What Is An Employment Schedule? Best Scheduling Software For Employees | Top 5 Picks

Employment Schedule

An employment schedule outlines the hours an employee is expected to work, including start and end times, as well as any breaks or days off. It typically includes details such as the days of the week the employee is scheduled to work, shift times, and any variations due to holidays or special circumstances.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best employment scheduling software for SMBs 👇

Best Employment Scheduling Software | Top 5 Picks 📜
Buddy Punch | Best All-In-One Employee Scheduling AppFull Review
Clockify | Best for Time TrackingFull Review
Homebase | Best for Team TrackingFull Review
Zoho | Best for HRFull Review
When I Work | Best for Availability ManagementFull Review

As a business owner, do you know which type of employment work schedule suits your business best? With so many types to choose from, each with its own advantages and drawbacks, it can be challenging to decide.

A suitable employee schedule format is necessary for your business to grow and your employees to be satisfied. Whether you use rotating shifts or fixed schedules, good schedules ensure a healthy work-life balance for everyone, whether they work full-time or part-time.

Employment schedules are essential for businesses and employees as they provide structure and organization, ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and deadlines are met. 

For businesses, effective scheduling leads to increased productivity, smoother operations, and, ultimately, greater profitability. 

When creating employee preferred work schedules, employers should consider factors such as:

  1. Employee personal commitments,
  2. Employee energy levels at different times of the day, 
  3. Any employee flexibility needed to accommodate sudden events or emergencies.

Both managers and employees must understand the differences between various work schedule types to ensure effective communication and collaboration. This knowledge enables managers to make informed decisions when scheduling shifts and allocating resources, while employees can better advocate for their needs and preferences.

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What Is An Employment Schedule?
An employment schedule refers to the preplanned hours and days employees are expected to work. It outlines the specific times when employees are required to be present at their workplace, whether in a physical location or a remote setting. 

Employment schedules can vary based on factors such as the nature of the job, industry standards, and individual employee preferences

What Is An Employee Scheduling Software?

Employee scheduling software makes it easy to create work schedules for employees. It assigns shifts, tracks when employees are available to work, and handles changes to the schedule. 

This software helps businesses manage their staff effectively by scheduling the right people to work when they’re needed. It also lets employees swap shifts, ask for time off, and stay updated on their schedules. 

Using this software saves time, reduces mistakes in scheduling, and makes the whole team more productive.

How To Choose the Ideal Employee Schedule Software | Buying Guide?

Employee Work Schedules

When selecting the perfect employee schedule software for your business, following a strategic approach is essential. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision.

1. Assess Your Needs

Assess your business requirements.

  • Consider the size of your team.
  • Evaluate the complexity of your scheduling process.
  • Identify any unique scheduling challenges.

Determine the level of scheduling features needed.

Use your understanding of your needs to narrow down software options.

2. Determine Core Hours

Figure out the main hours when your business is open and when employees need to be there. This will help you pick software that can handle your scheduling needs within these times. 

Whether your hours are always the same or can change, make sure the software you choose can handle employee schedules well and make the most of busy times.

3. Request Employee Feedback

Ask your employees for their thoughts on choosing new scheduling software. Since they’ll use it every day, their opinions matter. 

Find out what they like, their problems with the current scheduling system, and what features they want in new software. This will get them on board with the decision and ensure the software fits their needs.

4. Learn From Industry Trends

Learn what other companies in your industry are doing to improve how they organize their employees’ work schedules. 

Look into how they use special computer programs to make scheduling easier, help manage their staff better, and grow their business. Pay attention to what’s working well in the industry and use that to figure out what features you need in your own scheduling software. This will help you choose the best employment scheduling software for your business more confidently.

Best Employee Scheduling Software

Here is the list of best employee scheduling software you can go for 👇

  1. Buddy Punch
  2. Clockify
  3. Homebase
  4. Zoho
  5. When I Work

1. Buddy Punch | Best Employee Scheduling Software That Track Time

Buddy Punch is an intuitive employee scheduling solution used by a variety of businesses, from the YMCA to Starbucks, and from State Farm to the University of Michigan. It offers employee management tools that simplify scheduling, time tracking, and payroll management.

Why choose Buddy Punch over manual scheduling or other solutions? Here’s why,

  • Saves time: Buddy Punch helps you save time by automating scheduling and payroll tasks.
  • Eliminates errors: With Buddy Punch, you can say goodbye to scheduling conflicts and payroll mistakes.
  • Offers unparalleled convenience: Its user-friendly interface and excellent customer support make it easy for businesses to manage their workforce efficiently.

