Employee Scheduling

What is Employee Scheduling?

What is Employee Scheduling?

Employee Scheduling Software Helps You:

  • Automate the scheduling process
  • Track and manage employee information
  • Decrease missed shifts
  • Increase profits
  • Gain insights into business practices
  • Assist with core HR tasks

Automate the scheduling process

The primary reason for implementing employee scheduling software is to assist with building schedules. For many businesses, scheduling hourly employees can be an incredibly time-consuming process that must be done each week.

In fact, one study reports that managers can spend as many as 12 hours building a schedule each week. By implementing a scheduling program, you can streamline the schedule building process and save both time and money.

Adding a scheduling product to your HR departments arsenal of tools can help to automate and streamline the process of schedule building by completing a variety of tasks. From building schedules to avoiding scheduling employees for overtime hours, a scheduling solution can prove to be a valuable addition to your HR department.Many of these solutions can be set up to build schedules automatically based on prior schedules or by using templates provided by the vendor. Some of the features that can help complete these tasks include:

  • Employee Availability Tracking
  • Schedule Creation
  • Add/Copy Schedules
  • Auto-Scheduling
  • Seasonal Scheduling
  • Schedule Conflict Warning
  • Skills-Based Scheduling

Track and manage employee information

There are a variety of factors that can affect schedule creation, many of which are directly related to your employees. This can include things like employee availability, their status as a full- or part-time employee and their skill level. All of these things need to be accounted for each week when creating a new schedule, and overlooking any of these factors can result in a scheduling crisis.

An automated scheduling tool can track all of these variables and factor them into the schedule each week. This ensures that no employee is scheduled outside of their availability or for more hours than they can work, ensuring that you are always in compliance with labor laws. Many products also provide employee self-service functionalities that allow employees to request time-off through the platform, enabling managers to approve those requests before letting the solution do the work of building the schedule. Some of the system capabilities that assist with this include:

  • Employee Database
  • Employee Availability
  • Skill-Based Scheduling
  • Shift Replacement
  • Position and Department Tracking

Decrease missed shifts

A common complaint of managers is employees missing their scheduled shifts. Especially for businesses that rely on hourly workers for things such as customer service, being short-staffed can be detrimental to business functions. While life often takes us by surprise at inconvenient times, presenting challenges that prevent employees from showing up for their shifts, a scheduling system can help to decrease the frequency of this occurrence.

One of the ways that scheduling products help to decrease missed shifts is by giving employees access to the schedule. Many modern solutions are cloud-based, or at least offer web functionalities, which make it easy for employees to access the schedule from anywhere, including a cell phone. This means that every member of your team will always have access to the most current version of the schedule and can find coverage if they are suddenly unable to make a shift they’re scheduled for. Some of the other tools that help to decrease no-shows include:

  • Shift Replacement
  • Time Tracking
  • News Feed

Increase profits

There are a variety of costs associated with scheduling, with the hours spent building the schedule being just one of them. Streamlining your schedule building process by implementing a software solution will help save your HR managers time, allowing them to focus on more pressing tasks. However, there are plenty of other ways that scheduling programs can help to cut costs as well.

One of the best ways scheduling products can help to foster cost efficiency is by building more effective schedules. By leveraging analytics, many systems can predict what future demand will be like and build schedules accordingly. This means that you won’t be understaffed when business is booming, and you won’t be scheduling workers when you don’t need them.

Gain insights into business practices

An added bonus of software solutions is that many provide reporting and analytic functionalities that help to provide valuable insights into your business practices. Many scheduling systems can track business data to create reports or allow users to generate their own custom reports. For example, by tracking data on labor costs, managers can ensure that they’re meeting goals, and if they aren’t, then they can begin to look for innovative ways to decrease costs.

Assist with core HR tasks

While all systems will have different capabilities, advanced systems will certainly contain features that assist with additional HR tasks. In addition to aiding in building schedules, many systems will also have time tracking tools. This can include functionalities that allow employees to clock in and out for shifts directly through the platform, allowing the solution to generate timesheets. Systems with payroll integrations can then export those timesheets directly to the payroll application seamlessly.

How Do I Select Employee Scheduling Software?

There are a variety of factors you’ll need to consider before selecting which scheduling solution is the best option for your business. You should think about the size of your business and how many employees you’ll need to schedule, how often the schedule needs to be created, and what type of workers you rely on. You’ll also want to be aware of what your price range is and what your time frame for implementing a new system is when you begin narrowing down the list of vendors you like. If this sounds like an arduous task that you’re nervous about undertaking, then consider utilizing your friends here at SelectHub as a resource. We’ve compiled a variety of tools to help guide you through the selection process, including an Employee Scheduling Requirements Checklist and a guide to our top solutions of the year.

