Homebase is all-encompassing, highly accessible and easy-to-use employee scheduling software. It has every feature we looked for in our review of scheduling programs and performed well in our proprietary testing, earning top marks in each category we evaluated. This software has an intuitive user interface that’s up to date and easy to navigate, allows employees and managers full access to a variety of helpful features, and provides thorough support options.
For our evaluation, we reviewed Homebase’s Essentials package, which is $9.95 per month per location. Two higher-tiered plans are available as well; they have additional features that might relate to your business and are worth investigating. A free plan is also available, though it has fewer features than the Essentials package.
Homebase’s pricing structure differs from most of the other companies in our lineup, as the other companies charge a fee per user instead of per location. Depending on the number of employees in your company, Homebase’s structure might be more affordable for your business.
We tested Homebase from a managerial point of view by setting up the software, creating schedules and employee profiles, and approving employee requests. Homebase earned a near-perfect score. You can easily create a schedule with drag-and-drop and autofill features. It warns you before publishing schedule conflicts, though you can override the warning and publish conflicting shifts. We created the same schedule in each of the systems we tested, and creating a schedule in Homebase was one of the fastest processes in our review. It did take a bit longer to set up the program, however. Still, though some others were faster, there was not a significant difference between this program’s setup and others in our review.
When an employee sends in a request – whether for a shift swap, time off or any other request – the software notifies you via email with a link that takes you directly to the request so you can either approve or disapprove it. This helps you keep easy track of what your employees are up to and stay on top of employee requests.
Homebase offers all of the features we looked for in the administrative side of its software. A time clock is available so that you can easily track employee hours in the same program you track schedules. A free mobile app is also available. You can set up the system to send mobile alerts to your employees’ phones via text message, or you can communicate with your staff through an in-program messaging tool. Your employees will see the messages when they log in to the software.
This work schedule generator can decrease headaches as you prepare payroll. Since it tracks your schedule and the hours your employees work, its integrations with payroll programs such as ADP and QuickBooks are especially helpful.
Our reviewers also tested each scheduling program from the employee portal. Homebase earned a perfect score in this evaluation. You send out invitations via email to your employees to join your company’s online Homebase program. When an employee logs in, it’s easy for him or her to see the week’s schedule, as it is available right on the dashboard. Using the software, your employees can request to trade shifts with someone, ask for time off or set up times when they are available during the week. Letting your employees schedule their availability can help you avoid future scheduling headaches, as you can keep track of when each employee is available to work and most likely to arrive promptly for a shift.
Your employees can easily customize their profiles. This means that they can change incorrect information, like an address or phone number, or add a picture so you can easily identify them in the program. They can also update what language they’d like their program to be in. Language options include English, Spanish and even Pirate, which we thought was fun.
Employees can choose what alerts and notifications they receive as well. Possible alerts include a newly published schedule, a manager’s reply to a time-off or shift-swap request, or a reminder prior to the beginning of a shift. Employees can adjust the time they receive the alert before their shift if they so desire, though the default is one hour. Your staff members can select if they’d like to receive reminders via email, mobile push notifications or text messages. Different alerts and notifications are available for managers.
Homebase offers four reports, which is on the low end of report offerings in our review. Up to nine reports are available with a higher-tiered plan (Plus or above). However, the reports that the Essentials plan offers are thorough and helpful. Attendance reports are available to help you see who is missing shifts or consistently arrives late. Labor cost reports are also available. These reports show you how much your schedules cost your company based on the hours your employees work and their pay rates. Other reports include a sales vs. labor summary and a feedback score from your employees, which is a unique feature. Homebase allows your employees to rate their schedules and their work experiences for a shift, letting you track employee satisfaction.
You can organize all of your reports by date, in alphabetical order, or from highest to lowest or lowest to highest. You can also export reports to Excel or print them as needed.
If you run across any problems while using Homebase, you can peruse its knowledgebase, which includes tutorials, to look for answers to your issues. You can also reach out to support over the phone. In case you prefer not to talk over the phone, live chat is also available, though you may have to wait a bit for an answer to your question. In our experience, however, we always received answers to our questions. You can also reach out to a Homebase representative via email.
Homebase shines as the best employee scheduling software on the market. It is easy to use for both managers and employees, and it provides both you and your staff the tools you need to easily communicate and keep track of upcoming shifts. Though it provides fewer reports than others on our lineup and may take a bit longer to set up, this is an excellent choice for staff scheduling software.
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