10+ Ways to Make Employee Scheduling Easier | Employee Scheduling Ideas

Want to make employee scheduling easier? Keep on reading!

For business managers around the world, employee scheduling is one of the most complicated tasks to do. 

There are often many pain points when it comes to the scheduling process – making it time-consuming and even frustrating for those in charge.

Schedulers need to take into account many different kinds of factors such as employee time off requests, employee availability, along with potential no-call no-shows. 

If they are using the traditional pen and paper method to create schedules, this can lead to even more time wasted. 

You may also find many schedulers working for several days and even weeks on developing employee schedules, which can significantly impact your bottom line.

To increase productivity at your workplace, it is essential to find a reliable solution and implement a process for effective employee scheduling. 

A business needs to address scheduling related issues more precisely by using trusted and efficient methods. 

The idea is to make this process easier while ensuring a satisfactory outcome for both employees and management.

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Employee Scheduling Ideas | How to Manage Employee Scheduling at the Workplace?

Employee Scheduling Ideas

Below we have highlighted some of the best methods to make employee scheduling easier to ensure a more positive work experience for your employees and leadership.

1. Eliminate Scheduling Abuse

The very first step in improving the scheduling process is to eliminate or reduce any scheduling abuse. 

Companies often find themselves in trouble for the acts listed below, and doing so demands immediate attention from management to resolve the issue. 

Here are just a few of the most common acts of scheduling abuse. 

On-call Scheduling

On-call scheduling is a practice where employees take turns being available outside regular working hours to address urgent issues or emergencies. They remain reachable to respond to incidents, ensuring continuous operational support.

Although on-call scheduling is not illegal by any means, it can be frustrating for an employee to work on-call as they have to be ready to come to work on a moments notice – often impacting their home life. 

It can lead to a potential conflict between managers and employees.

Last Minute Cancellations

Employees often love to have a surprise day off to relax; but not when it is more vital for them to make money during that shift. 

Employers should focus on creating a schedule where they have enough employees to do the work that needs to be done, but not too many where you need to cancel over-scheduled employees shifts.


Sudden schedule changes or last minute shift cancellations can create undue hardship for your employees and increase tensions between staff.

Sudden Schedule Notifications

Employees must be informed in advance about any work schedule so that they can arrange their routine work/life accordingly. 

They may need to find a babysitter for their child or make arrangements to have a pet looked after. 

Most states require schedules to be published in advance, so be sure to check out your state’s Department of Labor website for specifics.

Changing Schedules Without Notice

One of the most complicated situations for employees occurs when they get to work only to find out that their shift has been changed. 

Not only does this waste the employees time, but can lead to frustration with management.

Forcing Employees to Work Beyond Set Hours

Many employees are suffering from this issue where they are required to stay later than their scheduled shift

It’s important to schedule an employee for the appropriate amount of hours as forcing an employee to stay longer than scheduled can lead to legal issues.

All these matters must be addressed carefully by following standard processes, which your business should have in place. 

The idea is to develop mutual trust between both parties through efficient and accurate schedule creation.

2. Hire On-Call Specific Staff

On-Call Specific Staff refers to employees designated to be available outside regular working hours to respond to urgent situations or emergencies, providing specialized expertise or assistance as needed.

There is no doubt to say that on-call is an extremely reliable tool for employers as it ensures easy access to the numbers of workers needed without alienating your other employees. 

You can call them for work whenever needed and pay for the hours worked. 

While working with on-call staff, it is essential to be transparent and forthcoming about your expectations. 

The best approach is to:

  • Design appropriate on-call policies for the employees that describe terms and conditions for both ends.
  • Present clear ideas about the type of work and expected outcomes.

You may need to find employees that are not just concerned about money; instead, are interested in working. 

Those who find it easier to work beyond the usual routines are the right candidates for such sudden scheduling.

3. Know Your Employees

Each employee has certain skill sets and plays their part in the success of your business. 


It’s important to schedule employees based on their qualifications to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency.

