The 6 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software Solutions

If you’re used to spending hours on end planning your workers’ hourly schedules, we have news for you. You don’t have to rely on pen and paper, nor on Excel sheets to get this task done. And it certainly doesn’t have to consume hours of your valuable time every week. There’s a much more efficient way to organize your workforce, and it won’t cost you a dime. We’re talking about free employee scheduling software. You can take care of work scheduling online, communicate with your employees via free apps, and make changes to your schedule on the go.

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1.

Homebase Free Version
  • Open shifts, shift trades, and covers
  • Labor cost forecasts and reports
  • Scheduling compliance alerts

Homebase offers an amazing array of features that are simple to navigate. As long as you operate from one location, you won’t find a better free product on the market. This is more than just a free schedule maker; Homebase also helps you stay compliant with local labor regulations. Since it integrates with major POS and payroll systems, other parts of your business will run more smoothly once you start using this software. If you want to upgrade to a paid version, you won’t pay per user, but per additional location. This makes Homebase’s paid plan extremely affordable for business owners with a robust workforce.

Read full review

Homebase offers an amazing array of features that are simple to navigate. As long as you operate from one location, you won’t find a better free product on the market. This is more than just a free schedule maker; Homebase also helps you stay compliant with local labor regulations. Since it integrates with major POS and payroll systems, other parts of your business will run more smoothly once you start using this software. If you want to upgrade to a paid version, you won’t pay per user, but per additional location. This makes Homebase’s paid plan extremely affordable for business owners with a robust workforce.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - 1
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - included
  • Timesheets - included

2.

Sling Free Version
  • Long-term scheduling
  • Private and group messaging
  • Shift notifications

Sling delivers a feature-rich scheduling system free of charge. You can use this free online employee scheduling program to plan workloads for as many workers as you need. Apart from reducing the time managers spend planning, it also makes swapping shifts a painless process. Your whole business will feel the benefits of this app, which facilitates team communication and reduces absenteeism. Even though Sling offers advanced scheduling features for free, attendance tracking and timesheets require a plan upgrade.

Read full review

Sling delivers a feature-rich scheduling system free of charge. You can use this free online employee scheduling program to plan workloads for as many workers as you need. Apart from reducing the time managers spend planning, it also makes swapping shifts a painless process. Your whole business will feel the benefits of this app, which facilitates team communication and reduces absenteeism. Even though Sling offers advanced scheduling features for free, attendance tracking and timesheets require a plan upgrade.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $2/user/month

3.

When I Work Free Version
  • Availability and time-off management
  • Timetable templates
  • Free hiring software

When I Work is a well-rounded free employee schedule maker that fits the needs of small businesses with employees who change work locations frequently, like services for caregivers, nannies, or party entertainers. Its color-coded interface is easy to master even though it offers a lot of options. Communicating with your team will be transformed once everyone downloads the free When I Work app. And if you ever find yourself short-staffed, you can find new employees using the same app.

Read full review

When I Work is a well-rounded free employee schedule maker that fits the needs of small businesses with employees who change work locations frequently, like services for caregivers, nannies, or party entertainers. Its color-coded interface is easy to master even though it offers a lot of options. Communicating with your team will be transformed once everyone downloads the free When I Work app. And if you ever find yourself short-staffed, you can find new employees using the same app.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - up to 75
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - included

4.

OpenSimSim Free Version
  • Shift instructions
  • Manager logbook
  • Labor cost budgeting

OpenSimSim is an excellent free employee schedule app for managers who need to produce timetables for workers in both the main job location and off-site. It has no limitations regarding the number of users or locations, nor how far in advance you can plan. Communication among employees is streamlined by the free app and managers can use the software to keep each other informed about what’s happening with each shift. This simple employee scheduling software can help you manage labor costs, too.

Read full review

OpenSimSim is an excellent free employee schedule app for managers who need to produce timetables for workers in both the main job location and off-site. It has no limitations regarding the number of users or locations, nor how far in advance you can plan. Communication among employees is streamlined by the free app and managers can use the software to keep each other informed about what’s happening with each shift. This simple employee scheduling software can help you manage labor costs, too.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $3/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $3/user/month

5.

Findmyshift Free Version
  • More than 10 integrations with small business tools
  • Extensive customer support
  • Tracks time off

Findmyshift is an employee scheduler that’s free for teams of no more than five people. This web application allows you to plan workers’ shifts in as many locations as your business takes you, which makes it a great fit for a small teams of caregivers, or other workers who travel on a daily basis. You can also track employees’ attendance and export timesheets into your payroll system. Findmyshift is an industry leader when it comes to third-party integrations and sets the standard for customer care.

Read full review

Findmyshift is an employee scheduler that’s free for teams of no more than five people. This web application allows you to plan workers’ shifts in as many locations as your business takes you, which makes it a great fit for a small teams of caregivers, or other workers who travel on a daily basis. You can also track employees’ attendance and export timesheets into your payroll system. Findmyshift is an industry leader when it comes to third-party integrations and sets the standard for customer care.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - up to 5
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $2/user/month

6.

ZoomShift 14-Day Free Trial
  • Payroll report
  • Shift reminders
  • Calendar app sync

ZoomShift isn’t a completely free employee work scheduler, but we’ve included it on our list since it offers amazing features and a two-week free trial. What’s more, its most affordable plan offers some options that are found among the pricier tiers of other providers. With ZoomShift, you can coordinate shifts for as many workers you employ in an unlimited number of locations. The Starter plan also includes time clock features and timesheets to help you keep an eye on your employees’ behavior.

