When I Work is one of the leading tools for small business workforce management. It offers effective and easy to use solutions for employee scheduling, attendance management, team messaging, and digital timesheets. When I Work was designed around the shift worker experience. Where it really shines is in its user friendliness - it’s easy for employees to check their schedules and even easier for managers to build schedules quickly.
When I Work is a great platform for streamlining your workforce management, especially if you are a small to medium-sized restaurant and hospitality business. One of its many strengths lies in its simplicity. The platform offers a straightforward way to create schedules and track employee time and attendance.
When I Work is especially useful for HR generalists and scheduling managers. Admin work is very streamlined in the system, as managers can create and populate shifts quickly and assign them according to employee classification.
Frontline staff also find When I Work quite useful. The platform has a communication module that allows team members to send messages to one another in real time. If you are looking to maximize user experience and employee engagement, When I Work could be right for you.
However, When I Work’s capabilities might not be suited for organizations that have more complex scheduling and labor compliance requirements. In light of this, it might be a good idea to take a look at some alternative workforce management software providers that might suit your needs better.
What makes When I Work appealing is its ease of use. While this is important, it comes at the cost of more in-depth functionality. Here are a few areas where When I Work does not fit every use case:
Labor forecasting: When I Work’s time tracking and scheduling capabilities do a good job at keeping operations organized. Beyond this, it does not do much else to automate compliance at every step of your business process. Things like break law templates, timesheet auto-approvals, and qualification-based scheduling are important features to have if you value extensive labor compliance.
Labor compliance: When I Work’s time tracking and scheduling capabilities do a good job at keeping operations organized. Beyond this, it does not do much else to automate compliance at every step of your business process. Things like break law templates, timesheet auto-approvals, and qualification-based scheduling are important features to have if you value extensive labor compliance.
Customization: Users tend to resort to workarounds to make the platform suitable to their specific business needs. For instance, some users may find it difficult to change employee labels or add more in-depth information or files in shift notes.
Tracking and logging paid breaks: According to user reviews, staff can only report paid breaks taken after a shift when they clock out for the day. However, there seems to be no functionality that allows staff to log a paid break as they take it. While there’s still a workaround to recording breaks, it can pose challenges in terms of accuracy, not to mention the higher chances of it being overlooked.
While When I Work is a great platform capable of handling all kinds of scheduling requirements, it's not suited for everyone. Scaling businesses need to have systems that can keep pace with their growth. If some of the potential drawbacks listed above could present issues for your business, it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the alternatives below:
Workforce.com is the best alternative to When I Work if you are looking for comprehensive workforce management capabilities at a larger scale. Designed for any business with over 20 hourly employees, Workforce.com’s core features include employee scheduling, time and attendance, labor forecasting, and labor compliance. Workforce.com is also industry agnostic, which means it serves a wide range of businesses and use cases.
Workforce.com’s greatest strength lies in its industry-leading AI. Both scheduling and forecasting modules are equipped with powerful machine learning technology that enables managers to create demand-based schedules optimized for compliance and labor cost reduction. Managers can also view things like wage cost variances and late arrivals in real time, providing valuable insights before, during, and after every shift.
But enough about all of that. Let’s take a closer look at the details that really matter. Below are some of the main reasons why Workforce.com is one of the best alternatives to When I Work:
Demand-based scheduling: Workforce.com's labor forecasting considers all the specific variables that can influence customer demand. Aside from historical sales data, it’s machine learning also uses foot traffic, economic trends, bookings, weather, and other relevant details to predict demand patterns. Then, Workforce.com creates accurate schedules based on those predictions, making sure that you have correct staffing levels without going over budget.
One-click scheduling: Workforce.com’s auto-scheduling lets managers build compliant and accurate schedules in a single click. The system’s AI builds shifts based on demand forecasts, employee unavailability, historical shift patterns, and more, filling them with best-fit employees in minutes. The more you use the system, the smarter it becomes.
Powerful integrations: Integrations are crucial to an efficient workflow. Workforce.com has an open API, which means it can seamlessly integrate with external platforms and internally developed systems. Workforce.com builds and maintains a library of integrations to ensure that data syncs smoothly from payroll, HR, and POS systems.