To ensure you create the best schedule for you and your employees, it is essential to know your workers and their skill sets. 

If you haven’t already, you should prepare a list of employees that are currently working within your premises. 

Create a document that goes over their roles in your organization, along with their names and contact information. 

Don’t forget to attach details about relevant certifications and skills as well. 

This additional information will help you to determine the best person to handle part-time and full-time responsibilities.

Understanding individuals work preferences will also make scheduling much easier and won’t disturb an employee’s routine. 

Here are a few specific questions that you need to ask your employees:

  • Whether they are more comfortable with morning, evening, or afternoon shifts?
  • Are they more interested in full time or part time shifts?
  • Are they okay with working overtime?
  • Do they have planned any vacation or special holiday?

4. Understand Staff Availability

It is important to give your employees a chance to talk about their preferred work hours in advance. 

To implement a collaborative scheduling process, managers must have open communication with the employees. 

When management understands an employees availability, it becomes much easier to create schedules in such a way that both employee and employer are happy with the outcome.

One option available is to arrange all shift details in a calendar format where employees can easily pick their preferred shift. 

While an employee may not get all the shifts they prefer, you can compromise by giving them some shifts they’d like to ensure both parties are happy.

5. Have a Backup Plan

When crafting a comprehensive work schedule, consider the possibility of unexpected employee emergencies or instances of no-call no-shows. 

In such situations, on-call employees play a crucial role, readily available to step in and fill extra shifts, ensuring smooth business operations even in unforeseen circumstances. 

To enhance your scheduling system, maintain a roster of well-qualified employees open to working overtime, particularly during busier months. 

This proactive approach safeguards against scheduling gaps and allows for flexibility in managing heavier workloads. 

Additionally, this pool of free employee names empowers you to navigate staffing challenges efficiently. 

Utilizing smartphones and advanced scheduling technology further streamlines the process, making it easier to drop shifts or make last-minute adjustments as needed.

6. Schedule the Right Person for the Work

One of the most significant mistakes people make while creating schedules is not considering the essential skills sets for a specific job or shift. 

It is crucial to think about the skills and talents of your employees in advance so that you can assign them the appropriate shift as per their abilities.

Experts suggest hiring willing, flexible, and qualified staff for scheduling slots that can ensure the desired outcome. 

Note that not all the employees are happy to work for extra hours as they may have some commitments with their family and other people in their life. 

There is no point of assigning work to someone who is not willing to do the work because it will naturally decay their work performance. 

Instead of scheduling work to an unhappy employee, it is better to look for someone with a flexible lifestyle who can handle the workload willingly.

7. Get Employee Scheduling App Android

We are a part of the technology-rich world where processes, such as scheduling, become much easier thanks to these advanced systems. 

To ease the scheduling process, you must look for reliable online scheduling software

Many available solutions allow you to create schedules days, weeks, and even months in advance. 

They give you a birds-eye view to ensure you have the correct amount of employees scheduled at any given time.

Scheduling software can greatly reduce scheduling errors and the amount of time needed to create an accurate schedule. 

Online scheduling software allows employees to review their schedules when needed and contact management if they have any questions.

You should pick a scheduling software that allows your employees to easily access their schedules – whether from their phone or computer. 

This ability allows employees to double check their schedules when needed, reach out to management if they have any questions and also request off if needed.

There is no doubt to say that scheduling problems can lead to an unhappy employee base and even hamper the overall quality of work. 

If such issues are not addressed, it may also increase employee turnover rates and cause harm to the overall reputation of your business. 

It is necessary to invest in reliable online scheduling software that can work on a web browser and ensure easy access via a mobile app as well.

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8. Try Simplifying Time Tracking, Payroll Processing, and PTO Management

Simplifying time tracking, payroll processing, and PTO (paid time off) management is paramount for efficient and effective employee scheduling. 

Streamlining these essential HR processes alleviates administrative burdens and enhances overall workplace productivity and employee satisfaction.

Firstly, simplified time tracking ensures accuracy and transparency in recording employees’ working hours. 

