Best Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses in 2024: Top 11 Picks

As a small business owner, you're constantly seeking ways to cut costs and optimize operations, right? 

One effective strategy is to leverage employee scheduling software, which provides a cost-effective solution for efficiently managing your team's schedule.

With employee schedule apps, you can manage your workforce well. Proper employee management often equates to a happier work culture and more productive staff—plus more income! 

We've rounded up some of the top employee scheduling apps to check. So that overall workforce management—rostering, managing labour costs, swapping shifts, and shift scheduling—can be done without a hitch. 

If you're ready, check out our top 11 employee scheduling apps of 2024. 

Why Choose the Best Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses?

The right employee scheduling software can transform your workforce management. It leads to a happier workplace, increased productivity, and, consequently, higher profits. 

This guide reviews the top 11 employee scheduling apps of 2024, specially curated for small businesses like yours.

Key Features to Look For Top Cloud-Based Employee Scheduling Software

When selecting the best employee scheduling software for your small business, consider these crucial features:

  • Mobile adaptability 

Just like most apps nowadays, good employee scheduling software should be mobile-friendly. With ease, employees should be able to request shift changes or shift swaps via their mobile devices, whether Android or iOS. 

Managers should be able to check, approve, and finalise employee requests quickly. As well as change schedules and approve shift changes directly from your smartphone or tablet, especially when you're outside the office.

  • Self-service 

The self-service feature of an employee scheduling app allows your employees to manage their schedules by themselves. They can easily view schedules, clock in and out, grab available shifts, and swap shifts with colleagues. 

Self-service gives your employees the feeling of autonomy in managing their schedules and saves you time managing these minor tasks. 

  • Integration of third-party programs 

A good employee scheduling and management software like RosterElf should streamline your payroll process by integrating with other platforms such as Xero, MYOB, and Sage, allowing you to manage your employee information without double handling. 

Good payroll integration will save you time and reduce errors by optimising payroll processes and workforce management

  •  Scheduling efficiency 

Cloud-based employee scheduling software solutions track your everyday scheduling process. It will then offer suggestions to help you bolster your shift assigning schemes. In addition, it can monitor trends such as common scheduling patterns and employee preferences

This can recommend some scheduling changes as you designate shifts. Employee scheduling apps also help you adhere to fair work award compliance to ensure an appropriate work schedule for your workforce.

  • Payroll monitoring 

It's best to have an employee scheduling app with a built-in payroll feature. Calculating employees' pay based on their work hours is simple, and having a payroll tracking feature can automatically calculate your employee's gross pay the moment they clock out. 

  • Absence tracking 

Handling payroll processes in your rostering platform is highly efficient if you can track your employees' absences by monitoring when your employees call in sick and request time off. 

This feature lets you know when an employee requests leave to ensure shift coverage beforehand. Likewise, your employees can send request time-offs through this feature. 

  • Auto-scheduling 

You can streamline and automate the scheduling process using the auto-scheduling feature of your chosen employee management system. 

It recalls previous schedules, employee time-off references, and overtime requests, ensuring your workforce gets sufficient weekly coverage. Then, using this information, the software automatically keys the number of hours into the schedule for your assessment. 

  • Reporting and analysis 

Most apps for scheduling employees can collect data to assist in examining the number of times your employees take time off, how much your employees work, and the income they earn during a specific period.

Some apps utilise these details to formulate insights on valuable data like financial reports and labour budgeting costs. The software's export features allow you to put this information into a comprehensive report. Doing so lets you share and present this data across the organisation. 

 Top 11 Employee Scheduling Softwares for Small Businesses in 2024

1. RosterElf 


RosterElf is designed perfectly for business owners, made by business owners. Its seamless features and third-party system integration make it one of the best employee scheduling software solutions available. 

It's a challenge for business owners and managers alike to chase staff for available hours, make weekly rosters, and keep up on payroll. However, RosterElf does all that with ease. As a result, you can save time creating a business budget to stick to, all while making more time for employee engagement and customer satisfaction. 

What's more, you can save 4% on labour by setting financial business targets, monitoring labour costs in real-time, and approving staff schedules by minimising time theft via electronic clock in and out. In addition, using RosterElf's cloud-based employee scheduling app allows your shift managers and employees to keep their availability up to date. 

Your teams are always aware of new rostered shifts through clear-cut and easy-to-manage workforce management features. 