Read full review

ZoomShift isn’t a completely free employee work scheduler, but we’ve included it on our list since it offers amazing features and a two-week free trial. What’s more, its most affordable plan offers some options that are found among the pricier tiers of other providers. With ZoomShift, you can coordinate shifts for as many workers you employ in an unlimited number of locations. The Starter plan also includes time clock features and timesheets to help you keep an eye on your employees’ behavior.

Read full review VISIT WEBSITE
  • Number of Employees - unlimited starting at $2/user/month
  • Number of Locations - unlimited starting at $2/user/month
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $2/user/month

Why you need employee scheduling software

When you sit down to make a schedule for the coming week, you need to take so many things into consideration. Kelly’s kid’s recital on Tuesday, John’s dentist appointment on Thursday, the fact that tips are better in the afternoon and Marcus asked for more of those shifts... And of course, there are state labor regulations you need to abide by. So you can’t give too many hours to Jane, even though she needs the money and is your best worker.

The worst thing about this grueling task is that, no matter how hard you try, something will always come up. People get sick or need time off for unpredictable personal reasons. When that happens, you need to get back to your Excel sheet and start all over again. But before you go and spend another hour tweaking the timetable, you should consider trying employee scheduling software for free.

It won’t cost you anything and will save you hours every week. Not to mention it will transform the way you communicate with your team. Instead of chasing employees down to inform them of a new schedule, you can send all the important information to the whole team in an email or text. Shift swapping, time-off management, and labor-regulation compliance will be so simple that you no longer have to worry about it at all. You’ll just get notifications in the scheduling app and take it from there.

Our criteria for evaluating free employee scheduling tools

Scheduling method

Different industries have different scheduling demands. For example, while skill and experience are always important considerations, workers’ qualifications play a less important role in retail than they do in, say, caregiving. If you manage a team of nurses and caretakers, you need to know their exact work experience and training so you can assign the right professional to each patient. While qualifications matter in retail, too, lives are not at stake. That’s why one of the factors we consider when evaluating scheduling apps is the abundance of parameters you can set when managing your team.

Number of locations

Some free shift scheduling software solutions allow you to organize workers by location as well as by shift. If you have a chain of restaurants or you manage volunteers who work in several different places, multiple-location scheduling is a must. That’s why we look for work scheduling programs that cater to the needs of business owners who work from more than one location.

Ease of use

If you’re going to abandon your tried and tested scheduling method for an employee scheduling software that’s free, it had better be simple to navigate. Staff scheduling is an everyday task, so you can’t afford to invest a lot of time in learning how to use the software. It has to be intuitive and easy to use right off the bat.

Team communication

One of the challenges of employee rostering is delivering the most up-to-date schedule to your workers. Even when you make a great schedule that works for everyone, it’s no good if some people don’t get access to it. The best scheduling software programs let you share the schedule with your employees via text and email as soon as you create it. This eliminates any miscommunication.

Attendance monitoring

Managing a workforce is more complex than simply determining working hours. You also need to keep track of whether your employees actually work the hours you assign them. That’s why a shift planner that also tracks attendance is a huge plus. It basically means that one free app takes care of two important tasks.

Third-party integrations

Since apps for work scheduling collect a lot of valuable data about your employees’ workload, it’s possible to use that information for payroll or accounting purposes as well. We evaluate each app based on whether it includes any useful third-party integrations that can also help you run your business efficiently.

Price

All the scheduling programs on our list are free solutions. However, if your small business isn’t all that small, you might need to pay for an upgrade. Some workforce scheduling software providers charge extra once you surpass a certain number of users. Others require you to switch to a paid plan if you want to coordinate shifts in multiple locations. In our search for the best solutions on the market, we always take pricing models into account.

Customer support

When you use Software as a Service (SaaS), there’s every chance you’ll come across a bug. No matter how good the technological solution, errors happen. When you hit a roadblock, you’ll appreciate an explanation and helpful tips from customer service representatives. We take this into account when writing our reviews.

The 6 Best Free Employee Scheduling Apps

  • 1. Homebase
  • 2. Sling
  • 3. When I Work
  • 4. OpenSimSim
  • 5. Findmyshift
  • 6. ZoomShift

Reviews of Free Employee Schedulers

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - 1
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - included
  • Timesheets - included
Additional Features
  • Unlimited number of users in a single location
  • Timesheets for payroll
  • Option to save timesheets and reports for 90 days
  • POS and payroll software integrations

Homebase is one of the best free employee scheduling software solutions on the market. From retailers to caterers, it helps business owners come up with schedules that work both for them and their employees. With a simple drop-and-drag interface, you can quickly create a timetable for the following week or a specific employee.

Team communication is made easy with the free app, which lets you send unlimited texts and emails without paying a dime. Homebase also boasts a time-tracker that will further help you manage your staff. This feature will come in handy at the end of the month when it’s time to pay your employees. The software is available in three languages: English, Spanish and French.

Homebase scheduling

With this free employee scheduling program, you can organize your team within one location, regardless of how many employees you have. Commonly used by retailers, restaurateurs, and fitness trainers, this software lets you create daily, weekly, and monthly timetables. You also have the option to build your schedule by department, role, or employee. By allowing this much flexibility in schedule creation, Homebase really stands out from the competition.