Real-time insights: Leading Indicators™ map labor costs to sales in real-time, enabling frontline managers to stay on top of SPLH and receive alerts on potential overtime.
Wage and labor compliance: Workforce.com has a library of wage and hour laws that apply to all 50 states. It ensures compliance in all aspects of workforce management. The system sends notifications for potential compliance issues to be addressed before publishing schedules or processing payroll.
Agile shift replacement: Replacing call-outs as efficiently as possible is curcual for restaurant businesses. In case of last-minute absences, employees can easily swap shifts with manager approval, or managers can offer vacant shifts to available staff.
Scalability: Workforce.com is a robust system that’s highly customizable and scalable. It’s designed to keep pace with an organization’s growth and any form of transition it needs to go through as it scales.
Automated tracking of paid breaks: Workforce.com can track paid and unpaid breaks in real time. Employees can clock in and out for breaks right from their phones, and managers can automatically populate schedules with meal and rest breaks that are compliant with state law.
Effective mobile app: Workforce.com is easy to use on mobile devices as it is on desktop. Mobile access is available on both iOS and Android devices. It helps managers stay on top of their teams without sitting in front of a computer. It also enhances employee experience as it gives them an easy way to clock in and out, check their schedules, file PTO, and communicate with their teammates.
Workforce.com offers two pricing plans for mid-market to enterprise-sized clients, both designed to maximize ROI. These plans are geared towards maximizing ROI. Depending on the plan, you gain full access to current features and any future features that will roll out. Rest assured that the two plans have no extra fees or expensive hidden add-ons.
You’ll need to contact Workforce.com directly for more information on pricing.
To really explore the platform and decide for yourself, book a call today to find out more about Workforce.com and its features.
ADP RUN is a payroll and workforce management solution for small businesses with under 50 employees. It’s main focus is in payroll and tax filing, but it does have basic time and attendance capabilities as well.
Full service payroll and tax filing
Flexible pay options for staff
Efficient employee-record keeping
Employee self-service tools for HR
Kiosk-based time tracking
Small businesses with under 50 employees
Construction, non-profit, health and wellness
Complex payroll and tax requirements
You should use ADP RUN if you are a non-hospitality/F&B small business in need of a comprehensive payroll system. While When I Work is better for scheduling, it lacks payroll and HRIS, making ADP RUN better if those features are a priority for you. Organizations also find ADP RUN useful for HR processes like onboarding, contracts, employee handbooks, and employee records.
As mentioned before, what ADP lacks is effective scheduling and flexible time tracking. To create a powerful workflow between schedules, time and attendance, and payroll, it's advisable to pair ADP RUN with a full service workforce management system.
Sling is a software solution focused on employee scheduling, communication, and task management with basic capabilities for time tracking and labor cost optimization. It's also a recent acquisition of Toast, a popular POS system in the F&B industry.
Employee messaging newsfeed
Seamless integration with Toast POS
Education, hospital and healthcare, restaurants
Restaurants, healthcare, and non-profits
Fit for SMBs with straightforward scheduling and task management
Toast POS users
Premium: $1.70 per user/month
Business: $3.40 per user/month
When I Work and Sling are platforms for simple employee scheduling and team communication. But since Sling is part of the Toast ecosystem, it benefits from a strong integration with POS. So if you're a Toast user with 20 employees and below, Sling is an ideal alternative to When I Work.
However, for advanced functionality like auto-scheduling and labor forecasting, it would be best to consider other alternatives more equipped to handle enterprise-level requirements.
QuickBooks Time, formerly known as TSheets, is part of the solutions under Intuit, a global technology platform providing solutions for small businesses and consumers.
QuickBooks Time is a timesheet tracker that provides a tool for tracking, submitting, and approving time. While it’s known as a software used to track time, it also has basic scheduling features and alerts for payroll submissions and employee clock-ins.
