A woman in a dark blue polo shirt and neon orange vest holds her smart phone near her face with one hand and holds a clipboard with the other hand. In the background, employees dressed similarly to the woman are standing around a warehouse filled with cardboard boxes and packages of bottled water.
Many scheduling tools allow employees to clock in for their shifts and check their upcoming schedules from a mobile app. — Getty Images/alvarez

One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is keeping track of employee scheduling. It’s hard to keep up with requests for time off, employee availability and scheduling conflicts, but these six employee scheduling tools can help.

[Read more: Companies Offering Flexible and Remote Schedules to Employees]


CakeHR is human resources management software, and it’s one of the best tools for businesses that want to streamline employee scheduling. The employee self-service tool allows your employees to add their preferred shifts and the times when they are unavailable.

The schedule-planning interface is easy to use and allows you to edit and move shifts around. Once you create a new schedule, you can let all your employees know with just the click of a button.

CakeHR is a good option whether you run one location or multiple sites. And even if you have multiple locations, you can still run your business from the same account.


HotSchedules is a great option for businesses in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. The software will ensure you meet labor compliance and maintain payroll accuracy.

Using the app, employees can clock in for their shift directly from their mobile phones. This will save you from investing in pricey on-site hardware. The app also contains built-in cost-saving protections like geofenced measures and thresholds for when employees can clock in and out.

In addition, the program includes compliance tools for meals, breaks and fair workweeks, and its real-time alerts will let you know if employees consistently clock in late or miss meals.


Homebase is a free time-tracking and scheduling tool for small businesses. You can use one of the schedule templates to create a new schedule within minutes. The software also allows you to forecast your labor costs.

Once you create a new schedule, you can easily share it with all of your employees via text or email. The software also comes with a mobile app so employees can log in remotely to see their weekly schedules.

The app will also send employees reminders about upcoming work shifts, which can help reduce the number of no-shows. And Homebase automatically calculates overtime and reminds you of any scheduling conflicts.

Deputy is one of the biggest names in employee scheduling and is used by companies like Amazon, Nike and Ace Hardware.


Deputy is one of the biggest names in employee scheduling and is used by companies like Amazon, Nike and Ace Hardware. It is a comprehensive tool that will let you manage employee schedules and track attendance.

The app gives you a clear breakdown of how your wages compare to your current sales. That way, you can improve what you’re spending on labor. If you choose to take advantage of the auto-scheduling feature, you can create the perfect schedule for your business within minutes.

The software also tracks things like meals, shift swaps and employee attendance. And the software integrates seamlessly with many invoicing and accounting apps, which allows you to save yourself time when it comes to payroll as well.


7Shifts is an email scheduling tool designed specifically for restaurants. It allows employers to schedule employees in less time while reducing labor costs.

Plus, the software makes it easy for employees to track and manage their schedules. They can use the 7Shifts app to request time off, swap shifts and view their work schedules. And employee requests can be immediately approved or denied through the app.

The app also has a built-in communication tool so employees can participate in a group chat or send private messages. This makes it easier for managers to make company-wide announcements.

[Read more: Best Apps to Improve Employee Communications]

When I Work

When I Work is a free employee scheduling tool for businesses with 75 or fewer employees. It’s used by small businesses as well as by big brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Verizon Wireless.

The free version of the app is fairly comprehensive with features like scheduling, team messaging, time-off requests and shift trading. If you choose one of the upgraded plans, you’ll have access to scheduling templates, overtime visibility, labor forecasting and auto-scheduling.

When I Work also comes with a mobile app that allows employees to clock in from their mobile devices. This makes it easy to track employee attendance across multiple locations.

[Read more: Best Time Clock Apps for Remote Workers]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Apply for the CO—100!

The CO—100 is an exclusive list of the 100 best and brightest small and mid-sized businesses in America. Enter today to share your story and get recognized.

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.