Core Advanced Features: 

Pros and Cons:


  • From $5.50/user per month

  • With a 14-day free trial 

2. mHelpDesk

mHelpDesk is comparable to Outlook and Google Calendar, yet designed specifically for field service business owners. Some key features of this employee scheduling app include automated assignment notifications, customer information, employee availability, and underbooked/overbooked management. 

mHelpDesk can also integrate third-party systems like QuickBooks, Home Advisor, and Google Calendar. This employee scheduling tool is ideal for growing or stable businesses in small to large sizes. 

Core Features: 

  • Multiple features

  • Appointment scheduling 

  • Employee availability reference

  • Automated features 


Pros and Cons: 

  • User-friendly 

  • Good customer service 

  • Streamlined invoicing and billing 

  • Specific integrations don't function well 

  • Slow loading times 

  • You can't delete old users 


  • Price starts at $169/user per month 

  • With a 14-day free trial 

  • No free-for-life plan 

3. Skedulo

Skedulo aims to streamline everyday workforce operations and boost productivity. It is a good employee scheduling software for a mobile organisation. With Skedulo, you can manage scheduling, oversee employees through a mobile app, and analyse recorded data for reporting

Core Features: 

  • Automated scheduling

  • Alerts and notifications

  • Employee database 

Pros and Cons: 


  • The scheduler feature alone costs $79/user per month 

  • No free trial 

  • No free-for-life plan 

4. TSheets

Intuit QuickBooks, previously known as TSheets, has uniform features with most cloud-based employee scheduling apps available in the market. For example, you can easily schedule by job role or shift, send updates about roster changes, copy a previous employee schedule template—the list goes on. 

You can get notifications about missed shifts or overtime, thus reducing labour costs. TSheets also has a feature where you can instantly see who is available for high-priority jobs. This software is ideal for small to large businesses. 

Core Features: 

Pros and Cons:

  • Multiple features 

  • User-friendly 

  • Lack of customer support 

  • Many bugs, as per the user report 

  • It May get pricey for a large workforce 


  • The premium plan is at $20/month and an additional $8/user per month

  • With a 30-day free trial

5. Sling by Toast

Sling by Toast is another employee scheduling software that, similar to most scheduling apps, can manage time off, shift swapping, and employee availability. More so, mitigating absenteeism, as well as scheduling overtime and late arrivals, are also part of its features. 

You can also save employee scheduling templates to make creating new ones easy. Sling by Toast is ideal for businesses of all sizes with shift work. 

Core Features: 

  • Alerts and notifications on overtime 

  • Employee directory 

  • Payroll management 

  • Analytics and Reporting 

Pros and Cons: 

  • User-friendly 

  • Filter fields to view specific shifts 

  • Not recommended for large organisations

  • Not that mobile-friendly 

  • Private Messaging 


  • The premium plan costs $2/month per user | Business plan costs $4/user per month 

  • With free trial 

  • With free-for-life plan 

6. HotSchedules

HotSchedules' user interface is straightforward, making your employee scheduling smoother. In addition, your employees can pick up, release, or request to swap shifts from their mobile devices—whether Android or iOS

You have complete visibility over this matter and can quickly approve or reject any changes. You can even receive labour and sales data, making it easier to generate an accurate roster. HotSchedules is ideal for various industries such as retail, hospitality, and restaurants

Core Features: 

  • Budget management and forecasting

  • Automated scheduling 

  • Employee database

  • Employee management 

Pros and Cons:

  • User-friendly 

  • Easy scheduling process

  • Inadequate support from customer service 

  • Not-so-good scheduling templates 

  • Software updates are frequent 


  • You need to contact their sales representative to get a price quote  

  • No free trial

7. Homebase 

Homebase's employee scheduling software lets you quickly drag and drop team schedules. Not just that, making changes directly from your mobile device, copying last week's schedule, and scheduling is effortless. 

Your employees can update their schedule availability or request shift swaps, which you approve. In addition, Homebase can tally overtime and hours and can subtract break times, as well. It also integrates sales data from third-party systems. This scheduling software is ideal for small businesses and industries. 

Core Features: 

Pros and Cons: 

  • User-friendly 

  • Easy to track employee work hours 

  • Less pricey 

  • Lacks important features 

  • The user needs training before using it 

  • Setting availability can be a tad tricky 


  • Plans are charged per location rather than per user

  • The basic plan costs $19.95/month for unlimited users per location 

  • With 14-day trial 

  • With a free-for-life plan (minimal features)

8. Jolt 

Jolt is another cloud-based employee scheduling software capable of schedule distribution, mobile access, shift swapping, reports update, and time-clock app. This software makes it easy for you to obtain team fair work compliance, workforce accountability, and increase overall employee performance. Jolt is excellent for businesses in the food and beverage industry. 