Still have questions about which software system is the best fit for your business? We’re happy to help! Contact our team of experts to get your own personalized list of recommendations by sending an email to support@selecthub.com or call us at 855-850-3850.

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Employee Scheduling articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Hunter Lowe

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Hunter Lowe is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub. He writes content for Construction, Inventory, Warehouse, and Supply Chain Management.

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Pragya Singh

Technical Writer and Market Analyst

Pragya Singh is a Technical Writer and Market Analyst at SelectHub. She writes content for Project Management, PPM, Time and Attendance Management and Employee Scheduling.

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The Best Free Scheduling Software

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November 13, 2023

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?

Pragya SinghThe Best Free Scheduling Software
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Flexible Work Schedules: A Comprehensive Guide

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November 10, 2023

Workplace flexibility is the modern-day equivalent to a non-toxic relationship; both thrive on growth, quality and personal freedom. Recent trends suggest that flexible work schedules are here to stay. In the wake of COVID-19, a flexible schedule has emerged as one of the most desirable attributes for candidates when choosing a workplace. More and more professionals are demanding flexible work hours, time and locations for a healthy work-life balance. Read on to learn how this will affect your employee scheduling practices.

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Flexible Schedules Header

Like any evolutionary process, flexible work has become a cornerstone for recruiting the best talent and enhancing organizational productivity. Businesses have started to come to terms with the altered workplace dynamics in the post-pandemic world while relaxing the mandatory confines of office spaces. By offering a flexible employee scheduling policy, you can attract a higher chunk of superior candidates while boosting the satisfaction rates of existing employees. You also attract skilled candidates with external obligations like supplemental employment or childcare, preventing them from committing to fixed working hours.

Tools like video-conferencing, cloud storage and access to solid internet connections have made work arrangements easier to manage. From full-time remote work to job sharing and offering part-time gigs, your flex schedule policy can be a mix of formats that work for your business without hampering overall performance and efficiency.

What is a Flexible Schedule?

It is an alternative to a traditional nine-to-five workday and 40-hour workweek. It allows employees to vary their clock-in and time while working for the required hours daily or weekly. As per the United States Department of Labor, “A flexible work schedule is an alternative to the traditional 9-to-5, 40-hour workweek. It allows employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times.”

The concept, which has existed for quite some time, has sprung into the spotlight again. Flex models vary from company to company — some require their employees to work 40 hours a week with a set number of hours daily, while others have a core time policy for all the teams. Core time means that all employees must be present during the overlapping hours for collaboration or team meetings regardless of their time zones. The Labor Department adds, “Under some policies, employees must work a prescribed number of hours a pay period and be present during a daily core time.”

The following questions can help you decide whether or not implementing a flexible schedule policy will work for you:

  • Do longer office hours translate into high productivity or just an attendance hack?
  • Does electronic communication meet your daily requirements?
  • Is it possible to maintain contact with your field staff without asking them to mark their appearance in the office for meetings or other formalities?
  • Do all employees need to be physically present for entire shift durations or only for specific periods?
  • When your employees travel for business, do they work from hotels or airports?
  • When you encounter an urgent issue over the weekend, can you tackle it from home?

Armed with answers to the above, you can begin to understand the buzz around the flexible schedule concept and why future-savvy companies have started adopting it. According to an Owl Labs report, 80% of full-time employees said they expect work-from-home to continue even after the government lifts COVID-19 restrictions. Workplaces should therefore be prepared to extend flex work options to a majority of their employees.

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Compressed Workweek

A compressed workweek reduces the number of workdays per week with an unequal distribution of hours on working days. For example, a company can offer a four-day workweek to its employees with 10-hour shifts, making room for an extra day off. Or you can compress two weeks of work into nine working days, allowing for two additional non-working days per month.

This arrangement offers employees additional personal time and saves on commuting time and expenses.


Flextime lets employees customize their operational hours daily as per their productivity levels. Some members find mornings to be more productive, while others are comfortable working at night. Employees also have the luxury to take longer meal breaks rather than sticking to rigid break allowances.

Freedom to customize working hours prevents burnout as employees can choose to work when they are well-rested. This format can boost individual outputs.

Alternate Schedule

How do you employ professionals who are unavailable for regular shifts? The answer lies in devising alternate schedules that differ from a traditional Monday to Friday workweek. Alternate schedules allow employees to take up second shifts, night shifts or work weekends while freeing up their day to accomplish non-obligatory tasks.


