If you are responsible for scheduling at a small business you've probably experienced some standard headaches: fully covering each shift, mistakes in employee availability, not getting confirmation employees know their shifts, and even shift swapping between employees without your knowing.
All of these little snags can be a serious drain on efficiency. One potential alternative exists in the form of When I Work.
What is it?
When I Work is a web and mobile app that functions as a complete scheduling system and, with an add-on, payroll as well. There are various functions that can be used by both employees and employers, and WIW does a good job of making the process seamless for users.
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WIW's web app is where all the backend business happens. Schedulers can create shift templates for different positions, drag and drop scheduling, communicate with employees, approve requests, and handle anything else needed to keep the workplace flowing. The mobile app can do the same things, but it's better used as an employee portal.
How can it benefit you?
When I Work is designed to put all the scheduling, time clock, and payroll systems a small business needs in one centralized cloud-based location. You'll never have to worry about software failures, system upgrades, or expired licenses—just a monthly subscription fee.
WIW is also a versatile communication hub. Business owners can use it to contact employees to see if they're available, have them report they're going to be late, and coordinate shift swaps in a space that is public and read by everyone who needs to be involved.
The app as a whole is easy to navigate, and each screen presents necessary information in a straightforward manner.
The mobile app
The iOS and Android versions of When I Work offer all the features of the web app, but where it really stands out is as an employee tool. Team members are given access to the mobile app with a simple command from the web app, and once added they can use every part of WIW that they'll need.
SEE: Mobile devices in the workplace: Three situations that could get awkward (TechRepublic)
The app shows the schedule and allows workers to chat and request time off. And If you choose you can even let them use it as a time clock.
When I Work is priced on a sliding scale based on how many employees a company has and what features are desired. With five employees the basic app only costs $9 ($17 with time and attendance), all the way to $99 a month ($187 with time and attendance) for organizations with up to 100 people.
Subscriptions can be paid per month, or a year in advance, and there are no long-term contracts.
Should you get it?
With a relatively low cost and a potential for high returns When I Work is worth checking out. If you've struggled with scheduling and fragmented systems for payroll and attendance it could be the ideal solution. The 30-day free trial includes all features and doesn't require a credit card, so there's no risk if you just want to play around with it.
There are alternatives to When I Work available on the market, and it's a good idea to investigate some of them before you commit. You want to be sure you make the best choice for your employees, and the only way to do that is with thorough research.
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Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.