10 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software [2023]

Jawad Khan
Technical Writer

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The Best Employee Scheduling Software

Hand picked by our HR Technology experts after product testing, user research, and much debate - enjoy!

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The app allows managers to individually check staff rotas. In addition, there are records for everything from schedule change requests to time-off requests. The app's interface is highly interactive and easy to use. It can even be synced to your phone calendar to give you easier access to your shifts.
OpenSimSim is one of the most robust free options for employee scheduling. The software offers some really impressive features that make it a must-have. The free version contains all the core scheduling features a manager needs to effectively manage employee schedules. You can easily manage shifts, inform employees about any changes in timings, and keep in touch with them.
Connecteam’s extensive library of schedule templates makes it easy to create task lists and schedules without creating something from scratch. Moreover, with read receipts, it gives managers the chance to avoid miscommunication by ensuring all team members have gotten the update. Finally, it eliminates the need to have multiple apps for work management by extensive functionality in one single software.
Social Schedule’s free version comes with many features that other apps usually offer with their paid plans. For example, the program allows managers to easily manage employees and their schedules on the go. The app also includes timecard management features that bring more ease of use for managers and employees.
Wrike’s ease of use makes it one of the top employee scheduling and project management tools. It allows you to handle complex work automation and enables teams to collaborate transparently to ensure smooth project execution.
Even though the free version of Timify is only available on the browser, the app is great for managing appointments and resources. The online calendar ensures complete transparency in the work process. This gives everyone a view of active projects/tasks and the relevant resources working on them. The free version of the app allows unlimited bookings. It also has the option to share product/service updates with everyone inside and outside the organization through the integrated messaging feature.
Homebase’s free version allows the management of an infinite number of employees, making it super easy to manage all your employees in a single location. In addition, the app makes requesting time-off incredibly easy with its one-click leave request system. With its easy-to-use interface, managers can set schedules in a blink and let employees engage in shift trades to ensure perfect harmony.
Tickspot provides an easy way to track everything important in one place. The app offers excellent time management features. In addition, the reporting tools and the option to add integrations make it a truly powerful software that is great for scheduling tasks and managing employees.
7Shifts combines an array of functionalities such as their innovative AI-powered auto-scheduler, in-app messaging, applicant tracking, and time tracking all in one restaurant tech platform. This is not the case with the majority of systems in this category.
The app is incredibly easy to learn and simplifies employee schedule management. You can use premade schedule templates to easily manage shifts across multiple locations with as many employees as you want. Employees can also request time off easily and get shift alarms before their shifts are scheduled to start.

Introduction to Employee Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling and tracking are vital to the success of any small business, and as such, we have curated this list of the 10 best free employee scheduling software products. All of the software products on this selection offer free and premium plans. However, for this list, we will focus mostly on all that you can get out of the free versions. 

From key benefits that give a software an edge to any disadvantages based on end-user feedback, we have done hours of research in order to list it all for you.

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take research seriously. To make sure we’re offering our readers the very best solutions in a given software category, we are methodical, rigorous, and expansive in our research. We consult with HR professionals, vendors, and industry experts. We cut through the noise to bring you a carefully curated list of vendors, along with other essential information, to help you find the right software platform for your business. 

Here’s how we chose who makes the cut: 

Product: We believe in gaining a comprehensive understanding of a product before we recommend it, so we start by getting to know the software. Whenever possible, we meet with a senior executive (CEO or Head of Product) for a demo and Q&A. We also test the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best-in-class offering. 

User feedback: We go straight to the source and compile feedback on user experience. Real-world input supports our commitment to diligence in our software evaluation methods and the products we recommend. Keeping up with the everyday experience of HR pros also puts new vendors on our radar, and it keeps us close to our community so we can better connect the right products to the right people.

Financial metrics: We are certified finance nerds, so we use all the data we can get our hands on to make selections for our guides. We comb through data for concrete statistics like retention rates, growth, profitability, and scalability. We evaluate the bottom line of each product because we know making a software purchase can put your reputation on the line. 

Best for a use case: Software is never a one-size-fits-all product. Sometimes the best solution is free or cheap. Other times it’s the one that is best for global companies or the one that’s sized right for early-stage startups. Keeping this in mind, we include solutions across the spectrum so our readers can find the best fit for their unique needs.

Here's more detail if you want to read more about how we research vendors. Our dedicated staff writers rely on hard data, impartial experts, and user feedback to ensure our reviews are helpful, truthful, and hopefully a pleasure to read!

Best Free Employee Scheduling Software Tools

We track thousands of HR Tech solutions. Here are the best free employee scheduling software as of 2023.