Once you create a weekly timetable, you can store it as a template and reuse it for the next week. Naturally, you can also make adjustments to that template. But the fact you can come back to it as a starting point is a huge time-saver. If you’re willing to pay $16 a month for this team scheduling app, you can upgrade to the auto-scheduling feature. It creates timetables so you don’t have to, leaving you to revise them and share them with your staff.

Ease of use

Homebase is very simple to navigate, from the sign-up process to managing shift swaps. You can create your account with just a few clicks by entering your personal and professional information. The following step is manually adding employees’ names and contact info. If you use a POS system or payroll software, this is even easier – you can just import a file with employee data.

Creating your first weekly timetable using this employee scheduling tool will be a breeze thanks to the drop-and-drag menu. If you’re not tech-savvy, you can rely on some great instruction videos; on the Homebase website and YouTube channel, you’ll find a series of explanatory videos aimed at both managers and employees. You and your entire team will be on the same page in no time.

Team communication

Informing your staff of their working hours is hassle-free with Homebase. As soon as you create the timetable, you can send it to employees as a text or email via the app. You can choose to message only your managers, the entire team, just the people working today, or any of your coworkers directly.

A feature of this shift scheduling freeware that your team members will love is setting their availability in advance. If an employee has a doctor’s appointment next week, they can let you know via the app. The software will keep track of this information, preventing you from assigning them a shift at a time they’re unavailable. This will save you a lot of back-and-forth with your employees, who will ultimately be much happier with their schedule.

The designers behind Homebase have really gone out of their way to streamline the staff-management process. You probably know how annoying it is to send a timetable to a worker and never hear back from them. With this app, you’ll get notifications when your employees read the messages you send them.

Homebase Review

Homebase timeclock

Homebase isn’t just one of the best free scheduling software solutions. Its time clock feature also makes it an attendance-tracking tool that eliminates the need for paper time cards. After you install the Homebase app, every computer, phone, tablet, and even POS system becomes a timeclock.

By giving each employee a simple four- or six-digit code for clocking in and out, you can easily stay on top of everyone’s working hours. To make sure employees aren’t covering for each other, the app takes a photo of the worker when they start and end their shift.

All the data collected is stored in the cloud and can be imported into your payroll software. With one of the paid plans, you’ll also get notifications when employees are late for work or when they approach overtime so you can react right away.

Third-party integrations

You can pair this amazing employee scheduler with your payroll system and save yourself the trouble of manually entering data about each employee’s work hours. Since Homebase was designed with restaurateurs and retailers in mind, it also integrates with POS systems like Square and Lightspeed.

This schedule creator boasts another feature unmatched by the competition; it helps you find new workers when you’re short-staffed. You can browse the Homebase app to find industry-tested job descriptions for the most common positions, or write your own. Post the add on Facebook, Google, GlassDoor, or your company website. As applications start coming in, manage them all in your hiring dashboard. The best thing about this feature is that it’s included in this shift scheduler freeware; you don’t need to pay a fee to access it.

Homebase pricing

The free version of Homebase is packed with useful features other companies charge for. With some competitors, you need to pay a monthly fee to be able to plan shifts far ahead or when your workforce exceeds a certain number of employees. Homebase doesn’t have such limitations. That’s why it’s the perfect software for small business owners who manage a lot of employees in a single location.

That said, for $16 a month you can add one more job site to your account. With this payment plan – called the Essentials package – you also get more advanced messaging tools, visibility into employee performance, and advanced scheduling features.

Bump your monthly fee to $40 and this online employee scheduling software will unlock even more amazing functionalities. With the Plus plan, you can control the cost of labor with forecasts, policies, and alerts. You can also count on Homebase to send you notifications so that you stay compliant with local laws.

Customer support

If you encounter a problem, you can reach out to Homebase’s customer support via email, live chat, or phone. The upside of this company’s support is that it’s provided by people who have been in your shoes – former managers. According to Homebase reviews written by users, the support team is very friendly and helpful. You’ll need to register your free Homebase account in order to chat with a representative.

The Homebase free plan includes:

-Unlimited number of users in a single location

-Templates and labor forecasts

-Time clocks for tracking employee hours

-Timesheets for payroll

-Employee availability

-Free app for the entire team

-Free in-app messages

-Employee shift feedback reports

-Ability to share job posts and manage applications

-Option to save timesheets and reports for 90 days

-POS and payroll software integrations

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $2/user/month
Additional Features
  • Shift alarms
  • Long-term scheduling
  • Multiple location
  • Private and group messaging

With an unlimited number of both workers and locations, Sling employee schedule maker is another great option for managers of large, decentralized teams. Given that similar free apps start charging either when the staff exceeds a certain number or when a business has multiple job sites, Sling’s offer is above average. This program, available as both a web application and a mobile app, gives competitors a run for their money, since it also boasts unlimited long-term planning. On the other hand, this work schedule freeware falls behind When I Work and Homebase, since Sling’s free plan doesn’t include time-tracking features.

Mobile app

Among the scheduling apps we’ve reviewed, the Sling scheduling app boasts the best rating in the App Store and Google Play. It has a 4.7-star rating on a five-star scale from Android and Apple users alike. This employee schedule app is free, yet fully functional.