Mobile timesheet app
Basic scheduling by time or by job
GPS and geofencing
For customers using QuickBooks for payroll
SMBs needing a time tracker for employees on the go
Construction and accounting industry
Premium: $10 per month plus $8 per user/month
Elite: $20 per month plus $10 per user/month
When I Work and QuickBooks Time are comparable regarding time tracking and employee scheduling. If you have fairly straightforward time and attendance needs, Quickbooks Time is worth considering as an alternative, especially if you have a mobile team or use Quickbooks for payroll already.
A notable feature of QuickBooks Time is that you can schedule by job, making it a viable option for heavily project-based businesses. However, it's important to note that both platforms reportedly have time tracking glitches, rudimentary scheduling capabilities, and limitations with demand forecasting.
7shifts is a restaurant-focused scheduling, time tracking, and task management platform.
Drag and drop employee scheduling
Free mobile app
Task management system
Restaurants, F&B, Hospitality
SMB and mid-sized businesses
Entree: $29.99 - per month/location - up to 30 employees
The Works: $69.99 - per month/location - unlimited employees
Gourmet: quote-based - for enterprises
7shifts is a great option for small businesses in the F&B industry looking for robust scheduling and task management functions specific to retaurant operations. However, while it does have some very helpful features, it has limitations in some areas of workforce management. The most obvious con is that businesses outside the restaurant industry may not realize its full benefits and potential.
You should only really consider 7shifts if you're in F&B and have less than 100 employees. But if your business is scaling up, you need a platform that can handle more compelx workforce management.
Hotschedules is another workforce management platform built for restaurants and hospitality businesses. It merged with Fourth in 2019, becoming part of Fourth’s ecosystem of tools that combines WFM, HR, and inventory management.
Simple employee scheduling software
Earned wage access
Manager log book
Organizations that need to link employee scheduling with an inventory management system
Restaurants, F&B, and hospitality businesses
Like 7shifts, Hotschedules is another platform to consider if you run a restaurant. It's useful in that it comes perfectly synced with an inventory management module, unlike both When I Work and 7shifts which require third party integrations. However, one of the most significant drawbacks of Hotschedules is that its mobile app comes at an additional cost. For more information on how 7shifts and Hotschedules differ, check out this article comparing the two.
Homebase is mainly an employee scheduling and time clock software solution for hourly workers. It is perhaps the most comparable alternative to When I Work on this list, especially for those in the F&B industry.
Free time clock app
Time tracking and employee scheduling
Small businesses in need of simple time clocks and scheduling
Restaurants, healthcare, and non-profits
Essentials: $20 per month per location
Plus: $48 per month per location
All in One: $80 per month per location
You should choose Homebase over When I Work if you only have one location and value efficient time clocks and payroll over detailed scheduling. However, if auto-scheduling and labor forecasting are critical needs for you, perhaps consider another alternative.
Dayforce is a cloud-based HCM software under Ceridian. It mostly specializes in payroll and HRIS. Workforce management features like scheduling and time tracking can be added on as well.
Secure document management system
Dayforce wallet for on-demand pay
Employee flight risk analysis
Basic time tracking and scheduling
Extensive talent management and acquisition
Retail, healthcare, and financial services
Payroll, HR, and basic WFM in a single HCM system
Requirement for highly detailed HR analytics capabilities
The most apparent strength of Dayforce is its HRIS capabilities, which When I Work doesn’t have. However, outside of this, Dayforce might not be the best workforce management alternative for smaller businesses. Its scheduling and time tracking are hard to implement and quite expensive, making Dayforce more of an option for mid-market companies that have high tolerances for systems complexity and long implementation timelines.
UKG Ready is one of the products under the UKG suite. It's designed for small to medium businesses and has HR, talent, and payroll tools.
Payroll tools and tax processing
Core HR tools
Basic time and attendance and employee scheduling
Small to medium sized businesses looking to streamline HR and payroll processes
Hospital and healthcare, retail
If you're a non-restaurant business with under 50 employees that's looking to improve your HR and payroll processes, UKG Ready is a good alternative to When I Work because it specializes in these areas. However, when it comes to scheduling, UKG is still fairly limited in terms of its demand forecasting and real-time insights. UKG’s interface is also slightly outdated and difficult to use, limiting its employee self service and engagement capabilities.