By implementing user-friendly time tracking systems, businesses can reduce the likelihood of errors and disputes related to attendance and overtime. 

This, in turn, fosters a fair and trusting work environment, as employees can easily verify their recorded hours.

Secondly, payroll processing becomes significantly more manageable with streamlined payroll systems in place. 

Automating payroll calculations and tax deductions minimizes the risk of errors, saving time and resources for employers and employees. 

This ensures timely and accurate salary disbursements, contributing to employee morale and satisfaction.

Moreover, efficient PTO management is crucial for effective employee scheduling. 

Simplified processes for requesting and approving paid time off enable better workforce planning and reduce the chances of scheduling conflicts. 

Employees can confidently plan their leaves, promoting work-life balance and preventing burnout.

9. Understand Predictive Scheduling

Predictive scheduling is crucial in building employee schedules as it fosters transparency, stability, and fairness in the workplace. 

Predictive Scheduling

By implementing predictive scheduling practices, employers provide their workforce with advance notice of work schedules, allowing employees to plan their personal lives effectively. 

The importance of predictive scheduling is underscored by the legal landscape in various states and cities, where regulations require employers to adhere to specific guidelines. 

Laws often mandate the posting of schedules several weeks or days in advance, preventing last-minute changes and promoting compliance with the principles of fairness and predictability. 

Compliance with these regulations is not only a legal obligation but also a means to avoid potential fines, legal actions, and the negative impact on employee morale.

Predictive scheduling is especially valuable in industries with unpredictable demand fluctuations, such as retail, hospitality, and food services. 

Balancing customer needs and fair labor practices becomes more manageable when employers can anticipate workforce demand and create schedules that align with business requirements while respecting employees’ rights.

Moreover, technological adaptation, another challenge associated with predictive scheduling, is mitigated by the integration of employee scheduling software. 

Though it requires an initial adjustment, the long-term benefits, including enhanced efficiency and compliance, outweigh transitional hurdles.

10. Review Employee Schedules Regularly

Regularly reviewing employee schedules is crucial for effective workforce management and overall organizational success. 

Firstly, it ensures that staffing levels align with the demands of the business. 

By consistently evaluating employee schedules, managers can identify patterns in peak hours or periods of high demand, allowing them to optimize staffing levels accordingly. 

This not only enhances operational efficiency but also improves customer service by ensuring enough skilled employees are available to meet customer needs.

Furthermore, reviewing schedules regularly fosters a positive work environment and promotes employee satisfaction. 

It allows managers to consider individual preferences and work-life balance, accommodating requests for time off or specific shifts. 

This consideration of employee needs helps build a motivated and engaged workforce, which, in turn, contributes to higher productivity and lower turnover rates. 

It also demonstrates to employees that their well-being is a priority, fostering a sense of loyalty and commitment to the organization.

Moreover, regular schedule reviews enable managers to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. 

Whether responding to unexpected events, accommodating fluctuating workloads, or addressing staffing gaps, a proactive approach to schedule management ensures that the organization remains agile and resilient. 

This adaptability is crucial in dynamic industries where flexibility is essential for success.

Is There An All-In-One Best Employee Scheduling Tool To Automate Scheduling? 

buddy punch.png

Buddy Punch is an exemplary all-in-one employee scheduling tool that goes beyond basic time clock functionalities. 

Available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac, it seamlessly combines clock in capabilities, timesheets, and scheduling features

Drag & Drop Scheduling

With shift reminders, employees can stay informed about upcoming shifts, while the platform facilitates shift trades and requests for time off. 

Notify Employees When You Publish Their Shift

Buddy Punch replaces manual spreadsheets, offering an efficient scheduling solution. 

It enhances team communication through messaging, ensuring a collaborative work environment. 

Additionally, it provides functionality to track time and absences, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses, including those in healthcare.

With Buddy Punch, you can automate scheduling, avoiding the complexities associated with manual processes. 

The software’s intuitive interface allows for easy scheduling, and its mobile accessibility ensures that employees can manage their shifts on the go. 

