Scheduling work can get confusing. It can help to manage shifts and schedules with the best work schedule apps, which automate some processes and help you prevent common errors.
Setting up a work schedule can get complicated, especially if you have a large team, are managing multiple locations, or are trying to use spreadsheets. Trying to manage it all manually can take a lot of time, and today’s schedule might not work tomorrow if someone calls in sick at the last minute or needs to switch shifts. A work schedule app can help.
A work scheduling app runs on your phone or computer. It has features that allow you to set up the same schedule week after week in minutes or create a completely different set of shifts every week. Best of all, today’s top apps let you swap shifts, inform employees when they’re working, and fill in scheduling gaps fast, all from your device.
Not all work scheduling apps are made equal, though. Let’s take a look at the options that will save the most time and make your organization run smoothly.
If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.
Our Top Picks
Best all-in-one work schedule app
Good for companies who want to reduce scheduling mistakes
Good for companies who want to allow clients to book appointments
What to Look For in a Work Schedule App
The top work schedule apps today have robust functionality and help you manage employee time. Here are the features you will want to look for.
- Ease of use. Look for a system that will let you automate or set up schedules fast.
- Flexibility. Look for an app that lets you swap shifts, change how many workers are on the schedule, and fill in scheduling gaps easily.
- Communication. You need to let workers know when to show up for work. An app that makes it easy for you to send schedules and reminders is important.
- Integrations. Integrations with other apps or functions can allow you to schedule workers but also fulfill other important management functions.
- Industry fit. Industries have different needs. Restaurants and healthcare may benefit from split shifts, for example, while manufacturing companies may need to comply with union rules when scheduling. Some companies may need to schedule freelancers, full-time and part-time employees, and wage workers on the same shifts. Look for a solution designed for your sector.
The 9 Best Work Schedule Apps of 2022
Connecteam recognizes that work scheduling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. This is why the all-in-one app is feature rich, linking scheduling to every part of your business, including employee communication, a knowledge base, onboarding and training, an employee directory, and more.
At a glance, you can see what shifts are scheduled and whether there are any blank spots coming up you need to fill. Assigning or swapping shifts is as simple as dragging and dropping. You can set up templates or repeat schedules if your shifts look the same week after week. You can also set up open shifts that anyone can claim.
Connecteam takes math out of the equation, too. The free timecard calculator does all the tallying for you. Just enter the start times and end times and the app figures out total hours worked and overtime as well as pay for every worker.
Connecteam also lets you connect to team members—even those working in the field—in real time. You can send notifications, reminders, or team or individual chat requests. You’re always in touch with your team, no matter where they are, so you can make shift changes and updates fast.
Connecteam’s mobile app enables you to easily attach maps, notes, videos, and files. This way, workers have everything they need for work tasks, whether that’s a map to get to their work location or a checklist to get the job done right. There’s even task management options to help you communicate and manage what your workers need to do once they get to their shift.
Your employees can access Connecteam right from their mobile phones, no matter where they are. From the app, they can not only check their schedules, but they can do many other work-related tasks. They can ask for changes to their work schedules, contact managers, clock in and out, submit time off requests, and more.
Your team can manage work tasks, submit completed forms, and get rewards for work well done. Connecteam also has geofencing options, so you can make sure your team is where they need to be at the start of their work schedule.
Connecteam is considered the best time clock for small businesses because work scheduling isn’t just about organizing time. It’s about organizing your teams and setting them up for success. Connecteam’s features let you sort out schedules, see any problems—such as overtime—and fix them before they happen. You don’t have to worry about leaving shifts unstaffed or double-booking, as Connecteam will alert you to these common mistakes.
Once you have schedules locked in, you can easily communicate with every worker in seconds. Connecteam is designed to work for all industries, and companies in the hospitality, restaurant, healthcare, utility, logistics, manufacturing, and other sectors turn to Connecteam every day.