Buddy Punch comes with a range of features, including,

  • Real-time tracking: Keep track of your team members’ hours in real-time.
  • Automated payroll calculations: Let Buddy Punch handle the math for you.
  • Remote worker monitoring: Keep an eye on your team, no matter where they are.
  • Mobile access: Access your schedule and time tracking tools from anywhere, using your mobile devices.
  • Schedule templates: Save time by using premade schedule templates.
  • Open shifts and request time: Easily manage open shifts and allow your team members to request time off.
  • Integration with Google Calendar: Sync your schedule with Google Calendar for added convenience.
  • SMS punch in and notification: Receive notifications and punch in using SMS.

With Buddy Punch, say goodbye to boring manual scheduling and hello to streamlined efficiency.

1. Employee Scheduling Made Easy

With Buddy Punch, creating and managing employee schedules becomes a breeze. 

The user-friendly interface allows you to generate schedules within minutes, making sure your business is adequately staffed at all times. 

2. Full Control of Work Schedule

Gain complete control over your employees’ work schedules with Buddy Punch. 

From creating and updating schedules to distributing them effortlessly, this software empowers business owners to manage their staffing needs efficiently. 

Collect Employee Timesheets Without Chasing Up

Automated timesheets further streamline the process, providing a comprehensive solution for workforce management.

3. Notifications

Buddy Punch simplifies management tasks with its easy-to-use features. 

Notifications img

From notifying employees of upcoming shifts to tracking time and managing schedule changes, this software offers a hassle-free solution for businesses of all sizes. 

With just a few clicks, managers can handle all aspects of employee scheduling with ease.

4. Track Your Employee Easily

With Buddy Punch, tracking employee work hours and performance is effortless. 

Assign all punches inside the geofence to: Location or Department

Managers can monitor when and where employees punch in through automation features like geofences and availability settings, optimizing scheduling and resource allocation. Exportable reports provide valuable insights for better decision-making.

5. Create a Schedule in Minutes

Buddy Punch’s cloud-based software simplifies the scheduling process. 

Drag and Drop Scheduling

Whether you’re managing a small business or a large enterprise, creating schedules is a breeze. With customizable templates and drag-and-drop functionality, you can generate schedules quickly and efficiently.

6. Punch Limits

Add a New Punch Limiting Rule

Buddy Punch’s punch-limiting feature effectively controls labor costs. Set time limits for employee punch-ins and outs, preventing early or late clock-ins that can lead to unnecessary overtime expenses. 

7. Shift Trading

Buddy Punch’s shift trading feature offers flexibility to your employees. Employees can initiate shift swaps or covers, ensuring smooth scheduling even in unexpected circumstances. 

Shift Request: Pending Acceptance (Accept or Deny)

This empowers employees to manage their work schedules while minimizing disruptions to business operations.

Buddy Punch’s Online Reviews

As of the writing date, Buddy Punch has 4.8 out of 5 stars and 971 reviews on Capterra.

Buddy Punch has 4.8 stars on Capterra with over 970 reviews

Below, we’ll list just a few reviews that speak to Buddy Punch’s ease of use and great customer support service. (Click here to explore the full list of reviews.)

We needed a new solution for timekeeping and Buddy Punch came through! Onboarding and integration was so easy. Once I figured out all the setting options, it’s really easy to customize exactly what you need. Employees love using it because it’s so straightforward to use.

Click here to read the full review.

Overall this platform has been a time saver and wonderful addition to our payroll and time management. Staff can clearly see their hours and submit for approval after they review. It allows for accuracy and transparency.

Click here to read the full review.

BuddyPunch has been very helpful and I am glad my organization made the switch from our previous tracker to BuddyPunch. As mentioned earlier, the ease of use of BuddyPunch is what separates it from a lot of competitors.

Click here to read the full review.

“We have only been using this software since 1-1-2022 and for the most part it has been very useful for everything that I have needed it to do for me. If we need help or have a question [SENSITIVE CONTENT] has been able to reach out to our contact person and they have been very helpful.”

Click here to read the full review.

“My staff loves that the software works seamlessly and I love the easy payroll reporting process. BEST of all, when I have a question, Buddy Punch really LISTENS and always walks me through the answer or offers to help themselves.”

Click here to read the full review.

Try Buddy Punch for Free

Ready to give Buddy Punch a try?

For free trial, no credit card required.