The platform also caters to healthcare settings, where precise scheduling is crucial. 

Employees can request time off directly through the app, and managers can efficiently approve or deny these requests. 

The shift trade feature enables team members to coordinate changes seamlessly, promoting flexibility. 

Moreover, Buddy Punch’s built-in messaging feature enhances team communication, fostering a collaborative work environment. 

Overall, Buddy Punch stands out as a comprehensive, user-friendly, and effective tool for businesses seeking an integrated employee scheduling solution.

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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.

How Does an Employee Scheduling Software Help In Managing Employee Schedules?

Create work schedules in minutesQuickly generate employee schedules, reducing the time and effort required for manual scheduling.
Drag and drop schedulingEasily adjust and rearrange shifts by dragging and dropping, making the scheduling process more intuitive.
Employee shift schedulingEfficiently assign shifts to employees based on their availability, skills, and other relevant factors.
Update employee schedules on the goAccess and make schedule updates from anywhere, providing flexibility for managers and supervisors.
View staff schedulesGain a comprehensive view of the entire staff schedule, facilitating better planning and coordination.
Send notifications and real-time alertsNotify employees instantly about any updates or changes to their shift schedules, reducing confusion.
Employee availability managementStreamline the process of managing and tracking employee availability, ensuring schedules align with staff preferences.
Eliminate employee scheduling conflictsIdentify and resolve conflicts automatically, preventing double bookings or overlapping shifts.
Easy management of time-off requestsSimplify the process of handling time-off requests, making it easier for employees to request and managers to approve.
No double booking or overlapEnsure that scheduling errors are minimized, preventing instances of double booking or overlapping shifts.
Track employee timeMonitor and record employee work hours accurately, aiding in payroll processing and compliance with labor regulations.
Recurring and open shift managementEffectively handle recurring shifts and manage open shifts, optimizing the distribution of work among employees.
Assign shifts by locationAssign shifts based on specific work locations, especially beneficial for businesses with multiple sites or departments.
Empower staff to manage shift swappingAllow employees to swap shifts among themselves, promoting a collaborative and flexible work environment.
IntegrationsIntegrate with other software systems, such as payroll or HR systems, to streamline overall workforce management.

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What Are Rotating Shifts? 

Rotating shifts, a common practice in shift work, involves staff members alternating between different time slots. 

This approach accommodates various staffing needs and business requirements. 

Full-time schedules often include rotating shifts, promoting flexibility, and meeting labor laws. 

Employees experience a dynamic workday, adapting to changing hours and days of the week. 

This type of schedule is crucial for industries requiring 24/7 coverage, ensuring adequate staffing levels. 

Despite potential challenges, such as adjustment periods and last-minute schedule changes, rotating shifts optimize workforce efficiency and cater to diverse employee preferences.

What is a Seasonal Schedule?

A seasonal schedule is tailored to address fluctuations in business demand based on distinct times of the year. 

Business owners create flexible schedules to align with peak seasons, adjusting the number of staff and working hours accordingly. 

This approach caters to staffing needs during busy periods, ensuring full-time employees contribute to meeting increased demand. 

Seasonal schedules often involve trade shifts, accommodating the ebb and flow of business activity. 

This adaptive strategy adheres to labor laws and maintains an optimal balance between staffing levels and the varying demands of different seasons.

What are Split Shifts? 

Split shifts divides the workday into distinct blocks, allowing employees to complete their full-time work in two separate segments. 

This type of schedule caters to flexible scheduling preferences and unique staffing needs. 

Employees may opt for split shifts to accommodate personal commitments or avoid peak traffic hours. 

Business owners design weekly schedules with split shifts, ensuring a balanced distribution of working hours across staff members. 

While offering flexibility, split shifts demand effective time management to maintain productivity and adhere to labor laws governing the total number of hours worked.

What Are The Most Common Employee Work Schedules? Types of Work Schedules

Employee Work Schedules

Employee work schedules vary to accommodate the diverse needs of businesses and their staff members. 

