What Is The Best Employee Scheduling App In 2021?

What Is The Best Employee Scheduling App In 2021

Are you tearing your hair out trying to keep tabs on all the employees in your business? As ever, technology has entered the fray to assist companies in managing the growing number of administrative details for your personnel. Employee scheduling software is now all but essential to an organization of any size. Effective personnel management is considered imperative to success.

What is an Employee Scheduling App?

Employee scheduling software is all about efficiently managing your workforce. In the modern-day, businesses are becoming more niche and requiring more meticulous management to stay profitable. Keeping shifts and employee availability on a handwritten timetable or Google calendar is no longer relevant. Workforces need more real-time information about their jobs on the go.

That’s where employee scheduling software comes in. Many have developed beyond the simple open shift assignment and time clock functions to meet more needs. Qualifications, HR management, budgeting, payroll, and shift trading are just some of the features now being needed in these staff management solutions. The platforms are increasingly sought after to streamline business operations and increase employee satisfaction.

Does My Small Business Need an Employee Scheduling App?

Many small or starting businesses beg the question – do I really need an employee scheduling app? Small teams work in quite close quarters and like to think their team communication is pretty good. Employee scheduling software goes beyond creating an efficient team. They serve as a node of stability when trying to organize shifts. The apps carry out employee administration and the scheduling process to make sure plans are followed.

So what makes a good employee scheduling software these days? And which ones are better set for your growing business?

10 of the Best Employee Scheduling Apps for Small Businesses

I’ve taken the general requirements of a growing business into account – this helped when choosing the best employee scheduling software. There are plenty of good options on the market – but I’ve narrowed down the 10 I believe to be most relevant in helping businesses thrive. Find my top 10 below:

  1. Homebase
  2. Connecteam
  3. When I Work
  4. Sage HR
  5. Deputy
  6. 7Shifts
  7. Shiftboard
  8. TSheets
  9. HotSchedules
  10. Paycor

Let’s start with the employee scheduling software that small businesses are raving about. Homebase aims to be an all-in-one solution for any sector of industry. The gorgeous drag-and-drop interface is intuitive to get everybody on your team acquainted with the platform in a matter of a few minutes. Better yet – it’s absolutely rife with beneficial functionality.

Homebase can be used as an HR tool to track employees’ time and scheduling conflict, provide a real-time notification system for shifts, and easily manage any timesheet or vacation. It’s probably become so popular as it does show its love for small businesses – it’s free to use. You’ll only have to pay if you want to take advantage of its more advanced features. Considering how simple the employee schedule app makes staff management – the extra cost is worth it!


  • Apps across popular platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
  • One of the cleanest interfaces of any employee scheduling software
  • Integrate other business platforms like Shopify and Square
  • 24/7 real-time workforce management

Arguably, Homebase is the best employee scheduling app on the market. The platform certainly wins over startups and small businesses by being free – but even the advanced features are handy in managing day-to-day operations. There seems to be a node for every well-known HR, POS, and payroll integration. The versatility and functionality of Homebase seem to know no end! The only downside – support is limited to weekdays.


You can probably imagine what an employee app with the name Connecteam would do. Surprise, surprise – it connects your team! This employee scheduling software is taking businesses into the 21st century with its mobile-first approach and its adaptability to remote working. Virtual workforces are using Connecteam more considering how well it works in managing global teams.

From the palm of your hand, employees can have access to a wealth of work schedule features – including chats, clocks, forms, and engagement tools. Connecteam keeps teams in sync and on the same page when managing shifts, understanding current operations, and raising any achievements or concerns with quick resolutions. Even better, it supports up to 200 employees no matter what plan you have.


  • Made for mobile with excellent web, iOS, and Android app available
  • Employee engagement features that make all staff feel valued
  • Scalable platform depending on team size and functionality required
  • Excellent employee communication tools

Connecteam is more of a unique employee scheduling software, given that it puts mobility and accessibility first. It’s seen a lot more usage today as teams shift into virtual working spaces. The requirement for an Internet connection and lack of integration possibilities tend to frustrate at times – but each plan is very affordable. starts from free and paid versions ascending in tiers depending on what advanced features are needed.

When I Work is finding its place among the best free employee scheduling software given its scoped functionality that aims to deliver a refined staffing experience. The core focus of the platform is to make the essentials of personnel management available to all. It also doesn’t overdo it with advanced features.