Flexplace allows employees to work predetermined schedules from home or any other location (other than the office). You can choose to offer this arrangement for a set number of days (daily or monthly) and gradually extend it full-time. It includes the following types:

  • Telecommuting: Telework is a format where employees use computers and other communication devices to overcome time and place limitations.
  • Hoteling: Instead of working from a permanent workplace, employees can reserve coworking spaces to accomplish their tasks. The arrangement reduces dependence on conventional office spaces and reduces employer overheads.
  • Snowbird Programs: Snowbird programs allow employees to work from warm regions during winters. This practice broadens the candidate pool irrespective of age constraints.

Types of Flexible Schedules

Remote Work

Remote work allows employees to perform their jobs away from the office premises permanently or for a temporary period. When COVID-19 wreaked havoc last year, remote work made it possible for organizations to continue their operations with minimal disruptions. As per the 2021 State of Remote Work report, a staggering 94% of the respondents stated that they would want to continue working remotely for some time for the rest of their careers, even though the pandemic pushed them into it.

This model offers employees greater flexibility to live and work from anywhere across the globe. Since the employee’s location is insignificant, you can scout for talent worldwide. You can make the format successful by implementing video conferencing and effective communication channels with remote teams.

According to the Buffer report, the most significant benefit of remote work is the flexibility it provides, followed by the option to work from any location. While 32% of the respondents chose flexibility as the most considerable advantage of remote work, 25% voted favorably for freedom to work from anywhere.

Job Sharing

Job sharing is a model to accomplish tasks in the shortest possible time. You can equally distribute a full-time job between multiple part-time workers. This way, every employee can work a part of the workweek while others work the rest.

Work sharing covers you during absenteeism and crucial periods. You can reassign the job among the employees familiar with the tasks rather than bringing a fresh member and starting from scratch. However, you need to ensure that the work is distributed equally among those involved.

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Letting employees take ownership of their time while choosing when and where they want to work offers numerous benefits to your company. Below are some benefits of adopting a flexible schedule policy:

Flexible Schedule Benefits

Broad Talent Pool

Flexibility as a practice gives you access to a broader talent pool spread across different parts of the world. You can appoint skilled individuals from anywhere while growing into a diverse and inclusive workforce. It also eliminates discrimination as professionals from diverse backgrounds can work for the same online company.

Flexible work schedules appeal to the professionals who don’t want to commit to rigid working hours, live far away from your office, have outside work commitments like childcare, work second jobs or care for sick family members. An evolving flexible schedule policy has made equal opportunity a reality.


A flexible schedule policy works well in a transparent digital ecosystem with employee monitoring tools. Online tools help you monitor employee productivity, attendance and work hours accurately. Regular employee tracking also reduces absenteeism and boosts productivity.

Increased Productivity

Once you adopt a flexible work schedule policy to foster employee-driven work culture, you will witness an increase in employee engagement. A happy and motivated workforce can help you scale greater heights with ease.

Employee productivity improves when they don’t have to battle rush-hour traffic or work during less efficient hours. A flexible schedule allows employees to be more dedicated and focused during work hours. Additionally, having a distributed workforce ensures that your company operations continue during emergencies like a pandemic or extreme weather conditions.

Employee Retention

Your employee retention rate will be higher as flexible work schedules favor employees heavily. The lesser the discontent with company policies, the longer you can retain your talented employees. Part-time shifts also offer greater flexibility, reducing employee discontent.


A flexible work schedule requires work outside the office so you can save on office supplies, rent and other utilities. You can opt for a group health insurance plan for your work-from-home employees while avoiding expensive individual insurance plans.

Healthy Employee Work-Life Balance

Flexible work schedules strive to restore the optimal balance between work and personal life. Many professionals struggle to manage their career demands while finding time for friends, family, creative pursuits and self-care. Employees caught up in this daily juggle are at an increased risk of stress and burnout.

A healthy employee work-life balance is, therefore, key to consistency and efficiency.

A flexible schedule that prioritizes employee convenience is a morale booster. Employee satisfaction levels also improve as overbearing hierarchical interferences hardly bog them down. According to Upwork’s Future Workforce Pulse report, 36.3 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, an increase of 16.8 million people when compared to pre-COVID statistics.

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Planning for Success

Transitioning to a flexible work schedule policy can cause concerns about employee management and productivity. However, you can reduce these initial hesitations by adopting strategies that strengthen professional bonds between you and your employees while boosting overall productivity. Here’s how you can make flexible schedules work for you:

Choose the Right Software

The success of your company’s flexible work arrangements depends heavily on technology. It is crucial to pick an employee scheduling tool that fosters communication and collaboration among employees whenever they want to work.