If you feel that Buddy Punch might be the right fit for your business, sign up for a 14 day free trial (no credit card needed). You can also book a one-on-one demo, or view a pre-recorded demo video.

2. Clockify

Clockify is a time tracking tool that helps you monitor how much time you spend on different tasks or projects. It’s like a digital stopwatch for work activities.

Key Features,

  1. Timer
  2. Timesheet
  3. Calendar
  4. Auto tracker
  5. Kiosk
  6. Reports
  7. Activity tracking
  8. Scheduling
  9. Invoicing
  10. Team management

Currently, Clockify has 4813 reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

“Clockify has made our work scheduling so easy. It allows us to have very smooth work shift transitions. Clockify helps us to make most of the available time by having effective work schedules and also tracking our time to ensure we deliver quality security services.”

Click here for a full review.

3. Homebase

The Homebase tool is designed to help small businesses manage their daily operations more efficiently. It simplifies tasks like scheduling, time tracking, payroll, and team communication. 

Key Features,

  1. Scheduling
  2. Time clocks
  3. Timesheets
  4. Payroll
  5. Hiring & onboarding
  6. Team communication
  7. Employee happiness
  8. HR & compliance
  9. Integrations
  10. Mobile App

As of now, Homebase has 4.6 out of 5 stars and 1002 reviews on Capterra.

“Our Staff is very satisfied with how easy this app is. They can put in their availability or request a shift off which makes it super easier for me to write the schedule. The app immediately sends updates on schedules, so I don’t have to send notifications about schedule at all.”

Click here for a full review.

4. Zoho

Zoho provides a suite of tools for businesses, offering solutions like CRM, email services, and HR automation. It prioritizes user privacy and long-term customer relationships.

Key Features,

  1. Comprehensive CRM platform
  2. Secure email service
  3. Helpdesk software
  4. Accounting platform
  5. HR process automation
  6. Unified cloud software
  7. Professional services
  8. Infrastructure support
  9. Security measures
  10. Focus on research and development

As of the writing date, Zoho has 6702 reviews and 4.3 stars out of 5 on Capterra.

“Our experience with Zoho CRM has been an awe-inspiring masterpiece. It has taken us only Zoho CRM to better our patient relationships and improve on our patients records management.”

Click here for a full review.

5. When I Work

When I Work is a software designed to simplify employee scheduling, communication, and time tracking for businesses. It helps managers create schedules efficiently and allows employees to easily view and manage their shifts.

Key Features,

  1. Quick scheduling
  2. Employee time tracking
  3. Team messaging
  4. Payroll processing
  5. Mobile app availability
  6. Shift confirmation
  7. Labor forecasting
  8. Overtime control
  9. Real-time notifications
  10. API integration

Right now, When I Work has 1082 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

“I’ve been using this software for 5 years, first as an employee then as an employer. Ease of use for both parties is fantastic and it’s well worth paying for to save time. When I change places of business, if I have a choice, I will choose When I Work again and again.”

Click here for a full review.

Types of Work Schedules For Employees

Dupont Shift ScheduleIn this schedule, four teams work 12-hour shifts over a four-week rotation, giving employees extended time off. It’s popular in healthcare and manufacturing.
2-2-3 Shift ScheduleEmployees work 12-hour shifts for four days, followed by two days off and then three days of work, ensuring 180 working days per year and regular three-day weekends.
4-10 Shift ScheduleEmployees work four days a week for 10 hours each, enjoying a three-day weekend. It optimizes work-life balance and operational efficiency.
9-80 Shift ScheduleThis schedule compresses 80 hours into nine days, granting every other Friday off for rest and relaxation while meeting weekly hour requirements.
Flexible ScheduleEmployees have the freedom to adjust their work hours to suit personal needs, enhancing autonomy and productivity.
Full-Time ScheduleEmployees work 40 to 50 hours per week with benefits like health insurance, requiring careful management to ensure well-being.
Part-Time ScheduleEmployees work fewer than 30 hours per week, offering flexibility but fewer benefits, necessitating fair treatment and effective scheduling.
Split ShiftsThe workday is divided into segments, with breaks common in industries that require continuous coverage, compliance with labor laws, and clear communication.
Rotating Shift ScheduleEmployees rotate through different shifts for 24/7 coverage, requiring monitoring for fatigue and morale to maintain productivity.
On-Call SchedulesEmployees must be available outside regular hours, which is common in healthcare, requiring fair compensation and clear communication.
Compressed Work ScheduleEmployees fulfill weekly hours in fewer days through longer shifts, offering more time off and requiring monitoring to prevent burnout.
Irregular Shift ScheduleWork hours vary based on business needs, which is common in retail, requiring clear communication for consistency.
Freelance ScheduleContract workers set their own hours and work remotely, requiring clear expectations and deadlines.
Seasonal ScheduleProvides temporary employment during peak seasons, requiring effective planning and communication.
Overtime ScheduleInvolves additional hours beyond regular shifts, requiring compliance with labor laws and transparent communication.
Remote Work ScheduleEmployees work outside the office, requiring clear communication and performance metrics.
Hybrid Work ScheduleCombines remote and in-office work, requiring clear guidelines and communication channels.