The work scheduling app offers its suite of features across the popular operating systems – Windows, iOS, and Android. More functions are available with the low cost of $2.00 per additional user – with enterprise style interfaces available at $2.50 per user. Another plus of When I Work is the hiring functionality which makes bringing new staff on board a breeze!


  • Very well-rounded workforce scheduling feature in its free plan, facilitating up to 75 employees
  • Plugin and integration potential for popular accounting and HR platforms
  • Easy-to-use shift scheduling and shift swapping functionality for an hourly employee
  • Great team messaging features

The foundational work schedulesoftware that delivers a lot with a simple premise is always a clear-cut winner in my book. When I Work looks great, feels fantastic, and you can get any new hires in tune with it immediately. It’s not the workforce scheduling tool you’d want when your small business starts to expand into more substantial plains – but for teams of few – it’s one of the best free employee scheduling software on the market.

Sage HR

Sage HR may look a bit more corporate – but the palette of functionality it offers is second-to-none. The platform markets itself as a ‘full-service employee scheduling tool. The level of detail and customizability for each staff member would adhere to that notion. Sage HR covers staff onboarding to performance reviews – and everything in-between.

While many small businesses tend to veer towards simplicity in employee scheduling software, others want meticulous detail. Platforms like Sage HR can facilitate growth for a startup with grand ambitions. Despite its businessy feel – it is relatively easy for employees to use when scheduling shifts, and engaging in administrative duties.


  • Support for multiple sites and locations
  • Detailed reporting suite for managers
  • Lucrative analytics features
  • Flexible paid plan quoting you only on the functionality you select

Startup culture follows a mantra of being different from the corporate machine. However, sometimes workforce management becomes complex, and there comes the need for a tool to make sense of everything. Sage HR is that tool – it is one of the highest functioning employee scheduling software available. Prices may be a bit higher than other platforms, but worth it if you need a refined approach to staff management.


Deputy had humble beginnings but has exploded into an employee schedulesoftware used by super-brands like Amazon and Nike. The platform looks incredibly simple on the surface – but ultimately boasts a colossal set of features if deemed necessary to the business. Deputy is straightforward, fast, and very user-friendly – and small business’ dream management schedule app.

Shift management is easy for staff to choose, rearrange, and trade-off. The functionality even goes as far as to display detail like breaks, late arrivals, or actively working. What I think is one of the best features of Deputy is the automated assignment of staff. It helps issue shifts against operational requirements, removing the need to rack your brain. Cost, qualifications, and abilities will schedule staff into appropriate timeslots and roles – benefiting the business with minimal effort.


  • Detailed employee scheduling tool accomplishing objectives in a few simple clicks
  • Exporting tools for reports
  • Real-time updates and notification system
  • An all-in-one solution with a simple interface

Deputy has a lot of faith in what it can offer a business. This employee schedule app is free to try for the first month – and honestly, it will get you hooked. The automation and detail under the well-designed UI serve as a treasured companion to small businesses and beyond. The perfect ‘Deputy,’ dare I say.


7Shifts is a work schedule app that is more tailored to the restaurant business – but its fantastic design makes it an essential inclusion on the list. The platform makes the level of detail involved in organizing hospitality shift changes a simple process. It offers the superb functionality of health and safety tracking for employees and an instant notification system for compliance and overtime.

Apart from integration features with major POS and payroll platforms, 7Shifts specializes in keeping employees up to date with what’s happening. The paid plan features SMS notification systems and event management and budgeting tools. The app really makes sense of what is often a chaotic industry.


  • Multi-channel real-time notification systems for employees
  • Employee dashboards that keep complex tasks simple
  • Time clocks, staff scheduling, shift swap, and Manager log book
  • Android and iOS apps for management on the go

It’s a shame that 7Shifts is only made for hospitality. There are plenty of disordered industries out there that could use employee scheduling software like this one! The paid plans range depending on the number of employees and locations. Its natural ability to handle the pace of the restaurant trade is worth every penny, though!


Another dedicated industry employee scheduling app – this time made for healthcare! Shiftboard again takes the intricacies of the medical industry. It tailors them into a platform that streamlines detail-heavy operations for staff. The app focuses on improving communication, workflow, and scheduled shift changes in an industry that requires quick solutions.

These tools suit the nursing and care professions with exceptional flair. Functionality includes putting limits on hours, on-call scheduling, qualification tracking, and much more. Shiftboard facilitates a better run medical practice, no matter what size of the organization. There isn’t any free plan, but a limited version of the work schedule app wouldn’t be suitable for such an industry anyway.