Core Features: 

  • Employee Scheduling 

  • Mobile and desktop access

  • Time clock management 

Pros and Cons: 

  • User-friendly 

  • Good customer service

  • Setting availability can be challenging 

  • PTO request is unserviceable

  • The app user interface isn't on par with the desktop version 


  • You need to contact their sales representative to get a price quote  

  • No free trial

10. Time Doctor

Another app for employee scheduling processes is Time Doctor, used by large companies and small start-up businesses. The software has robust scheduling and time-tracking features that can boost your workforce's productivity and optimise workflows for employees and managers. 

Core Features: 

Pros and Cons:

  • User-friendly

  • Does online and offline time tracking 

  • Can do manual and automated time tracking 

  • Out-of-date user interface

  • Customer support can be a challenge to reach

  • Idle-time notifications can be bothersome


  • The basic plan starts at $8/user per month

  • With a free 14-day trial 

  • With free-for-life plan 

11. Humanity 

Humanity is reasonably popular with healthcare companies for staff forecasting needs. Just like the rest of the employee scheduling apps mentioned above, it can automatically ensure that you adhere to employee fair work compliance

Core Features: 

Pros and Cons: 

  • A plethora of features 

  • A solid set of features 

  • Re-organised user interface 

  • Its wide array of features can be overwhelming 


  • The basic plan starts at $2/user per month

  • With a 30-day free trial 

  • With free-for-life plan

What Are the Benefits of an Employee Scheduling App? 

  • Ensure you have scheduled the correct number of employees for every position and every shift. 

  • Preventing you from scheduling an employee under the same shift (double-scheduling) or scheduling an employee for a job they don't fit

  • Alerting you when you've scheduled your worker a shift was conflicting with their availability. 

  • They notify you whenever an employee may enter an overtime pay in a week. 

  • Disseminating schedules to employees immediately once done creating the roster

  • Letting you make necessary amends to the work schedules, even after it's completed and finalised. 

  • Updating your workforce with ease when there are schedule changes or updates.

These solid features can change how you handle your employee scheduling process. 

Key Takeaway -  Elevating Your Business with the Right Employee Scheduling Software

An excellent employee scheduling software can do various tasks that save you hours in planning and executing whilst maintaining excellent and clear communication with your entire team

Nonetheless, having an employee scheduling app mitigates the needless overlaps in the scheduling process and improves productivity. So, pick the best for your organisation for a more efficient schedule and workload management

Each software option offers unique benefits tailored to different business needs. Assess your requirements to select the most suitable software for effective schedule and workload management.

RosterElf: Rostering Made Easy 

RosterElf's cloud-based employee scheduling software truly is a game-changer.  

Say goodbye to roster conflicts and chase employees for their availability to work. Instead, employees can easily update their availability to work and notify managers about it through a smartphone app. Staff set the times and days they can work, and RosterElf does the rest. Our software then automatically suggests available employees to fill shifts. 

We are genuinely the best rostering system in Australia. So, what are you waiting for? It's time to take your employee scheduling game to the next level and boost your business' performance. Call us now at 1300 353 000, and our team will gladly assist you. 

Experience RosterElf with a free trial and see the difference it makes in your small business. 


Have Questions

We Have The Answers

What are the key benefits of using employee scheduling software for small businesses?

Employee scheduling software enhances workforce management, increases productivity, and supports higher profits by optimizing staff scheduling and reducing time spent on administrative tasks.

How does employee scheduling software improve workplace culture?

It promotes employee autonomy and satisfaction by streamlining shift management, enabling self-service for shift swaps, and reducing scheduling conflicts.

What are the top features to look for in employee scheduling software?

Look for mobile adaptability, self-service options, third-party program integration, scheduling efficiency, payroll monitoring, absence tracking, and reporting capabilities.

Can employee scheduling software integrate with payroll systems?

Yes, many employee scheduling apps integrate with payroll systems like Xero, MYOB, and Sage, streamlining payroll processes and reducing errors.

How does employee scheduling software contribute to cost management?

It helps in labour budgeting, tracking work hours, and preventing overstaffing or understaffing, thereby optimising labour costs.

Are there employee scheduling software options suitable for various industries?

Yes, scheduling software options are tailored for diverse industries, including retail, hospitality, healthcare, and field services.

Important Notice

The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on RosterElf's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice.

RosterElf is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article.

RosterElf disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.