Define Expectations

It is pertinent to communicate your expectations and define boundaries before extending flex schedule models to employees. Make your staff understand some basic rules — when they should be in office, the number of hours they must work, how often they check in with team leaders and repercussions for not meeting these expectations. Once employees understand the rules and penalties clearly, they are less likely to break the rules while remaining consistent.

Set Employee Accountability

Flexible schedule arrangements can only be successful if the employees are self-motivated to complete their tasks on time without constant supervision. To do so, make your existing staff understand that they are responsible for their actions regardless of their work hours while ensuring that your newly hired employees can self-manage. It is advisable to devise a structure to hold underperformers accountable when they fail to meet their deadlines or are inconsistent.

A strategic approach with a clear set of rules will help you develop a workable flexible schedule policy that meets your organizational needs.

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Final Thoughts

In the age of the hustle culture, work from anywhere has become a reality for many modern businesses. Flexible work schedules earn you the reputation of a new-age company while enhancing employee engagement.

You can choose to offer the flexible schedule option only to those employees who meet specific performance standards or complete a mandatory training period. You can also use it to strengthen your recruitment process by highlighting it on your company’s career page and listing it prominently on vacant positions.

However, workplace flexibility is a relatively new concept, and you must cover all its legal aspects before implementing it as a company policy. The US Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not apply to flexible work arrangements, and such models operate as a mutual agreement between companies and employees. Formulating company guidelines that don’t discriminate between the regular and remote employees (like pay structures, leave allocation, perks and promotions) while safeguarding employee interests can take you a long way.

How have flexible schedules benefitted your organization? Tell us in a comment down below!

Pragya SinghFlexible Work Schedules: A Comprehensive Guide
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The Best Open-Source Employee Scheduling Software

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November 8, 2023
Employees are a crucial part of your organization. As you continually grow and expand, keeping track of everything from employee’s time to the amount of leave time taken becomes difficult to track. For lower churn rates, you should provide them with robust employee scheduling software. There are quite a few open-source employee scheduling software suites available on the market to get things done efficiently. But before we look at the top performers, let’s look at what employee scheduling software does.

Divya DugarThe Best Open-Source Employee Scheduling Software
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10 Employee Scheduling Tips And Techniques

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October 31, 2023

Schedule building, while an important business function, is a thankless job. You spend hours developing a schedule that works for all of your staff, and at the end of the week, you’re left to do it all over again. The most effective scheduling will work with each employee’s availability, cut down labor costs and reduce absences. There are plenty of employee scheduling tips, tricks, techniques and other scheduling ideas to guide you when it’s time to look at the calendar and assign employees to shifts in conjunction with your employee scheduling software.

Mariah Hansen10 Employee Scheduling Tips And Techniques
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What Is An Employee Work Schedule? A Comprehensive Guide

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Work scheduling forms the foundation of hassle-free business operations. An optimal work schedule ties together your company’s disparate moving parts while organizing your employees and your business. In sectors like hospitality, retail, healthcare and IT, employee scheduling enables a smooth transition from one shift to another.

Pragya SinghWhat Is An Employee Work Schedule? A Comprehensive Guide
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Employee Scheduling Software Features And Requirements

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August 30, 2023

7Shifts reported 2.44 days as the average time in advance a restaurant posts a schedule for employees to view. This common practice of last-minute scheduling interferes with employee work-life balance. As stated in the Economic Policy Institute’s “Irregular Work Scheduling and Its Consequences,” 26 percent of on-call employees and 19 percent of rotating shift employees report “often” experiencing work-family conflict, compared to 11 percent of workers with regular hours. As you can see, proactive scheduling is conducive to employee satisfaction. Facilitate this necessary process by thinking about the employee scheduling software features and requirements that will help you consistently build successful schedules.

Alainia ConradEmployee Scheduling Software Features And Requirements
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The Best Cloud-Based Employee Scheduling Software

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Building a schedule every pay period can be a daunting task. Much like a quarterback preparing to call the next play, you have to be aware of a variety of factors that could affect the final outcome. You must account for individual employee needs and reconcile those with the needs of your business — factors which can be in constant movement. Fortunately, the days of building out a schedule with pen and paper are gone thanks to cloud based employee scheduling software.

In the past, only massive corporations with a big budget could afford to implement employee scheduling software. However, with ever-advancing technology, scheduling products are far more accessible than they have ever been in the past. The rise of cloud-based scheduling systems have led to an increase in software implementation — but why? Let’s start by looking at what scheduling software is, and then assess why you might choose a cloud-based system. Then, we’ll discuss which vendors are leading the industry in the current year.

Mariah HansenThe Best Cloud-Based Employee Scheduling Software
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