What To Do If You Struggle With Your Work Schedule?

Work Schedule

If you’re having trouble with your work schedule, don’t wait to take action.

First, have an open conversation with your manager about your challenges. They may suggest changes like adjusting your working hours or offering more flexibility. If your circumstances have changed, discuss how your responsibilities can be adapted.

Explore other job opportunities that might better suit your needs.

Remember, taking care of yourself and finding ways to grow both personally and professionally is important. By addressing your concerns early on, you can find a schedule that works better for you.

In addition to these steps, consider proposing using workflow control, labor cost management (to control labor costs), and employee management tools to your manager. 

HR software with permissions for weekly schedules, time management features to manage time of employees, and communication tools can help you manage your time more effectively. 

Moreover, utilizing scheduling tools, optimization software, and time tracking software can help prevent last-minute changes and no-shows. 

Auto-scheduling features can also streamline the process, reducing the need for manual intervention. And if you find spreadsheets/Excel sheets overwhelming, there are user-friendly alternatives available.

Reasons For Making Employee Schedules

Here are some of the main reasons for focusing on making employee schedules at your organization.

1. Plan Employee Supply And Demand

Making work schedules for employees helps companies figure out and meet their staffing needs. By planning beforehand, they make sure they have the right number of workers for busy times and don’t end up with too many or too few. 

2. Easily Deal With Attendance Issues

Employee schedules are like blueprints for tracking who’s at work and handling any attendance issues. When people have specific hours they’re supposed to work, it’s easy for managers to notice if someone is often late or doesn’t show up. 

This helps managers deal with problems quickly and keeps work moving smoothly. Having a dependable schedule also encourages employees to be on time and take responsibility for their work.

3. Keep Track Of Overtime Hours

Managing overtime hours effectively means organizing work schedules well. 

By setting clear work hours, businesses can stop employees from working more than they need to. This saves money on labor costs and stops employees from getting too tired. 

Tracking overtime hours also means making sure employees get paid properly for extra work, which keeps them happy and motivated.

4. Boost the Productivity Of Employees

Having a well-organized schedule helps workers do their jobs better by putting the right tasks at the right times. 

When people have a plan for their day, they can use their time well, stay on track, and not get sidetracked. This means they get more done and do better work for the company.

5. Work Schedules

Work schedules help manage resources and meet business goals smoothly. Everyone knows when to work and what to do when schedules are clear. 

This encourages teamwork, communication, and flexibility, which are all important for success. In short, work schedules are essential for keeping productivity high and reaching business targets.

Best Practices For Setting Employee Schedules

Know Your EmployeesUnderstand your team’s preferences, availability, and constraints to tailor schedules that balance business needs and employee well-being. Regular communication helps gather relevant information and ensure mutual understanding.
Determine The Company’s Core HoursIdentify peak operational hours based on customer demand and project deadlines. Communicate these core hours to ensure everyone knows when they’re needed.
Involve Your Team in the ProcessEncourage team input on scheduling preferences and challenges to proactively address conflicts. Collaborative scheduling fosters ownership and efficiency, enhancing employee satisfaction.
Set Clear ExpectationsCommunicate shift details, break times, and attendance policies clearly to maintain consistency and accountability. Regularly reinforce expectations through meetings and written documentation.
Use Employee Scheduling SoftwareUser-friendly software optimizes scheduling accuracy and efficiency. Automate shift creation, track availability, and ensure compliance with labor regulations. Investing in customized software simplifies operations and boosts productivity.
Schedule In AdvancePlan schedules well in advance to provide stability and predictability. Communicate finalized schedules promptly to enable personal planning and promote employee satisfaction.
Ask For FeedbackAsk for feedback through surveys or discussions to address concerns and improve the scheduling process. Listening to employee input shows a commitment to their well-being and helps prioritize satisfaction.

