The right work schedule app can simplify the scheduling process, minimize conflicts, and promote seamless communication within your team.
However, many business owners and people managers are still making their jobs harder by using manual, time-intensive, and inefficient scheduling processes. In fact, QuickBooks found that 45% of U.S. shift workers were still getting a paper schedule in 2017.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at nine of the best work schedule apps to help you make an informed decision.
Why do you need a work schedule app?
A work schedule app helps businesses allocate resources, plan shifts, and assign their employees’ schedules efficiently. These apps often come with features that allow you to create, organize, and track work hours, projects, tasks, and calls/meetings, as well as send reminders.
Whether you are creating your own makeshift work schedule app or using software, here are some of the benefits:
- Allocate resources effectively: Work schedule apps help users prioritize tasks and allocate time effectively, leading to better productivity and organization.
- Provide a single source of truth: If you are still using paper time sheets and schedules, it is easy for information to get lost. Work schedule apps provide a single source where your employees can quickly see their schedule.
- Access your schedule from anywhere: Most work schedule apps have a mobile app, so employees can see when they are working next, get their pay stubs, or adjust their schedule from their phones. Users can access their work schedules and tasks from multiple devices, making it easy to update and manage their workload on the go.
- Get real-time reminders and notifications: This helps reduce no-shows since you can get email, text, and in-app reminders for your next shift, important meetings, or when your manager needs to make a change to your schedule.
- Streamline your scheduling processes: From scheduling employees’ shifts and minimizing scheduling conflicts to approving PTO requests and generating timesheet reports, these tasks are repetitive and time-consuming for managers. That’s time they can’t spend coaching their direct reports or on other strategic initiatives.
1. A simple spreadsheet
If you have a small team, then you can often create your own DIY scheduling app for free in Google Sheets or Excel. Plus, there are countless free scheduling templates you can use or customize to get started.
It is easy to share a schedule spreadsheet, and it can be accessed quickly on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
However, if you have a large team or multiple people need editing access, using a spreadsheet can become problematic. It is easy to lose track of who made what changes and for things to get overridden.
2. Google Calendar
Another free option is to create a shared Google Calendar to set up and coordinate your employees’ work schedules.
Everyone included on the schedule will be able to see the schedule on a calendar view. Additionally, Google Calendar is cloud-based, making it easy to access anywhere.
That said, it can be difficult to use if you have many people to schedule. Additionally, if changes are made to the schedule, you’ll need to send out a calendar invite reminder to notify people. As a result, Google Calendar typically works best for small businesses scheduling five or fewer people.
Shifty is an iPad scheduling app designed to help small brick and mortar businesses with scheduling shift workers. It uses a simple drag-and-drop system to make it easy to use whether you’re managing one person or staff on an iPad. You can enter and save data that rarely changes, like shift patterns, staff, and duties, so it’s in Shifty’s system. Additionally, the app lets you assign responsibilities and tasks, so your employees know what to do during their shifts.
One thing worth noting is that schedules are sent to employees by email. Additionally, when changes are made to the schedule, a new version will need to be emailed, and you’ll need to ensure that everyone knows to use the new version.
It also doesn’t allow you to track time-off requests or notify you if you’ve double-booked an employee.
Shifty is available for a one-time fee of $19.99, helping businesses avoid a monthly or annual fee.