  • Versatile employee management tools touching on every detail
  • Qualification and credential trackers
  • Communication and notification systems adapted to the healthcare industry
  • Great set of shift planning software forautomated scheduling

Shiftboard ditches the concept of a general employee scheduling app to touch upon the complexities of healthcare. It presents software that is extremely useful for staff management in an overwhelming environment. The issue is with all that functionality – comes a cluttered interface. Shiftboard is not a particularly easy app to use – but when you do get the hang of it, it’s rewarding!

T sheets

For those looking for an employee scheduling app that is a bit more number savvy – TSheets satisfies those demands. The platform was built with all the costs of staff management in mind. Time-tracking, budget and reporting are the significant features of TSheets – perfect when trying to make sense of employees’ numbers behind the business.

TSheets was developed by QuickBooks, which explains why it’s so accounting-based. From the employee’s perspective, though – it’s not all about the numbers. The time clock and scheduling functionality is easy to use with drag-and-drop interfaces and focuses on privacy with staff information online available when their working.


  • The analytical online scheduling software provides detailed insight into the business
  • Employee scheduling process is very easy for managers and staff alike
  • Reporting features help build an effective shift schedule
  • Privacy functionality that protects employee information off-the-clock

A numbers-based employee scheduling app may not be for everyone – but the features can really help manage staff more efficiently. The output, costs, and time associated with certain employees are instantly retrievable – and the app can better suggest how to leverage the numbers for optimum efficiency. Naturally, the platform syncs with QuickBooks accounting software as well to make life easier.


Some like it ‘HotSchedules.’ This employee scheduling app is definitely not as terrible as that pun! The platform is another complete solution dedicated to the catering and hospitality trade. It’s rife with features that make workflow and staff management a walk in the park – with templates for shift scheduling and even inventory management tools.

HotSchedules aims to be an all-in-one platform for labor management, HR, payroll, and employee needs. The UI is intuitive for all parties – backed by functions to minimize shifting errors and compliance issues. The employee scheduling software is flexible in how you want to use it, too – whether as a time-clock mechanism or an employee performance tool. HotSchedules works seamlessly in however you want to use it.


  • A wide array of management options for the employee scheduling process, including hour limits
  • Scalable and flexible against demands of hospitality business
  • All-in-one platform for employee, inventory, HR, and payroll management
  • Includes applicant tracking and onboarding tools

As the hospitality sector tends to use employee scheduling software more – their functionality demands continue to evolve. HotSchedules is a platform that not only meets the ever-changing needs – but adapts to future ones as well. The wealth of options facilitates a large-scale restaurant or event operation within a few clicks – and keeps all assigned employees very easy to manage.


We’ll finalize our list with one of the most experienced platforms in the field of employee scheduling software. Paycor has been over 30 years in the making and includes a complete set of features one would expect. It could be considered the elder of staff management apps with functionality ranging from shift scheduling to federal and state tax filing.

If you aren’t sure what your business needs in terms of employee scheduling tools – Paycor is the most accommodating. When it says it’s the complete solution, it doesn’t lie. Everything you could ever want in terms of HR, reports, work schedule storage, payroll, and filing are present. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most trusted platforms.


  • The most complete employee scheduling software
  • Features to manage taxes, payroll, and compliance documents
  • Self-service employee interface to address their own administrative duties
  • Desktop and mobile apps to manage employees on the move

Yes, Paycor is probably the best employee scheduling app out of the bunch. It is expensive, though, because of all the functionality that comes with it. The full suite comes at $199 a month, which may be a bit pricey for smaller businesses. You can never go wrong with having a complete set of staff management features under your belt, though!

How To Choose the Best Employee Scheduling App for Your Small Business

As seen above, there are plenty of brilliant choices for employee scheduling software – but not all are the same! When choosing the one suited for your business, there are a few things you might want to consider. Budget, functionality requirements, intuitiveness, and management requirements are thoughts to take under your wing.

There are also industry-specific solutions listed above. If you are running a restaurant, you may want to consider a hospitality-tailored platform. Working in healthcare? The same principles. If you’re not sure, some of the complete apps may be a good solution. However, those usually come at a bit more cost. Have a review of the list above against what you want to accomplish with your business and how these shift scheduling software will help achieve those goals.


Whether you are a big or small organization, employee scheduling software can bring equilibrium to your operations. They help calm the tide in a raging storm and provide the potential to analyze and improve how things are run. In today’s growing workforce, a staff scheduling app is becoming an essential tool. If you haven’t got one already, it’s probably time to consider one!

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