Why Is Creating An Employee Schedule Important?

Here are the reasons why creating an employee schedule is important for your business.

1. Improve Employee Retention

hiring and employee retention

Designing a good work schedule helps keep employees on board for longer. Employees tend to stick around when work hours fit well with their personal lives. 

By listening to what employees want and making adjustments, companies can make them happier and more loyal. Also, having a regular schedule gives employees a sense of stability and shows that the company values them, which makes them more likely to stay.

2. Enhance Employee Productivity

An effective work schedule is essential for helping employees work better. When employees know exactly when they should work and what they need to do, it helps the company waste less time and get things done more smoothly. 

Employees with a clear schedule can plan their work better, focus more, and do a better job. A good schedule also makes sure employees have enough time to rest so they don’t get too tired or stressed out, which helps them work better overall.

3. Effective Payroll Management

Good work schedules are important for handling pay properly. A clear schedule helps businesses keep track of when employees work, making it easier to pay them accurately. 

By following the rules about extra pay, breaks, and time off, businesses can avoid legal problems and make sure employees get paid fairly. Plus, when payroll is done well, it helps build trust and fairness at work, which makes employees happier.

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4. Reduced Work Stress

Creating a well-organized work schedule can help make work less stressful for employees. When employees know exactly when they’re supposed to work and what they’re supposed to do, they feel less worried and more relaxed. 

Having a regular schedule gives employees a feeling of control and makes it easier for them to plan their personal lives. Also, having enough breaks and time off in the schedule helps employees balance work and personal life, which reduces stress and keeps them healthy.

5. Balanced Work-Life

If businesses take into account what workers prefer and make sure their schedule fits with their personal plans, it can help them find a good balance. 

A well-planned schedule gives workers time for their family, hobbies, and self-care. This can make them feel less stressed and tired. 

What Are Flexible Work Schedules?

Flexible work schedules allow employees to vary their arrival and departure times, as well as the number of hours they work each day. This means that instead of having to work the traditional 9 to 5, employees can adjust their schedules to better fit their needs. 

For example, some employees may prefer to start work at 7 a.m. and leave at 3 p.m., while others may prefer to start at 10 a.m. and leave at 6 p.m. This flexibility can be especially helpful for employees who have other commitments outside of work, such as childcare or school.

One of the main benefits of flexible work schedules is that they can help employees achieve a better work-life balance. By allowing employees to adjust their schedules to better fit their needs, they can spend more time with their families or pursue other interests outside of work. 

Flexible work schedules can also be beneficial for employers

For example, they can help employers attract and retain top talent by offering a perk that many employees value. Additionally, flexible work schedules can help employers better manage their workforce and respond to fluctuations in demand. 

For example, if an employer needs extra help during certain times of the year, they can ask employees to work extra hours or adjust their schedules as needed.

However, flexible work schedules may not be suitable for every workplace. 

For example, jobs that require employees to be present during specific hours, such as customer service or manufacturing jobs, may not be compatible with flexible work schedules. Additionally, some employees may prefer the structure of a traditional 9 to 5 schedule and may not want to change their hours.

It’s also important for employers to ensure that flexible work schedules comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets rules for things like overtime pay and minimum wage

For example, employers need to make sure that employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are paid overtime, regardless of their schedule. Additionally, employers need to make sure that flexible work schedules are available to all employees, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time. 

This means that part-time employees should have the same opportunity to request flexible work schedules as full-time employees.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What Is Staff Scheduling?

Staff scheduling is the process of creating work schedules for employees. It involves organizing who will work during certain times, which can include regular hours, night shifts, and alternative work schedules. 

The aim is to ensure that the right number of employees are working at any given time to meet the needs of the business. This process also takes into account factors like trade shifts, time-off requests, and the 40-hour workweek. 

Employee shifts are arranged to cover the required amount of time, and shift work may be used to ensure 24-hour coverage. It’s important for employers to consider the hours of work to prevent employee burnout and ensure fairness.

Which One Is The Best All-In-One Employee Scheduling App?

An all-in-one employee scheduling app like Buddy Punch helps you manage your team’s work hours, shift trades, and availability seamlessly. It’s perfect for businesses with full-time employees, especially those with seasonal work. 

Whether you’re on Android or iOS, Buddy Punch’s apps let you set schedules, manage employee availability, and ensure everyone gets their full-time hours without any confusion.

With features like employee availability, shift trading, and easy-to-set schedules, Buddy Punch makes managing your team’s hours a breeze. 

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