Social Schedules

Review:

Social Schedule’s simple interface makes it easy to use for business owners, managers, as well as employees. The app offers all scheduling basics in one neat package. It’s a must-have for small teams so they can manage shifts without any communication lapses. With a built-in messenger feature, it’s easy to maintain team communication to maintain a smooth workflow.

Try Social Schedules now

Social Schedules

Stats:

Social Schedules

Pricing:

Social Schedules offers the following subscription plans.

  • Basic (Free) - Up to 10 workers + In-app messaging and employee availability management. 
  • Starter ($12.99/month) - Unlimited workers + Basic features + multiple locations and labor budgeting.  
  • Premium ($33.99/month) - Unlimited workers + Starter features + Payroll integration and advanced reporting. 
  • Enterprise (Contact for Pricing) - Unlimited workers, locations, and departments + Premium features + Full customization

Best For:

  • Allows POS integration for bulk worker import. 
  • Has an additional feature of employee contract tracing. 
  • Employees and managers can both check unscheduled shifts. 
  • Enforces compliance by max penalty days.

Connecteam

Review:

Connecteam is an excellent tool that ensures effective team communication and management of work scheduling in your organization. The free features provide a well-packaged deal that helps you keep track of your employees and your work. This mobile task management solution helps keep your employees updated on the go by making sure they are aware of any changes and announcements.

Try Connecteam now

Connecteam

Stats:

Connecteam

Pricing:

Connecteam offers the following subscription plans.

  • Free  - Up to fifty users + Job scheduling and task management.
  • Basic ($39/month) - Up to fifty users with $0.5/month for each additional user + free features + payroll software integration and an option to apply for open shifts. 
  • Advanced ($79/month) - Up to fifty users with $1.5/month for each additional user + Basic features + Recurring tasks and smart groups. 
  • Expert ($159/month) - Up to fifty users with $3/month for each additional user + Advanced features + multi-location management and live GPS tracking. 
  • Enterprise (Customized pricing) - API access + private branding app option.

Best For:

  • Gives managers the option to look at clock-in and clock-out times of all the employees. 
  • Work schedules can be updated with employees getting real-time notifications. 
  • Makes it easy to send broadcast updates to the team.

Sling

Review:

Sling provides managers with an easy way to communicate with their remote employees spread across multiple locations.

This employee scheduling app allows managers to easily rifle through time-off requests and assign employees to shifts based on their performance while allowing them to apply to any available shifts. Managers can also share changes or news with teams using the news-sharing service. 

Try Sling now

Sling

Stats:

Sling

Pricing:

Sling offers the following subscription plans.

  • Free - Unlimited locations, unlimited employees, and unlimited managers + shift scheduling and news sharing. 
  • Premium ($2/user/month) - Free features + ability to swap shifts, timesheets, and messaging.
  • Business ($4/user/month) - Premium features + auto assigning and salary support.

Best For:

Tickspot

Review:

Tickspot offers solid time tracking features comparable with any other application in this category. You can use it to record task duration and assign hourly rates to calculate the total project cost. Similarly, it comes with a resource view in which you can calculate a team member’s efficiency by tracking their time and cost.

When you sign in to your Tickspot account, you’re immediately taken to the time tracking app, where you can start recording your tasks with a single click.

You also have the option to assign a target duration or budget for each task and then measure your performance against it.

So overall, Tickspot does a fine job from a time tracking and budgeting perspective.

Tickspot

Stats:

  • Tickspot has more than 60,000 customers worldwide
  • In 2021, Tickspot helped users track 14,551,815 hours towards profitable projects.
  • Tick has helped customers improve productivity by up to 350% through efficient time tracking.

Tickspot

Pricing:

Tickspot offers a generous 30-day free trial which allows you to explore its features in detail. After that, you can go for one of its five subscription plans.

1 Project10 Projects30 Projects60 ProjectsUnlimited Projects
Free$19/month$49/month$79/month$149/month
  • Unlimited people
  • Basecamp integration
  • Unlimited people
  • Basecamp integration
  • Recurring projects
  • Unlimited people
  • Basecamp integration
  • Recurring projects
  • Unlimited people
  • Basecamp integration
  • Recurring projects
  • Unlimited people
  • Basecamp integration
  • Recurring projects

Best For:

Small to medium sized teams looking specifically for time tracking and task budget tracking features.

7shifts

Review:

7Shifts was built specifically to be a human resources software for the restaurant industry, offering a wide range of functionality including employee scheduling, time clocking, labor compliance, and team communication.

Although this software has a lot of moving parts, they all synchronize to streamline restaurant operations. Additionally, the software offers innovative tools like an AI-powered auto-scheduler and templates, to help managers keep up with the fast-paced nature of restaurant HR management.

