Employee scheduling is a vital yet complex task for companies around the world daily. Business managers end up spending a considerable amount of time scheduling their employees instead of handling more important tasks. Any conflicts or last-minute changes can disrupt the whole process, work quality can take a major blow and more hours could be wasted working out the bugs! Instead of punishing yourself with manual scheduling, why not try free scheduling software?
With so many solutions available on the market, you need to ensure that you are selecting the employee scheduling software that best fits your needs. But before we delve deeper into that, let’s look at why choosing free employee scheduling software is better than the traditional pen and paper method.
Compare Employee Scheduling Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide
Pen and Paper vs. Employee Scheduling Software
For many managers, pen and paper is the easiest option for preparing shift charts and schedules. It’s simple and doesn’t involve learning any new computer programs. This old-fashioned method, though handy, becomes difficult as the business and its many variables grow.
For starters, it is tough to distribute schedules promptly. Hand-written shift charts need to be posted for easy visibility or be distributed to each employee. If there is an error or last-minute change, the whole process of printing and distribution has to be repeated. Talk about cumbersome!
Here’s where employee scheduling software comes into the picture. These hassle-free systems can help businesses save time and money in the long run with no cost of entry.
To the businesses relying on older manual methods, it can appear complex to use these systems at first, and just like other solutions, there will be a learning curve. Until you get used to the ins and outs of the product there will always be a few small hiccups.
But once you surpass the learning curve, the benefits of free scheduling software are immense. Here’s a list of things you can do with an employee scheduling app and up your game:
- Prepare shift charts quickly to save time: You can set a previously used schedule as a default template and keep on modifying it as per your requirements. Necessary changes like time-off requests and staff availability can be incorporated to create new schedules. This way, you will be saved from the hassle of creating a fresh shift chart every week.
- Modify schedules instantly: You can quickly make last-minute changes depending on staff availability and the amount of work to be done. It also allows you to make the required modifications instantly.
- Hassle-free distribution: Online schedules can be shared with all employees with a single click, and new schedules are received as soon as they are finished.
- Green options: By eliminating the process of printing and distribution, it cuts down massively on the amount of paper used by the businesses.
Even if you opt for a free version or the most basic scheduling software, the above benefits come bundled in. The advanced or industry-specific software options can pack in numerous other modules and functionalities. These benefits make it evident that moving beyond the old-fashioned pen and paper method and opting for free scheduling software is an intelligent business decision.
Though the market is flooded with free scheduling software, there are some essential features to look out for when opting for the best free employee scheduling app for your business. The SelectHub analyst team dug through the employee scheduling market and discovered these top features to be sure and look for:
A successful online scheduling tool should facilitate robust employee management by enabling users to store critical staff related information such as qualifications, skills, contact details and more at a centralized location.
Schedule creation is the key feature of any employee scheduling software meant to save businesses from the old-fashioned pen and paper approach. A good solution can help prepare rosters within minutes based on past shift histories. These tools also facilitate job scheduling, group scheduling, multiple location scheduling and seasonal scheduling capabilities. Shift managers can also add instructions or notes for the staff for enhanced collaboration.
An effective scheduling tool helps foster a culture of compliance with HR rules and labor laws. They help users follow guidelines related to meals and other breaks, and it tracks staff overtime, attendance and punctuality
Track Payroll Expenses and Budgets
Your free scheduling software should integrate with your time and attendance solution to enhance payroll calculation. This combination helps users map the clock-in and clock-out hours of their staff to project expected payroll expenses.
A successful scheduling solution should offer robust tools for absence management, tracking vacations, leaves and time-off requests. Users can easily track staff availability while preparing schedules to speed the process up even further.
Reporting and Business Intelligence
Advanced reporting and forecasting features are must-haves when choosing a scheduling solution for your business. Reporting tools can generate different kinds of reports, including employee scheduling reports, labor cost reports, calendar resorts, people reports, shift data reports and financial reports for actionable insights.
New age employee scheduling tools offer an open API to integrate seamlessly with third-party applications such as Google calendar or Outlook. Businesses can also link their existing POS, time and attendance systems, HRIS or payroll systems with these solutions.
Get our Employee Scheduling Software Requirements Template