More and more businesses are looking for a smarter way of handling their employee scheduling. But how do you find out which system fits your needs? We’ve highlighted 5 features that your new employee scheduling tool should have – as a minimum.

1. It has to be online – meaning no Excel!

A simple Google search will give you plenty of options, all saying that they are the best tool for you. On the outside, they look alike – but on the inside, they are very different. At the same time, the search through the options may confuse you, making you start questioning what you really want.

As you probably know, employee scheduling is not just about fitting shifts into a box. There are many other tasks connected to it – and these are processes that Excel, whiteboards or papers can’t handle.

Fortunately, there are online employee scheduling systems out there ready to make your day much simpler by putting scheduling, HR, communication and payroll into one system that everyone can access from computers, phones and tablets. This enables you and your employees to work anytime, anywhere – in contrast to Excel which ties you to your chair all day and only enables one person at a time to make any changes to the schedule.

Want to know more? Here’s why Excel kills your scheduling

2. It needs a mobile app too

We’re constantly on our phone – you might even be reading this from the palm of your hand. The number of apps out there show that we are relying on our phone to handle many aspects of our daily lives, including our work.

A recent survey showed that 55% of hourly workers would want to use a mobile scheduling app if they were offered one. The need to be flexible is higher than ever for both managers and employees which is why the demand for having your shifts right in your pocket at all times is increasing every day.

The best employee scheduling systems have taken this into account, making sure that the tool is both online and mobile. With a mobile scheduling app, you will be able to handle shift swaps, shift requests and communication from your phone – and there’s no excuse for not being able to check your shift times.

Want to know more about the benefits of mobile employee scheduling? We’ve made a list for both managers and employees – click here to see it.

3. It should offer work schedule templates

Take a moment to think about how much time you spend on copying your shift schedule every week – and afterwards printing and sharing the updated plan. Excel, whiteboards and other homemade solutions may seem like obvious choices for creating your work schedule but when you count how many hours you spend on manually adjusting it to your needs, these tools are not very handy and they leave room for mistakes.

To make your scheduling process a whole lot smarter, the best online employee scheduling systems have made sure that you can work with templates. If your weekly or monthly schedule looks roughly the same, you can make a template which will be rolled out automatically, and you can simply make changes to it as you go along. This will reduce time spent on scheduling from hours every week to minutes.

And the best part is that you will save a lot of time on sharing the schedule as it is online and available for everyone in your company. So, no more printouts, no more copy/pasting and no more mistakes.

Want to try working with schedule templates? Click here to check out an online employee scheduling system for free.

4. A built-in time clock

How are you registering work hours today? Many businesses still rely on employees noting down their hours manually either in an Excel sheet or on a piece of paper. However, there’s a risk that work hours will be registered incorrectly which will hurt your budget as a few minutes here and there turn into hours on a yearly basis.

That’s why using a time clock is a huge money saver. With the time clock, your employees will have to punch in and out, leaving the system to register exact worked hours. They will then be compared to the scheduled hours and alert you of any deviations. This way, you will stay on top of your budget and always know how much you spend on your staff. Some businesses actually report a saving of 5% because of this function. Not bad…

Find out more about the time-clocking feature and all its benefits right here.

5. Connect to your payroll system

Calculating payroll can be a really time-consuming and complicated task as you have to take overtime, supplements etc. into consideration. But with the right online scheduling tool, you’ll be able to do it quickly and easily.

In relation to the point highlighted above, the best scheduling systems can integrate with your payroll system. The registered hours from the time clock will be exported into your payroll system, reducing time spent on calculating payroll significantly. Some save a whole day’s work because of this feature. But that’s not all…

Besides saving you time, this integration between your shift plan, time clock and payroll system creates a sense of security for both managers and employees; employees can always be sure to be paid correctly and on time, and managers will always stay within their budget.

But wait, there’s more…

These are just 5 of many features that your new employee scheduling system should have. This guide lists all the features that your new tool should include. The guide is free – click here to get your copy.

Why not give it a go now?

If you feel like trying something new today, you have the chance to work with an online employee scheduling system and all its features now – free of charge. You will quickly find out how you can save time and money by handling employee scheduling this way. Simply click here and get started in a few minutes. Have fun!

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Lisa Andersen
Lisa Andersen Content Editor
Part of Planday’s content team in Copenhagen, Lisa is into yoga and loves good writing. Her experience includes working with communication and PR for international grassroots organizations in Argentina and Bolivia.