The most common work schedules include fixed, flexible, and shift work.

Fixed Schedules

Fixed schedules are standard work arrangements where employees have consistent work hours, often adhering to a traditional 40-hour workweek. 

This structure is typical for full-time employees and aligns with labor laws regulating the maximum number of hours worked per week. 

Business owners typically find fixed schedules advantageous for maintaining routine operations and trade shifts.

Flexible Schedules

Flexible schedules cater to the needs of both full-time and part-time employees, allowing them to adjust their work hours within certain limits. 

This accommodates personal preferences and helps businesses manage staffing needs efficiently. 

Labor laws often provide guidelines to ensure fairness and compliance. 

Employers may find this approach beneficial in meeting varying weekly demands, especially in industries with last-minute scheduling changes or fluctuating workloads.

Shift Work

Shift work involves organizing employees into different work shifts, covering various hours of the day or night. 

This type of scheduling is common in industries requiring 24/7 operations, such as healthcare or manufacturing. 

Examples include day shifts, night shifts, and swing shifts, accommodating diverse staffing needs and ensuring continuous business operations. 

Overtime schedules may also play during peak periods, providing additional flexibility for employers and employees. 

Understanding each schedule type’s advantages and considerations is crucial for effective workforce management.

Benefits of Effective Employee Scheduling

Following are a few benefits you can expect if you make employee scheduling easier.

Time Saving

Effective employee scheduling saves valuable time by automating the process, reducing the need for manual adjustments. 

Managers can create, update, and communicate schedules efficiently, allowing them to focus on strategic tasks that contribute to organizational goals. 

Money Saving

By aligning labor resources with demand, businesses can optimize staffing levels, preventing overstaffing or understaffing scenarios. 

This ensures that labor costs are controlled, reducing unnecessary expenses. 

Additionally, decreased turnover resulting from satisfied employees contributes to cost savings associated with recruitment, onboarding, and training.

Improved Employee Satisfaction

Efficient scheduling fosters a positive work environment, as employees appreciate consistency and predictability in their schedules. 

job satisfaction

When staff can plan their personal lives around work commitments, morale improves, leading to higher job satisfaction

This positive atmosphere contributes to a more engaged and motivated workforce, ultimately enhancing employee retention rates.

Teamwork Gets Better!

Effective scheduling promotes better teamwork by ensuring that the right mix of skills is present during shifts. 

Collaborative efforts are streamlined when team members know their roles and responsibilities, fostering a cohesive work environment. 

This synergy leads to improved communication, increased trust among team members, and a stronger sense of camaraderie, contributing to enhanced overall team performance.

Improvement in Attendance Stats

Well-planned schedules reduce the likelihood of scheduling conflicts, making it easier for employees to adhere to their assigned shifts. 

Consequently, attendance statistics improve as employees are more likely to show up for work on time when schedules are consistent and accommodating. 

This reliability positively impacts overall workforce attendance and punctuality.

Lowers Absenteeism Rate

By accommodating employee preferences, allowing for time-off requests, and ensuring fair distribution of shifts, businesses create a work environment that values employee well-being. 

This, in turn, lowers absenteeism rates as employees feel supported and are less likely to take unplanned leaves.

Helps in Managing Employee Tardiness

Well-crafted schedules consider employee preferences and peak performance times, reducing instances of tardiness

Clear communication of expectations and consistent scheduling help employees plan their commute and arrive on time. 

When tardiness is minimized, overall productivity increases, and disruptions to workflow are reduced. This contributes to a more efficient and reliable work environment.