7shifts

Stats:

  • Over 1 billion hours scheduled on the platform
  • 27,000 restaurant locations use 7Shifts

7shifts

Pricing:

7Shifts offers three plans with fixed pricing and one with custom pricing. You can also purchase add-ons as needed. The plans are as follows:

  • Comp: This is their free plan and it comes with basic scheduling and ATS features. The plan supports only 30 users per location. 
  • Entree: This plan costs $34.99 per location per month, but you can save about 10% if you pay annually. It is a little upgrade from the comp plan with reporting and budgeting added to the mix. It also supports only 30 employees per location.
  • The Works: This plan costs $76.99 per location per month ($69.99 when billed annually). It offers all 7Shifts features to give you an all-in-one restaurant team management platform.
  • Gourmet: The Gourmet plan is their custom plan. What separates this plan for the previous ones is that it comes with a dedicated account manager.

7Shifts also provides some add ons including:

  • Task management: Costs $12.99 per location per month
  • Tip pooling: Costs $24.99 per location per month
  • Operations overview: Costs $6.99 per location per month
  • Manager logbook: Costs $14.99 per location per month

Best For:

7Shifts is a great choice for restaurants that want a little bit of human resource management together with the scheduling.

Timify

Review:

On one hand, Timify offers a ton of useful features such as a shared calendar, the ability for customers to book appointments, and the integration of the booking system with the client’s website and Facebook.

But on the flip side, the tool doesn’t come across as the most user-friendly one we’ve seen so far. For example, we couldn’t add new employees from the Resources tab at the top of the screen. Instead, the setting is only accessible from the left panel under Management.

However, the introductory tour that runs at first login is very helpful in terms of app familiarization.

Timify

Stats:

  • 50,000+ users
  • 12+ languages spoken by Timify staff
  • A diverse team from over 26 different countries
  • €11.5 million raised in three funding rounds

Timify

Pricing:

Timify offers the following subscription plans.

  • Classic (Free) - Online calendar + Customer and resource management. 
  • Premium ($25/month) - Classic features + mobile apps and custom data fields 
  • Enterprise ($42/month/license) - Premium features + Video conferencing and advanced statistics dashboard 
  • Enterprise Plus (Custom pricing) - Enterprise features + Personalized onboarding and virtual queue management.

Best For:

Timify is best for medium to large-sized businesses that require employee scheduling as well as appointment or service booking features.

Wrike

Review:

Wrike is an excellent employee scheduling app for team collaboration that allows employees to have transparency in their work and assigned projects. In addition, you can define user roles to ensure only the relevant team members have edit rights to a project or schedule. Overall, it’s a versatile app that teams can use in different industries, thanks to its versatile and easy-to-use features.

Wrike

Stats:

Wrike

Pricing:

Wrike offers the following subscription plans:

  • Free - 1 to 5 users + centralized task management and 2GB storage 
  • Professional ($9.80) 5 to 15 users + project planning and team collaboration 
  • Business ($24.80/user/month) 5 to 200 users + customizable platform 
  • Enterprise (Contact for price) Unlimited users + security and scalability

Best For:

  • Shared tasks lists that are perfect for small teams.
  • You can have 200 tasks on your list at any given time. 
  • Tasks can easily be assigned to teams or individuals.

OpenSimSim

Review:

OpenSimSim is a versatile employee scheduling software. It’s perfect for small businesses like retail stores and companies that operate in the service sector.

The program allows for easy shift scheduling with an open communication interface so miscommunication can never again be the reason for missed or understaffed shifts.

OpenSimSim

Stats:

OpenSimSim

Pricing:

OpenSimSim offers the following subscription plans.

  • Basic (Free) - Up to 10 workers + In-app messaging and availability management 
  • Starter ($12.99/month) - Unlimited workers + Basic features + multiple locations and labor budgeting  
  • Premium ($33.99/month) - Unlimited workers + Starter features + Payroll integration and advanced reporting 
  • Enterprise (Contact for Pricing) - Unlimited workers, locations, and departments + Premium features + Full customization

Best For:

  • Allows employees and managers to add themselves to unscheduled shifts. 
  • Lets a manager or business owner see if a worker is unavailable. 
  • Allows for management of penalty hours.

Homebase

Review:

Homebase is a delight to use as an employee scheduling software because of its intuitive user interface and robust scheduling features. It provides organizations with an integrated system that empowers both managers and employees with dedicated shift management features. This ensures scheduling conflicts do not lead to the loss of productivity.

Its mobile-app updates everyone about any changes in real-time and allows users to request changes independently. 

Try Homebase now

Homebase

Stats:

Homebase

Pricing:

Homebase offers the following subscription plans:

  • Basic (Free) - 1 location and unlimited employees 
  • Essentials ($14/month/location) - Basic features + performance tracking, communication and remote tools. 
  • Plus ($35/month/location) - Essential features + labor cost controls and time off limits. 
  • All in one ($70/month/location) - Plus features + New hiring onboarding and HR & compliance.

