Staff Scheduling Tools: Deputy vs. When I Work vs. Homebase

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Last week, we held a Technology Meetup focused on staff scheduling tools. Here are the pros and cons of each, according to bookseller guest speakers:



  • Available via desktop interface and mobile app
  • Offers a limited free version with 100 shifts/month
  • Flexible for all different kinds of shift work
  • Allows employees to easily fill out and edit their timesheets for both scheduled and unscheduled shifts, input availability, request time off, and clock in/out
  • Offers full views of coverage over the course of the week and how much coverage costs your business


  • Can be glitchy in Safari


When I Work


  • Available via desktop interface and mobile app
  • Allows employers to set up employees with information such as their pay rate, employee ID, photo
  • Positions and shift times can be customized to accommodate employees, volunteers, full-time and part-time work
  • The service has a time clock function where employees can punch in and out via the app
  • Auditing and approving timesheets is simple, and employees can put in leave requests via the app
  • Includes a team messaging feature


  • No free version; free trial only
  • Requires a minimum of three administrators




  • Offers a free basic version
  • Available via desktop interface and mobile app
  • Can integrate with different payroll systems
  • Employees can set their own availability and request time off via the app
  • Building a schedule is quick and easy, and the schedule builder also notes how much you’re spending on each shift
  • The schedule builder also notates approved time off for employees
  • Employees can clock in and out via the app; the ability to clock in can be restricted by location


  • Lack of WiFi or data (such as at pop-up events) makes it impossible for employees to punch in
  • If using the service for team communication, there’s a limited number of shift notes included in the free version


Logged-in booksellers can view a recording of the session on the Education Resources page on