- Automated scheduling
- Visual schedules that help you avoid common mistakes, like double-booking workers
- Automatic reminders to let employees know about the schedules
- Customizable templates to help you set up schedules fast
- Overtime notifications
- Ability to set up open shifts
- Set up shifts fast by dragging and dropping them into a calendar
- Manage the schedules of many workers at multiple locations
- Integrate with Quickbooks and Gusto Payroll for seamless payroll
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Free version only supports up to ten workers
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Free 14-day trial
Free plan available
Humanity makes it easy to set up and change schedules from any mobile device. The app can generate reports of where your time has gone and predict what you may need from shifts in the future, including how many workers you’ll need for each day and timeframe.
Using the dashboard, you can message your team and see who’s currently at work and who’s scheduled to work on the next shift. With the scheduling feature, you can view and organize all your shifts for the day, week, next two weeks, or month, by individual employee or role.
You can work with schedules in list view or visual view to see who should be working when. Click on a cell inside the calendar to create a schedule, type in the start and end time and who’s working, and press enter. If there are any conflicts or mistakes in your schedules, an error message appears.
- Dashboard to help employees see when their next shift is, who is on shift, and more
- In-app communication with teams and managers
- View schedules for a single day, week, two weeks, or a month at a time
- Easily edit a shift by seeing who’s available to work, who has overlapping shifts, and what roles you’re filling for the shift
- Drag and drop shifts to reschedule or assign to another employee
- It’s easy to copy shifts and repeat them within your schedule
- Some users have reported it’s difficult to switch shifts on the mobile apps
- No free version available
Starts at $16/month
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: No
Different organizations have different scheduling needs. For businesses who need to book client appointments or meetings, Calendly is a great option. Simply share your Calendly link through a website or email so prospects, clients, and customers can choose a time to meet with you that works for them. The app does automatic time zone calculations, so you always know when your meetings are.
Both you and your meetings or prospects can get reminders about upcoming appointments. You can glance over your open times and upcoming appointments. You can even include meeting details, such as an agenda, to keep everyone on the same page.
- Schedule when you’re available for meetings and when you’re not
- Clients and prospects can set up meetings without email addresses or lengthy discussions
- Easily schedule different-length meetings
- Schedule one-on-one or team meetings
- Integrations with Zoom, Google, Slack, Microsoft, and other common meeting software
- Available in English, French, German, & Spanish
- Support is only available through chat
- App does not schedule work shifts
Starts at $8/month + $8 per user
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: Yes
Sling combines shift scheduling with easy team messaging, a newsfeed for team-wide and company-wide messages, and a task organizer to manage work duties. Even if you have employees across multiple locations, Sling works to get everyone scheduled easily: just drag and drop scheduled shifts around the calendar. If you need to make last-minute changes, it’s easy to do so because you can message your team to find out who’s available, then update the schedule live.
Sling also lets you easily compare labor costs, scheduled hours, and overtime costs as you schedule. You can generate reports and get alerts for overtime so you can avoid paying extra. You can even schedule multiple locations across different time zones on the same platform.
- Get notifications when work tasks are completed
- Share videos, photos, and notes in-app
- Get overtime notifications
- You can provide directions to work locations in the work app
- Review labor costs of your schedule before you finalize shifts
- Geofencing feature to make sure workers are where they need to be
- Mobile time tracking and calendar synchronization only available with Premium version
- Limited customization
Starts at $1.70/month + $1.70 per user
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: Yes
WorkTime lets you set up employees for success while fighting absenteeism. With the app, you can view logins and logouts, idle times, and when workers are on the job.
WorkTime monitors employee computer activity, software and internet use, and productivity, so you can make sure employees are on track. WorkTime only monitors the data needed to measure employee productivity, so private messages and private online activity stay safe. The app can also help you identify distractions at work, computers left on after hours, and overtime in your schedules.
- Monitor employee activity and productivity
- Monitor software and internet use of remote, deskless, and on-site workers
- Visual reports show you how much idle time and productive time you have at work
- Track the number of meetings and time spent on each specific app
- Software use tracking lets you see whether you have underused apps you can cancel
- HIPPA compliant and no recording of keystrokes or screenshots
- No system for easily setting up shifts
- No integrations
Starts at $5.99/month + $5.99 per user
Free Trial: Yes
Fee Plan: Yes
Shiftboard is a solution for complex industry scheduling, especially for healthcare, corrections, manufacturing, and utilities. The schedule can accommodate job rotations and production line changes. It can also help you schedule emergency response teams, on-call workers, and turnarounds.