Best For:

Findmyshift

Review:

Findmyshift is a web-based employee scheduling software designed for small and medium-sized businesses with small teams. The software is a popular choice for shift management because of its ease of use and intuitive interface.

Unlike many of its competitors, Findmyshift does not require local installation and can be accessed via any web browser. The tool also offers Android and iOS apps with limited functionality compared to the web version of the software.

It’s worth mentioning here that we came across many customer reviews complaining about the stability of the mobile apps. For many customers, the app kept crashing abruptly. In other cases, users would get logged out for no apparent reason.

The live demo provides an excellent demonstration of what it’s like to use the software. Simply, access it from the Demo tab on the home page to begin experiencing the Findmyshift in one click.

The spreadsheet-style scheduler allows you to type in shift details against each employee’s name, copy and paste shifts across multiple cells with a few clicks or keyboard shortcuts, save schedules as templates, customize your view to show details like job titles and employee IDs, and download the schedule in a variety of different formats including PDF, Excel, and HTML.

Furthermore, with its calendar integration, you can view your schedule from your phone’s calendar and set alarms for upcoming shifts.

Neil Guardhouse from Picturehouse Cinemas finds the scheduler quite useful. He says, “Findmyshift is a fantastic online tool that gives me clear visibility of all of our cinemas' schedules through one easy website.”

The software generates a record for every action taken. For example, when you add a team member or assign a shift, the relevant employee gets notified via email as well as text if you have purchased text credits. This ensures a reliable stream of communication to the employees to keep them on the same page and helps you track activity as a manager.

However, a communication feature we sorely missed in Findmyshift is a messenger for employees to communicate among themselves. This could have made it easier for workers to swap shifts and coordinate better.

Using the time clock, managers can see the exact clocking-in and clocking-out times of their team members, allowing them to effectively manage the company’s resources and monitor employee performance. The time clock can also be allowed to take employee selfies and record their locations at the time of clock-in and clock-out for even better accountability.

For software in this price range, Findmyshift pleasantly surprised us with its reporting features. Using approved timesheets, compare the actual hours worked against those scheduled. For more insight, Findmyshift can combine these hours with your staff pay rates to forecast labor costs as you create schedules.

Findmyshift

Stats:

  • Over 39,000 monthly website visitors.
  • Maintained by a small team of 7 to 10 employees.
  • Has over 500,000 users worldwide.

Findmyshift

Pricing:

Findmyshift offers the following subscription plans.

  • Free - 5 team members + 1 week of historical data and 1 week of planning. 
  • Starter ( $15/team/month) - 20 team members + 1 year of historical data and 3 months of forward planning. 
  • Business ($25/team/month) - 100 team members + 5 years of historical data and 1 year of planning. 
  • Enterprise ($45/team/month) - 300 team members + 10 years of historical data and 3 years of planning.

Charities and volunteer organizations get a 25% discount. Save 15% on annual billing.

Best For:

Findmyshift offers great value for startups, solopreneurs, or small businesses with a few employees due to its feature-packed free forever plan. The software is also a great option for charities and non-profit organizations because of the 25% discount they get on all plans.

Why Use Employee Scheduling Software?

Employee scheduling, as with software as it was with paper and pencil, is assessing the labor needs for your organization and then assigning employees to match those needs at given times of the day. The end goal is to make sure every position is covered when it needs to be coveted, so to ensure maximum productivity.

Establishing a proper schedule for your employees, regardless of the type of business you’re in, you can ensure your workplace is being manned by enough employees at all times, with everyone working their required hours in an equal and non-discriminatory manner. 

Now, in this day and age, this is all done easier with software. While many companies opt for a plain old spreadsheet, employee scheduling software can become essential once you try features like an automated calendar and self-service for employees.

Using employee scheduling software helps with making sure there is no loss of working hours and business due to issues in staffing too, as alerts can be set if an employee calls in sick or won’t be available on certain days, for instance, so you can line up a replacement. 

Through scheduling software, everyone can see their working hours, the latest version of a schedule, and in easy-to-scan views with smart filters. These tools help both managers and employees avoid scheduling conflicts through prior communication and looking at a single source of truth.

Which Is The Best Free Employee Scheduling Software For You?

Now that you have seen the amazing options that you have available for your staff scheduling needs, how will you choose which one to use?

The answer is straightforward. First, take stock of your exact needs and then compare those needs against the features offered by these apps. 

Since all of these apps are free to use, we encourage you to try them out and see if they’re the right solutions for your business. Only through some trial and error will you find the perfect app that will make employee schedules a breeze for you.

If you decide that it would be worth investing in one of these tools, you can complement this reading with our roundup of the best employee scheduling apps for small businesses.

Best of luck!

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