Employees love it because it provides a simple method of communication with their superiors, be it about available hours, time off, or job locations. Similarly, managers praise it because it enables them to make schedule changes on the go. Those with the paid version share positive reviews about the time clock feature, regardless of their position in the team. Workers are happy they can clock in from their phones, while business owners appreciate the fact they can export that data to a payroll system.

Ease of Use

You can sign up for this team scheduling software free version on the Sling website in just a few easy steps. Your name, email address, and business name will suffice. Before you can start scheduling, though, you’ll need to enter employees’ data. When you sign up for the free version, you get access to all the paid features for 14 days.

Tech-savvy business managers find Sling to be very intuitive, with a minimal learning curve. But even if you’ve been relying on pen and paper for years, you’ll learn your way around Sling in no time. There are dozens of explanatory articles, videos, and demos in the Help Center. The articles are backed with screen captures to provide complete clarity. 

Third-party integrations

Before you start free employee scheduling online, you’ll need to input workers’ information like names, phone numbers, emails, and skills. This can be very time-consuming for business owners with large teams. However, if you are using the Square POS system, you can just import this data from the POS. 

You can also send timecards created on Square to Sling. This allows you to compare scheduled and actual hours and costs, or export timesheets to be used in your payroll system. In addition to the Square integration, Sling can be synced with Google Calendar. Regrettably, this is available only on the paid plans. It should be noted that other work scheduling software solutions on our list provide a wider selection of integration options.

Customer support

In case you encounter any issues while using this free employee scheduling program you can get in touch with customer support representatives in a number of ways. The quickest option is via live chat, which is accessible from your Sling online account and mobile app. In our experience, you’ll get a quick and helpful answer. There’s also the option of reaching out to Sling customer support via email or phone. 

Sling pricing

If you are managing a large team over multiple locations, then Sling is definitely an option worth considering. This work scheduling freeware offers everything you need to create timetables far in advance across as many sites as you need, with detailed notes and instructions. It also facilitates internal communication with the free app.

Moving from the free option to the Premium plan unlocks time tracking, labor cost management, and budgeting. The Premium plan costs $2 per user per month. If you have a smaller team in a single location, you could get some of these features for free with Homebase.

Paying $4 per user each month gives you access to the Business Plan. It includes all the previously mentioned features, plus centralized time clock, PTO tracking, and reports. As useful as these features are, the price tag they come with is a bit higher than most of the other mobile workforce scheduling software solutions we’ve reviewed.

Sling scheduling

This scheduling program has no limitations regarding users and locations. That makes it extremely appealing to those coordinating teams of college professors and student tutors giving lessons throughout a college campus, or for restaurateurs who employ hourly staff in chain restaurants. To ensure sizable teams work seamlessly across different sites, Sling lets workers set the hours they are unavailable so managers don’t book them during those times.

This free employee schedule maker’s interface lets users view timetables as little as one day or as far as a month in advance. You have the option of color-coding employees or positions so you can create a timetable in which you can distinguish shifts at a glance. After you create a schedule, you can send it to all your employees with a single click. This is a much simpler solution than texting each worker or putting up a printed timetable on the newsboard.

Sling lets you copy schedule templates so you never have to create the same timetable twice. If any changes occur, you can make the necessary adjustments and notify your co-workers via the Sling app. When you want to revise a schedule, you can filter it by employee name, position, location, group, or shift hours.

Team communication

This free workforce scheduling software is on par with major competitors when it comes to facilitating team communication. Apart from allowing employees to set their availability, it also lets you give your staff even more autonomy by creating open shifts. 

Send out a notification with details about the shift, like time and location, to all the workers with the right skillset and assign it to whoever replies first. Or select the employee you prefer from the pool of candidates who reply saying they’re available. This is ideal for businesses that employ many workers on the “as needed” basis, like party entertainers or childcare professionals.

Shift notifications are an amazing automatic tool that reduces absenteeism and tardiness. Sling reviews left by hourly workers from the catering industry emphasize how helpful this feature is. Sadly, this schedule freeware doesn’t offer free shift-trading, as OpenSimSim or Homebase do. You might want to consider the Premium or Business plan if you’d like to enable easy shift-swapping for your workers.

Sling free plan includes:

– Shift scheduling

– Shift alarms

-Shift offers

-Available shifts

-Time-off requests

-Availability

-Private and group messaging

-iOS and Android apps

-Long-term scheduling

-Unlimited employees

-Multiple location

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - up to 75
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - included
Additional Features
  • Up to 75 workers in an unlimited number of locations
  • Payroll software integrations
  • Timesheets for payroll
  • Ability to share job posts and manage applications

When I Work scheduling software is a great product for small business owners who need to coordinate workers across several locations. If your team consists of fewer than 75 members and they work from a range of locations, it’s a good fit for your business. This employee scheduling app also provides attendance tracking, hiring, and messaging features that help you manage your workforce from a centralized system.

When I Work scheduling

When I Work’s free plan allows you to schedule up to 75 employees in various locations. This makes it suitable not only for restaurants and retail stores, but also for caterers, companies in the entertainment industry, caretakers, or any other group of professionals who work from more than one job site. 

With this free shift scheduling app, you can organize work according to time slots that need to be filled, positions, or even individual workers, just as with Homebase. However, when it comes to how far ahead you can plan, this roster software falls behind its main competitor. The scheduling feature on the free plan lets you create daily and weekly schedules. If you want to organize your workload a month ahead, you’ll need to switch to a paid plan.

