manage, and track employee schedules, work hours, and work roles. Some common features include:
- Time tracking
- Availability & schedule conflict warnings
- Multiple views (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Mobile apps
- Employee shift swaps
- Data exporting
Why should you use an employee scheduling software?
They usually have a visually appealing user interface that allows you to see a snapshot of the big picture. This makes it easy to be sure you are managing your employees efficiently. You can also make sure that each job role is filled at all times. Its simply much easier than old fashioned excel spreadsheets, or worse, hand written schedules.
The best free employee scheduling software
So now that we know a little bit about employee scheduling software, let’s begin!
ZoomShift is a work schedule maker and time clock software that is designed for managing your hourly employees. Because it performs so well, many industries that heavily rely on hourly employees are using ZoomShift. Cafe’s, retail stores, and bars are just a few examples. ZoomShift offers a 14-day free trial.
ZoomShift employee scheduling
The interface is simple and appealing. The view can be displayed by the Day, Week, or Month and it can be filtered to tailor it to your specific needs. A budgeting feature allows you to quickly see an hourly wage total as you build your schedule. Conflict warnings prevent you from scheduling when there is a conflict, and the templates feature allows you to easily save your most used schedules to save you time.
One of the most powerful features of ZoomShift’s employee scheduling software is the ability to communicate with your employees. Automatic notifications can be sent out via email or SMS when you schedule is built, and employees are able to update their availability, request time off, or swap swifts entirely on their own.
ZoomShift time clock
The time clock functionality allows business owners to easily track and audit their employee timesheets. The Scheduled vs. Actual feature compares the hours that an employee is scheduled to work to their actual worked hours. It also displays late and missed punches which improves payroll accuracy.
Data can be exported to your favorite accounting software, and virtually all pay period structures are supported. ZoomShift will boost the efficiency of your payroll system in addition to employee scheduling.
Planday is another excellent employee scheduling software. It has a nice colorful user interface that makes it easy to use. Some large organizations use Planday in their operations such as Best Western and Fitness World just to name a few.
Some basic features include employee availability, compliance warnings, and custom templates. A 30 day free trial is available, and no credit card is required.
Planday advanced employee management
The advanced employee management features allow you to manage clock-in features. For example, you can control where an employee is able to clock in from, or how early they are able to clock in.
The centralized employee data functionality is extremely powerful, and allows you to view an employee’s work history, timesheets, and payroll information in a centralized location. This makes it easy to streamline your employee management.
FindMyShift is a simple employee management software. There is a free plan that is available with limited features and a maximum of 5 employees. But don’t be fooled, the free version is still very powerful. The user interface is a drag and drop style, so it is easy to master.
Free platform features
Standard free features include a time clock, employee scheduling, timesheets, and shift reminders. The only major features missing from the free version of FindMyShift are templates and the ability to plan more than one week in advance. But if these features aren’t important to you, it can be a great free option.
Paid platform features
Perhaps the most unique paid feature of FindMyShift is the document storage. You can actually host your employee files and documents directly in the cloud, and don’t worry, they are protected by SSL. Upgrading to the paid plan also allows you to create templates and calculate payroll.
WhenToWork is a popular employee scheduling software, and it has a free trial period of 30 days. This one’s been around for a while, and the interface shows it. It isn’t the most modern looking software compared with some of the other options here. But it’s the features that matter the most, right?
WhenToWork employee scheduling features
The employee scheduling features are rich and powerful. You can create varied shifts and schedules, or repeating schedules if needed. Shifts can also be manually assigned, or automatically assigned to predetermined employee preferences. Employees can even log into the software and choose which of the available shifts they would like!
The interface is drag and drop, so it’s easy to use. You can upload your company logo to provide a branded portal, and you can choose from twelve different schedule views. The included company bulletin board feature allows you to post important messages for all employees to see. You can even filter the view between different departments or locations.
ABC Roster is a completely free employee scheduling software. It isn’t the most appealing package out there, but that is reflected by it’s free nature. The biggest drawback of ABC Roster is that it is only available in an offline package. Because of this, ABC Roster is meant more towards managing employee schedules and availability all on your own. Your employees won’t have access to a portal where they can manage those things on their own.
ABC Roster features
You can auto-generate schedules if things don’t change often, and you can manage all employee availability, time off, and other conflicts. A neat feature is the ability to export your schedule to a pdf or xls document. So if you are an old fashioned type that likes to hang a schedule on the bulletin board, this is a good option for you. You can also choose to have new schedules automatically emailed to your employees as you create them.
DRoster is another free employee schedule creator that is very similar to ABC Roster. It is a downloadable software, and there is a paid premium version available. A nice feature is that you can use the software for a trial period of 45 days. If you don’t want to purchase a license after the trial period, you can simply continue to use it in it’s free format. You won’t lose any of your data.
The free software allows you to schedule your employees 24/7 and has a useful schedule setup wizard to help you out on your first try. If you still have trouble, DRoster features an extremely helpful support system through email, phone, or through a live webshare session.
Clock-it online is another free employee scheduling software that also has multiple paid options. The free version includes all features, but limits you to a maximum of three employees. This is helpful because it allows you to grow into higher plans as you need to, without losing data or having to change software providers.
ClockIt user interface
The user interface is simple and modern. A colorful dashboard shows your current day’s shifts and employees who are working. You can also see a snapshot of pending leave requests. The agenda box is useful, and allows you to see the tasks for the day.
The standard features include:
- Online employee scheduling
- Meeting scheduling
- Time clock
- Private forum
- Management dashboard
If you are looking for the best employee scheduling software and you are fine with a paid option, you should try ShiftPlanning. The software is used by many large companies such as UBER, Ebay, and Cisco. It is the top rating scheduling software of 2016 according to their website, and it features a free trial so you can try it out.
The included features are extremely powerful yet easy to use. A drag and drop interface makes it easy to master. The automatic schedule creator will utilize entered employee availability and time off to generate a conflict free schedule.
Apps are available for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry, so all of your employees will be able to utilize ShiftPlanning’s features. 24/7 access to schedules and SMS or email reminders will help eliminate missed or forgotten shifts.
There are many free employee scheduling software options out there, and these are just a fraction of them. But from our research, these 8 seem to be the most popular choices. If the paid versions have features that you’d be interested in, they are extremely affordable for the most part. Utilizing an employee scheduling software is a low cost way to increase efficiency.