Scheduling is a difficult job. It takes time & thought to put the right workers into the right shifts in the correct locations so that employees are happy & labor costs don’t overrun sales. Your reward for getting it right?

At one time, only the most prominent organizations can afford software to automate scheduling staff. Nowadays, many of vendors offer workers scheduling & shift planning software through the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, which is enough to be used in multiple industries & verticals by companies with as few as five employees or as many as 15,000.

Vendors are chasing a growing number of minor to mid-size businesses (SMBs) that are ditching Google Docs, Microsoft Excel Best Price, or paper & pencil for scheduling solutions that are more productive & which help to make worker’s content.

It also makes it easier to comply with regulations, involving minimum wage & overtime laws, the Affordable Care Act, & worker “Bill of Rights” measures that cities such as San Francisco & Seattle have passed in current years. From 2014 to 2015, workforce & labor scheduling software adoption jumped 40 percentage, at least in part due to regulating, according to the 2015-2016 Human resource. Systems Survey via industrial analyst business.


To assist you to get a handle on your shift scheduling requirements, we provide solutions for ten top players in the space. Amongst these reviews, you will find vendors like Humanity, Shift board, Ximble, When I Work, & Editors’ Choice winner Deputy. They all have new, modern user interfaces (U.Is), including on or off toggles & other controls similar to those on mobile applications. Platforms When I Work, & Zoom Shift also function equally as well on desktops & mobile devices, at least for workers. All of the goods we review offer templates & other shortcuts that could cut the time it takes to get set up & create schedules.


Most of the solutions we review can configure so that workers could pick up, drop, or swap shifts, without requiring prior approval by a manager. Some can set so managers can create schedules with all changes, giving workers more say over when & how much they work. That’s critical in industries like healthcare & fast food where companies view giving people many flexibilities in their working life as a competitive advantage they can use to employ better workers & hang onto valued employees.



What Is Shift Planning Software?

Regardless of their look and feel, all employee scheduling and shift planning software tools share a handful of common elements. One of these factors is an employee database that involves individual worker’s contact information, job title or type, training or other qualifications, and their availability (including shift preferences and time-off requests).

Some platforms integrate with Google Maps so, when employees check their schedule, they can see the location and get directions. It is a handy feature for trades like caterers, painters, or movers whose staff go to different work sites every day.

The centre of this type of software is the scheduling method, which typically can be configured to see as a daily, weekly/monthly calendar depending on the needs of your business. Empty cells on the grid represent hours of the day; they get populated as shifts created. Modules give schedulers multiple ways to create schedules. Some of these ideas include creating a change, and then dragging and dropping a name from the employee list to fill it; creating and reusing shift templates, copying shifts from a previous time (such as the last week), or uploading schedules from spreadsheets. Some offerings take this a step further, providing automated scheduling tools that an executive/shift supervisor could use to set parameters & then let the software build a plan for all.


Key Differentiators

Another differentiator supported. Though developers had played to make software intuitive, even platforms with user-friendly U.Is taking time to get used. Platforms Deputy, Hot Schedules, and Humanity offer 24/7 support via phone, email, or chat. They and other vendors provide wizards that walk new accounts through the setup process, on-screen Help buttons, extensive FAQs, how-to videos, online training sessions, and one-on-one instruction—either for a small fee or as part of the implementation process. Some platforms, such as Zoom Shift, send new customers a series of daily email alerts with answers to their most-asked customer questions.



Across the products we tested, approximate minimum prices run from $1 to $2.45 per user per month for various numbers of locations, users, and functions. Prices then drop from there as companies add more of each, or for businesses subscribing to service bundles that include a time clock, time and attendance, or other modules. Some platforms, such as Deputy and Humanity, let you demo sandbox accounts for specific company types, including restaurants, healthcare agencies, security firms, and retailers. It can help you determine whether it’s right for your trade.