Shiftboard scheduling can also help you automate scheduling so it meets the requirements of union agreements and internal procedures. For example, you can make sure workers get a specific amount of break time between shifts or specify a minimum number of hours.
Workers can use their mobile devices to pick up or trade shifts, volunteer to take work shifts, request time off, or turn down scheduled shifts. If you need to schedule overtime, the app makes sure you can do so fairly, based on seniority, overtime already worked, job role, and employees’ history of refusing shifts.
- Monitor employee preferences for work so you can create schedules workers want
- Overview of schedules lets you spot staffing and scheduling gaps
- Schedule contingent or temp staff by allowing them to bid on or volunteer for shifts
- In-app list of available workers is available as you schedule
- Automated calls, texts, or mobile notifications let workers know when shifts have been changed or are available
- Ability to split shifts
- Implementation fees are charged
- The company does not list its subscription costs
Starts at $7/month + $7 per user
Free Trial: No
Free Plan: No
Google Calendar is available to any workplace or individual with Gmail. While it’s free to use, businesses can choose a paid Google Workspace account, which comes with more collaboration and productivity tools.
Google Calendar lets you lview schedules by the day, week, or month. You can see all your workers on one calendar or look at everyone who is booked to work.
Google Calendar automatically sends reminders when workers have meetings or upcoming tasks. The calendar also syncs with personal calendars, so you can see when workers aren’t available before you schedule any shifts.
Scheduling is as simple as clicking a square on the calendar and filling in the details of the shift or meeting with workers, durations, and details. An email will sent to workers, letting them know they have been invited to a shift or meeting. They can respond to let you know they will be there.
- Integrations with Outlook, Apple Calendar, Office 365, Google Workspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Calendly
- Create shared calendars so teams can see what others are doing and when colleagues are available
- Choose calendars that show national holidays
- Include notes with Google Calendar invitations, including meeting agendas and links to video conference meeting rooms
- Available in 41 languages
- Used globally, so most internet users are familiar with Google products
- Lacks the features of many other scheduling programs, such as labor cost management
- Employees may double-book themselves if they don’t sync their personal Google calendar with their work calendar
Starts at $6/month + $6 per user
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: Yes
ZoomShift is designed to make it simple to set up schedules and make changes fast. You can copy shifts and schedules easily, and if someone calls out sick or you need a replacement, you don’t have to contact employees. You can send out a notification of an open shift and empower employees to claim it.
When you create a schedule in ZoomShift, the top of the web page automatically shows you the labor cost and hours worked. This way, you can see how moving team members around affects your budget.
When you’re ready to share your schedule, you can send it to everyone who’s working with one click. Employees can send messages or request time off right in the app.
- Schedule templates let you set up repeating shifts
- Drag and drop shifts into place on a calendar to quickly set up a schedule
- Send schedule updates through push notifications, text, or email
- Workers are automatically reminded before their shifts start
- View calendar daily, weekly, or monthly
- See company events, employee availability, time off, and swapped shifts
- Overtime warnings only available in Premium plan
- Not ideal for freelancers or large companies
Starts at $2/month + $2 per user
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: No
For busy restaurants that need a lot of flexibility, Fourth lets managers easily review and manage shifts. If there is a sudden need for more workers, the app lets owners send out an SOS emergency notice so available workers can come in.
Fourth can manage multiple restaurant locations and set up schedules that focus on the breakfast, lunch, or dinner rush. Forecasting features let managers predict what staff will be needed and when. For example, if past data shows that bartenders are most needed Saturdays at 7 PM, managers can see this report and choose to schedule accordingly, such as scheduling more bartenders at this time.