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Difference Between Automated Scheduling and Manual Scheduling

AspectAutomated SchedulingManual Scheduling
EfficiencyHighly efficient, enabling quick creation, updates, and communication of schedules.Time-consuming and prone to errors, requiring managers to invest significant time and effort.
AccuracyProvides high accuracy, minimizing the risk of scheduling conflicts and errors.More susceptible to errors, such as double-bookings and shift overlaps.
FlexibilityOffers greater flexibility in adjusting schedules to accommodate employee needs and unexpected changes.Limited flexibility, as changes often involve manual adjustments and may be challenging to implement.
CommunicationFacilitates easy and instant communication of schedule updates to employees.Relies on manual communication methods, which may lead to delays and confusion.
Employee EngagementEnhances employee engagement by accommodating preferences and allowing collaborative shift swaps.May lead to dissatisfaction due to inflexible scheduling and lack of transparency in schedule changes.
Cost-EffectivenessCan contribute to cost savings by optimizing staffing levels and reducing scheduling errors.May lead to increased labor costs due to inefficiencies, overstaffing, or overtime caused by scheduling issues.
Adaptability to ChangesEasily adapts to changes in real-time, allowing for quick responses to dynamic business needs.Requires manual adjustments, making it challenging to adapt to unexpected changes or fluctuations in demand.
Data Analysis and InsightsProvides data for analysis and insights regarding employee performance and scheduling trends.Limited availability of data for analysis, making it difficult to identify optimization opportunities.

Employee Scheduling Tips for Small Businesses

Employee Scheduling Tips

Here are the top ten employee scheduling tips you can follow to make employee scheduling easier for your business.

Analyze and Forecast Business Needs

Regularly assess past and future business requirements to streamline scheduling. 

Utilize software to track trends, such as seasonality or external factors, ensuring you proactively meet staffing demands. 

Evaluate Workforce Needs

Respect employees’ preferences and availability, promoting open communication. 

Engage in conversations about workload, ensuring mutual understanding. 

Consider Employee Dynamics

Understand team dynamics by acknowledging individual preferences and working conditions. 

Encourage experimentation with different shift combinations and, if practical, allow remote work. 

Matching team members with compatible managers enhances productivity and job satisfaction.

Recognize the Differences Between Shifts

Acknowledge the unique responsibilities associated with different shifts. 

Ensure adequate coverage for specific needs, preventing burnout among trustworthy employees. 

Addressing these differences eliminates the risk of overburdening staff and improves overall team morale.

Hire When Needed

Assess budgetary capabilities and workload demands before hiring. Identify gaps in skills or increased workload expectations. 

Introducing on-call positions for inconsistent needs can provide flexibility without committing to fixed hours.

Promote Open Schedule Communication

Foster transparent communication to minimize missed shifts and incomplete tasks. 

Publicly share information, respect off-hours, and create channels for anonymous feedback. 

Openness builds trust, reducing misunderstandings and improving overall team collaboration.

Reward Accommodating Employees

Appreciate employees who accommodate scheduling needs by offering rewards such as overtime pay, additional days off, or incentives. 

Recognizing their efforts cultivates a positive atmosphere, encouraging a willingness to assist during future scheduling crises.

Maintain a Standby Pool

Establish a standby pool for on-call scheduling, ensuring availability during unexpected staffing gaps. 

Clearly communicate expectations to pool members, balancing the need for flexibility with fairness to regular staff. 

Employ Bottom-Up Scheduling Technique

Encourage a bottom-up approach to scheduling, empowering team members to propose schedules aligned with their preferences. 

While balancing this with business needs, this method leverages team insights, fostering a sense of autonomy and reducing early scheduling conflicts.

Set Scheduling Expectations Right Away

Clearly communicate scheduling expectations from the beginning of employment. 

Ensure alignment with rota, on-call, or overtime policies. 

Regularly update teams on changes, using scheduling software to efficiently disseminate information. 

Does Time Clock Software Provide Scheduling?

Buddy Punch Dashboard on Mobile, Laptop and Tablet

Most time clock software primarily tracks time and attendance, offering features like clocking in, timesheets, and absences. 

While it streamlines time management as a time management tool, most of them lack robust scheduling functionality. 

However, some advanced solutions like Buddy Punch offers integrated scheduling features, enabling businesses to manage shifts, track upcoming schedules, and facilitate team communication.

Try Buddy Punch for Free  

Ready to start a free trial?

No credit card required, all features included.

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.

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