Those days of locking yourself in the back office for hours on end, planning next week’s shifts will be a thing of the past once you start using When I Work employee scheduling software. It lets you save previous timetables as templates so you can tweak them with just a few clicks and share them with your team. The option to color-code each position and worker makes it even quicker and easier to use.

Team communication

After you create a work schedule, you can share it with your staff via the When I Work app and email. All your employees will be informed with a simple click and you’ll get a notification when they see and confirm the schedule. This feature ensures nobody can claim to have missed work because they “didn’t see the timetable.” 

When I Work schedule software freeware minimizes scheduling complications by allowing workers to communicate their availability to managers. If an employee marks that they are unavailable on a certain day, the app will take note of this. You won’t be able to give them a shift that day – no calls or texts required. Just one click in the app is all you need for efficient communication with your employees.

When somebody calls in sick, you can quickly get in touch with your team. Just pull up a list of workers who are qualified and available and send them a message to see who can cover the shift. You can even allow employees to swap shifts in this staff scheduling app. Employees agree among themselves which hours work for them and just send the swap request to a manager for approval. The whole process is stress-free and is resolved in a matter of minutes.

Ease of use 

Given the complexity of the planning options it provides, When I Work is fairly simple to use. Sign up online and enter your business info to get started. Then import a CSV or Excel file with information about your workers, like name, phone number, email address, and qualification level.

Just as with Homebase, you can build a timetable from previous templates by dragging and dropping workers’ names onto the sheet. Assign each position or worker a color to get a clearer overview of who is working at what time. When I Work’s free employee scheduling software boasts an impressive library of instructional videos on YouTube. On the company website, you can also watch pre-recorded webinars that help you set up the system. You can also sign up for live webinars that are held on a weekly basis.

When I Work Review

When I Work time clock

This is more than just a work schedule maker; When I Work also tracks employee attendance and serves as a digital time tracker. Paper punch time clocks and clunky hardware will become a thing of the past once you start using When I Work app. With it, you can turn any computer, tablet, or phone into a time clock. 

Choose between a tablet at the job site or give your workers the flexibility to punch in on their smartphones. Since this employee scheduling app uses geofencing, your staff won’t be able to clock in from home or their car. If an employee forgets to clock out, they’ll receive a push notification reminding them to do so. 

Per user per month, this attendance feature will cost you $2 on the free plan, an additional $1.30 on the Basic plan and an additional $1.60 on the Pro plan. Another drawback of When I Work in comparison to Homebase is that you can’t install the time clock app on a POS device. 

Third-party integrations

The data you collect with When I Work time and attendance app can be shared with payroll software. The company currently has partnerships with eight payroll service providers, including industry leaders like Gusto, Square, and QuickBooks. This staff scheduling software that’s free also syncs up with personal and business calendars.

Customer support

Should you need any help with When I Work, customer service is there for you. You can reach out to the team via chat or email. On weekdays, agents are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.

If you need assistance when customer agents are unavailable, there’s a library of articles you can consult. With screenshots of the software and video instructions, the materials are truly helpful. Another thing we’ve noticed while reading When I Work reviews online is that customer support representatives also read them and send users information-rich replies that address their concerns.

When I Work pricing

The free plan for this job scheduling software includes an unlimited number of job sites and up to 75 employees. All the previously described features, except attendance, are available in the free plan, which makes When I work a great solution for small businesses based across several locations.

If you coordinate more than 75 hourly workers then you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans. For an additional $1.50 per user per month, you’ll also get access to long-term planning, scheduling multiple teams, and remote job sites. 

Switching from workforce scheduling software that’s free to the Pro plan unlocks even more options. The plan that costs $2.50 per user per month. It offers auto-scheduling features, as well as the ability to manage team tasks and monitor task progress.

When I Work free plan includes:

-Up to 75 workers in an unlimited number of locations

-Ability for employees to set availability

-Free iOS and Android apps for the entire team

-Payroll software integrations

-Timesheets for payroll

-Ability to share job posts and manage applications

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - unlimited
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $3/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $3/user/month
Additional Features
  • Upcoming shift reminders
  • POS integrations
  • Shift-swapping
  • Labor cost budgeting

OpenSimSim is the perfect solution for business owners who coordinate large teams in multiple locations. This free scheduling software runs laps around the competition since it lets you arrange shifts for an unlimited number of employees in as many locations as you wish. OpenSimSim boasts free iOS and Android apps that both managers and employees use to get valuable info on the go. You can communicate with your entire team or individual employees from the OpenSimSim app, which lets you share photos and files. Unfortunately, the time-tracking feature is a paid upgrade.

OpenSimSim scheduling

When making a schedule for your workforce with this free employee scheduling program, you can choose between daily and weekly views. It’s got a leg up on the competition since it lets you plan as far ahead as you’d like. While Homebase allows you to plan one month in advance and When I Work requires you to upgrade to a paid plan to do that, OpenSimSim allows you to make unlimited schedules for an unlimited number of employees in an unlimited number of locations.

Once you create free employee schedules with OpenSimSim, you can save and reuse them in the future. This feature is a great time-saver, especially if you manage a large staff or a group of volunteers in a number of different locations. Restaurateurs and other hospitality managers really like the fact that this schedule generator lets you plan shifts according to departments. You can select generic options, like the kitchen, bar, and floor, or you can create departments that are unique to your business.