- Analytics dashboards after every shift evaluate labor costs
- Rotas update automatically once a schedule is updated
- Shifts can be approved with one click
- Template schedules to make scheduling faster
- HotSchedules feature prompts managers to ensure they comply with local and state labor laws, such as mandatory breaks
- Minor workers feature ensures minors aren’t shown shifts available during school hours
- Many features may not be relevant outside the restaurant industry
- No pricing available on the website
Pricing available by quote
Free Trial: Yes
Free Plan: No
Compare the Best Work Schedule Apps
What Is a Work Schedule App?
A work scheduling app is a type of employee scheduling software for mobile devices that helps you assign and manage employee work schedules and shifts. It can help you create a productive work week by easily assigning shifts and determining who needs to be at work and when.
A good work scheduling app also helps you manage time and teams. It can save you time when compared with trying to sort out schedules with pen and paper. Features in these apps can also help you avoid overtime or enable you to trade shifts if one worker can’t make it in. It helps make sure you’re staffed appropriately.
How Does a Work Schedule App Work?
Employee scheduling apps are usually based around a calendar. You can look at a day, week, or month that you need to schedule and fill in every section of time your business needs staffed with the right workers.
Many apps also let you set up templates or move shifts around so you can make sure you have the team you need for the workload and schedule employees for the right job.
Scheduling apps also usually let workers know when they need to work, and they should allow you to make changes to your schedule as needed. They help you send notifications to remind employees about upcoming work and can even be integrated with an employee clock, so you can see who is working, who is late, who is about to show up for work, as well as keep track of their work hours.
The Benefits of a Work Schedule App
A work schedule app does more than telling employees when and where they need to be for work.
For managers, work scheduling apps make job scheduling and shift planning faster, with tools to automatically populate shifts based on availability or copy previous shifts and easy methods to notify everyone of changes. With the right work schedule app, managers can also stay compliant with overtime rules and save time they might otherwise spend trying to sort out shifts.
A strong schedule app also lets you manage labor costs. With a digital schedule, you can see who is working and how much each shift will cost in terms of employee wages. If overtime is a possibility, scheduling software can help you arrange your schedules to minimize or even eliminate overtime, so you spend less on it.
A good work schedule app can also help workers meet their needs outside of work and enjoy a good work-life balance by making it easier to keep track of time off requests and shift preferences.
How Much Does a Work Schedule App Cost?
Work schedule apps are usually charged monthly, by the feature, and/or by the number of users. The more employees you have to schedule and the more features you want to enjoy, the more you are likely to spend. The app you get also matters. Different apps have different costs.
Connecteam, for example, is 100% free for up to ten users, with access to all our most popular features. You can enjoy Connecteam free for life for small teams. You get not only a work schedule app, but also a clock-in clock-out app, a task management app, a knowledge database, online onboarding and training features, a way to reward your employees, a secure chat app, survey capabilities, and more.
You get multiple apps, so you have everything you need to manage teams and work at your fingertips, even when your entire staff is on the go.
How can I keep track of my staff schedule?
One of the simplest ways is with a top work schedule app. An app lets you create, update, and change schedules on the go and communicate shifts to all your employees. It saves you time compared to scheduling on spreadsheets or with pen and paper.
Is there a free work schedule app?
There are free work scheduling apps. For small teams, Connecteam is 100% free for life for up to ten users. If you have larger teams, a paid subscription service will likely give you the functionality and stability you need.
What is the importance of staff scheduling?
Staff scheduling makes sure you can keep your business going. It makes sure you have enough staff for every workday and shift to get work done. It also helps you manage costs by helping you avoid overstaffing and unnecessary overtime costs.
The Bottom Line On Work Schedule App
Unlike trying to sort out work schedules with pen and paper or spreadsheets, schedule apps are dynamic. They simplify the scheduling process and easily enable time off requests, last-minute changes, and more. When you make changes to a schedule or shift trades in these apps, they will automatically adjust the rest of the schedule so you can see how a shift swap affects overtime and employee hours.
A work scheduling app such as Connecteam also lets you track time worked, labor costs, and more. For small businesses, large enterprises, and everything in between, Connecteam lets you manage the work you need to get done much more quickly.