More than just a shift scheduling free app, OpenSimSim can be used to plan labor costs, too. Just insert the hourly wage of each employee and you’ll see a cost forecast. This is yet another feature that saves time for managers and increases the overall productivity of your business.

Team communication

When your team expands from five people to 15, scheduling becomes really complicated, really quickly. The complexity increases with every new employee you hire, and staying on top of who has seen the schedule, who’s unavailable, and when and where people are working is a real challenge. OpenSimSim’s free employee scheduling tool overcomes these obstacles with a number of useful features.

You can add notes for your employees when creating a timetable. Eliminate confusion by sharing the address they are working from, explaining where VIP guests would like to sit in your restaurant, or anything else you need to communicate. 

Shift acknowledgment is another great time-saving feature. Once your workers receive the timetable, they are prompted by the app to confirm they’ve seen it. Managers will see a little tick in the upper right corner next to that employee’s hours. OpenSimSim even sends shift reminders to employees to cover all bases.

Finding workers to cover extra shifts is also made easy by this free staff scheduling software. The once-stressful process of calling employees and checking their availability is now done through the app. Set the hours and the position that needs filing and send it to all qualified employees, or just a select few. Interested employees apply through the app and managers confirm those hours. 

Mobile app

OpenSimSim has a free app that boasts a four-star rating in the Google Play Store and a 4.6-star rating in the App Store. Such high scores land have it in contention for the best schedule app in terms of user reviews. Managers use it to share important notifications with their staff, like the new menu in a restaurant or a new clothing item in a store. Photos, hyperlinks, and documents are all supported, so you can communicate with workers as you would in any other messaging app. The only difference is that this is a dedicated channel for work-related topics. 

Employees love the app because they can see their schedules and those of their colleagues. If managers permit it, employees can request shift swaps. Managers then approve or deny the request with a simple click on the scheduling app and the schedule gets updated automatically.Another reason both employees and managers love this free scheduling app is the option to request time off and set the hours when they are unavailable. Once managers approve these requests, they won’t be able to schedule workers for those hours.

OpenSimSim Review

Ease of use

OpenSimSim schedule planning software takes care of the complicated task of managing your workforce, but it remains simple to use. Once you enter your name, email address, and business name, your account is created. Enter your workers’ names and positions and you’ll be ready to make your first schedule.

This free employee scheduling software opens a chat window with video instructions to help you navigate the system. If you are left with any questions, you can start chatting with an OpenSimSim customer support agent right then and there. What’s more, the website offers a library of helpful articles that you can consult when in doubt. They are backed with screenshots to provide complete clarity. After you make your first employee schedule template, you’ll be able to plan weeks ahead in a matter of minutes.

Third-party integrations

Business owners who have many staff and use a POS system don’t need to input every worker’s name and qualifications manually. They can import the CVS file with employees’ data from their POS, provided they are using Heartland Restaurant, Square, or Clover. Unfortunately, OpenSimSim doesn’t integrate with Google Calendar like the other shift scheduling software that’s free.

Customer support

Customer support is available around the clock and easily accessible. When you log into your account, click on the chat widget in the bottom-right-hand corner and you’ll get immediate help from one of the agents. Both free and Premium plan customers are eligible for the same level of customer service.

OpenSimSim pricing

OpenSimSim is on our list of the best employee scheduling solutions because its free plan doesn’t pose limitations with regards to the number of employees and locations. However, features like time clock, timesheets, reporting, and advanced scheduling are limited to Premium users. 

For $2.99 per user per month, OpenSimSim becomes an attendance-tracking tool that allows employees to clock in and out from their phones. With the Premium membership, you’ll also be able to track paid and non-paid breaks and compare planned and real labor costs, among other useful features. When we take only scheduling features into account, OpenSimSim’s free online scheduling tool provides the best range of options at no cost.

OpenSimSim free plan includes:

-Unlimited number of employees

-Unlimited number of locations

-Unlimited number of departments within a location

-Time-off management

-Shift-swapping

-Upcoming shift reminders

-Free iOS and Android apps

-POS integrations

-Team messaging

-Labor cost budgeting

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - up to 5
  • Number of Locations - unlimited
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - included
  • Timesheets - included
Additional Features
  • Integrates with a number of POS and HR Solutions
  • Discount for charities
  • Customer support also available via email
  • Free shift swapping feature

Findmyshift provides a free shift scheduler for teams of up to five people. This feature-rich freeware lets you create shifts, track the time employees spend at work, and communicate more efficiently. The learning curve is minimal since the program boasts a sleek interface. Findmyshift has good news for larger teams, too. Instead of charging per monthly user, its paid plans comes at a fixed price of $35 per team, per month. And if you need the software to manage volunteers in your charity organization, you’ll pay even less.

Findmyshift scheduling

Making an employee schedule with this free software is very much like creating one in Excel. Findmyshift resembles Excel spreadsheets, meaning that all you need to do is type the worker’s name and hours, then press enter to create a shift. The program recognizes all time formats, so you can make shifts that last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or from 09:00 to 17:00. 

While the free plan lets you plan a week ahead, the Business and Volunteer plans have no such limitations. The same restrictions are applied to how long the previous schedules are stored. If you register for the free plan, you’ll be able to consult only last week’s timetable. On the other hand, paid plans save all your timetables. Unfortunately, free employee schedule templates aren’t available with Findmyshift; they are a paid feature. 

Team communication

Sharing the latest timetable with your co-workers is as simple as pushing a button. All team members will get notified of their schedule via email, push notifications, and text. Another feature that facilitates easy communication and smooth running of your business is shift swapping. And while some competitors like Sling, for example, charge extra for it, Findmyshift offers it for free.

Employees can use this free work scheduling app to request time off and managers can approve or deny those requests on the go. Ensuring discretion in the decision-making process, managers can keep time-off requests visible only to them. After all, having two employees request the same days off and awarding them to only one could cause tensions and affect morale. If you’re in charge of making timetables but not approving time off, the app lets you delegate this task to a different user. However, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to access these helpful features.

Sling Review

Findmyshift time clock

In addition to letting you create a free work schedule, Findmyshift offers the option of monitoring employees’ hours, too. Managers can choose to permit clocking in from workers’ phones or an open browser on site. If you want to prevent solidarity clock-ins and -outs, you can even instruct the software to take photos of employees at the beginning and end of each shift.

Findmyshift’s time-tracking feature is fully customizable. Employees can use a pin or a password to clock-in. Managers can turn on automatic clock-outs. And if you need to know the exact whereabouts of your team when they begin a shift, you can rely on GPS data from their phones. The information collected by time clocks is stored in timesheets. Those can be revised and used for payroll purposes, ensuring you pay your workers fairly for all the hours they work.

Ease of use

Creating a shift schedule with this free software is as easy as can be. On the Findmyshift website, you’ll find an interactive example sheet that lets you get to know the program before using it. The demo schedule is populated with enough information to give you insight into all the features offered by this amazing product.

Get started by clicking on the “create a schedule” button and entering employees’ names. You can also import employee data from an Excel sheet or a payroll system. Play around with the system first. If you’re happy with it, then  it might be worth entering your email address. Without a doubt, Findmyshift offers more detailed instructions than any other scheduler we’ve reviewed. This intuitive application will make for a smooth transition from Excel sheets.

Customer support

If you get stuck creating a free employee work schedule, you have a myriad of resources at your disposal. In the upper-right corner of your screen, there’s the help center tab. Skim through the knowledge base articles or video guides to find an answer. You can also watch a training video or sign up for an upcoming live webinar.

In case you prefer personalized care, you can chat with a customer support agent during work hours. Since the company is based in London, chat support hours don’t exactly align with American time. Luckily, you can request a call back from a Findmyshift representative at a time that’s convenient for you, or call the U.S.-based support center instead. Rounding up the support offer, Findmyshift also offers help via email. 

Third-party integrations

During our review process, we haven’t found an app that can match the number of third-party integrations provided by this free staff scheduling app. Not only does Findmyshift integrate with Square and Xero accounting software like its competitors; it’s also compatible with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Employees can find out when they’re due to work just by asking their virtual assistant.

Lightspeed and Vend POS systems are compatible with Findmyshift, as are HR solutions like Cake, People, and BamBooHR. If you’re already using Slack for team communication, you don’t have to abandon it – there’s an integration for Slack, too. Outdoing the competition once more, Findmyshift lets you suggest new integrations and access its API if you upgrade to a paid plan.

Findmyshift pricing

Findmyshift’s well-rounded set of features is available in the form of a free work schedule app, provided that you have five or fewer workers. Business owners with more employees can get this software for a monthly cost of $35, regardless of big their team is. Paying for a full year in advance will bring your cost down by 20%. What’s more, Findmyshift supports charities by giving them a discounted price of $26.25 per month.

Key Features
  • Number of Employees - unlimited starting at $2/user/month
  • Number of Locations - unlimited starting at $2/user/month
  • Mobile App - free for all employees
  • Time Clock - starting at $2/user/month
  • Timesheets - starting at $2/user/month
Additional Features
  • Shift trading
  • Smartphone clock-in
  • Payroll tracking
  • Integrates with Intuit QuickBooks and Xero

Up until a few months ago, you could use ZoomShift to schedule hourly employees for free. Unfortunately, this shift scheduler isn’t free anymore. It offers a 14-day free trial, though, as well as three payment plans that include features on par with other roster apps on our list. That said, ZoomShift provides a robust system that many reputable brands rely on. Amazon, Fox, Holiday Inn, and Subway are just a few of this company’s well-known customers. 

ZoomShift scheduling

ZoomShift handles the task that used to take you hours each week in minutes. You can use this online scheduling tool to make timetables for an unlimited number of employees in all your business locations, regardless of the plan you pay for. 

With ZoomShift, you have the option to create a timetable for an individual employee, a whole team, or an entire workplace, which makes it adaptable to teams of various sizes. There are also no limitations on how far ahead you can plan, so it’s a good solution for business owners looking for a monthly schedule maker.

While you create the timetable, the software makes sure you don’t make any errors. For example, it prevents you from booking employees who are unavailable at the time. You’ll also be warned if the shifts you assign break daily or weekly overtime limits, which can save you hundreds of dollars each month. Another feature that saves you money and takes confusion out of the equation is the notes section. In every shift you create, you can include a note for the employee so they know what to pay attention to during those hours.

ZoomShift Review

Team communication

Just like other solutions on our best scheduling app list, ZoomShift makes staying on the same page as your staff a breeze. Employees can set their working preferences through the app so you won’t have to take mental notes. What’s more, managers can approve time off requests and the software will send you a notification if you try to book a worker when they’re off.

While ZoomShift enables you to communicate with all your employees and individual team members, it also gives workers the chance to communicate among themselves. It’s inevitable that employees trade hours with colleagues every once in a while. ZoomShift streamlines this process with its shift-trading feature. What was once your worst nightmare becomes an opportunity for team members to be there for each other while your business continues to run uninterrupted. The entire staff is notified of any changes via the employee scheduling app, free of charge to you.

ZoomShift time clock 

After you plan a schedule with ZoomShift, you can rely on the same application to monitor whether employees are sticking to it. The time clock feature turns employees’ smartphones into clock-in devices. Depending on your plan, you can turn on geofencing to ensure workers are clocking in from the right location. Additional preferences include limitations to clocking in early, which has proven to be a money-saving option.

Since this work scheduling program offers the option to enter hourly wages for each employee, the timesheets created by ZoomShift represent a valuable data source for your payroll system, too. Getting payroll info right affects your bottom line, so this work scheduler software lets you review and correct data from the web or the app.

Ease of use

To access the ZoomShift free trial, you’ll have to complete a seven-step registration process without entering credit card information. It collects all the same data as its competitors – your name and company name, company location, employees’ names, and qualifications. As is standard in the industry, the software lets you color-code each position, enabling users to navigate timetables easily after creation.

Given the fact that this software handles more than just scheduling, it does have a small learning curve. After all, ZoomShift has a wider offer of adjustable functions than any other work scheduling freeware you’ll find on our list. 

Customer support

Minimizing the learning curve, ZoomShift offers a selection of helpful articles that answer the most common questions about the software. While the explanations are short and to-the-point, with screenshots, we have to admit we’ve seen more article-rich libraries on competitors’ websites. 

Making up for a lack of explanatory articles, the company offers customer support via chat and phone. Both are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Customers on the Enterprise plan – which is the top-tier option – receive priority support. ZoomShift also gives you the chance to report bugs in the system or suggest a feature you’d like to see implemented. This level of support is unmatched by any shift schedule software that’s free.

Third-party integrations

Instead of entering employee data manually when setting up your account, you can import it in the form of CSV files from other small business software you might be using. ZoomShift is compatible with two accounting systems – Intuit QuickBooks and Xero, as well as with popular POS solution Square. All team members can sync their ZoomShift schedules starting from the most affordable plan. And those who pay for the Enterprise plan also get API access.

ZoomShift pricing

You can start using ZoomShift staffing scheduling software for free by signing up here. During registration, you’ll share information about the size and the needs of your business. Based on this, you’ll be granted access to a plan that fits your requirements best. Considering the range of functionalities ZoomShift offers, it’s reasonable that you don’t get all the features on the free trial. After the trial period ends, you can choose between the Starter, Premium, and Enterprise plans. 

The Starter plan costs $2 per user per month when billed annually. If you don’t want to commit to the software for that long, you can pay for it monthly. The price goes up to $2.50 per user in that case. On this plan, ZoomShift provides employee scheduling software that permits users to define their availability, request time off, and swap shift. Managers can track attendance and export timesheets for payroll. 

Upgrading to the Premium plan brings managers more control options. They can set rules for shifts and timesheets, as well as setting GPS restrictions for clocking in. On this pricing plan, which costs $4 per month per user when billed once a year, you’ll also be able to compare planned working hours with the actual hours of each employee. If you’d like to be billed monthly, the Premium plan will cost you $4.50 per user per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a scheduling app?

Now that there’s an app for everything, managers who have been planning shifts using pen and paper are starting to wonder - is there an easier way? And the answer is YES! Yes, there is. There are actually a number of rosterapps, and many of them enable you to create free employee work schedules. This means your budget will remain unaffected while your own and your team’s productivity will improve.

What is the best free scheduling software?

The answer to this question varies according to your business needs. Do you operate from a single location or various? How many employees do you have? Would you like to track employee attendance with the same tool, or do you already have a system for that? If all your employees work from the same job site, we’d say Homebase is the best free employee scheduling app for you. It will speed up your planning time with its hourly planner templates, which you can copy from week to week. With Homebase you’ll also be able to track attendance and export that data into your payroll system. All these features are available free of charge, as long as you work from a centralized location. On the other hand, if you have a few restaurants spread out across town or you coordinate a team of wedding photographers working from a different venue every week, then OpenSimSim or Sling might be the best free employee scheduling app for you. Neither of these put limitations regarding the number of employees and locations. However, both charge for the time clock feature.

What is the best employee scheduling software?

When you take the price out of the equation, your pool of scheduling solutions widens. If you manage a small or medium-size company, it’s likely that the free online employee scheduling software from our list will meet your needs. But those without a tight budget looking for one solution to all their staff-management issues could explore some paid software solutions, like Deputy, Humanity, or Shiftboard.

Is Sling really free?

Sling’s offer is so robust that some worry it might not be free. Luckily, Sling has both a free plan and a couple of paid ones, so it can accommodate businesses of different sizes and requirements. Sling’s free employee scheduling software provides everything you need to effectively schedule your employees, while allowing them a level of autonomy through shift swapping, time-off requests, and availability settings. You can also schedule an unlimited number of employees and locations for free, too.

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