When I Work Review

When I Work Review

Intuitive scheduling and employee management software with an excellent free plan.


  • Free plan for up to 75 employees including scheduling, basic attendance tracking, and communication
  • Provides the ability to build and manage complex schedules using an intuitive drag-and-drop calendar and range of apps
  • Built-in applicant tracking system (ATS) supporting job posting through to hiring


  • Forecasting and labor budgeting could be improved
  • No dedicated Reporting section
Analyst's Rating
Research Led By:
Analyst Image
Co-founder & CEO

We use a rigorous software review process to create our unbiased, in-depth research.
Learn more about our software review process.

Table of Contents

When I Work Pricing

  • Free plan for up to 75 employees.
  • Basic scheduling starts at $1.50/month per user up to $2.25/month per user for Scheduling Pro.
  • Enterprise plans available upon request.

When I Work Full Review

When I Work is an award-winning shift scheduling and time tracking platform. The cloud-based software helps managers build rosters and communicate with employees using a range of web and mobile apps. Founded in 2010, When I Work is trusted by over 20,000 customers encompassing a broad range of industries from hospitality and retail to healthcare and professional services.

Managers can use When I Work to create complex schedules across multiple locations using the software’s intuitive drag-and-drop calendar. Shifts are automatically distributed via email or through the mobile app, and employees can log into their account to manage their schedules in real time. The software also includes basic attendance tracking allowing you to build accurate timesheets and streamline your payroll.

When I Work has a free plan for up to 75 employees. Paid plans start at $1.30/month per user with additional value-add features allowing you to build schedules in advance (10+ days out) and manage multiple job sites on one account.

Overall, When I Work is a great choice if you’re after a budget-friendly shift scheduling solution. The free plan offers excellent value for small businesses that manage a single location, but the trade-off is you can’t schedule more than 10 days in advance. Also, if you need advanced reporting or forecasting capability, you might want to opt for an alternative such as Deputy or Humanity, which both come with excellent reporting capabilities.

Key Features

Below, we'll discuss When I Work's key features, and discuss how they can benefit your business.

Employee Profile

Employee profiles and settings can be managed within one centralized location in the system. Employees can be added manually, or if you have a lot of employees, you can add them all at once using a spreadsheet (Excel or CSV file). When I Work offers an import template which has contact information, hourly rate, ID number, and maximum hours. The company recommends adding both a mobile number and email so workers can accept your invite from any device and start managing their profile. You can also add notes to individual profiles which are only visible by managers and supervisors.

While adding profiles is simple enough, managing employees is slightly more difficult. Unlike Deputy, When I Work doesn’t offer a filtering system; instead, there is only a search field. This means that you can’t easily organize employees into different groups (for example, finding all employees in a specific location, under a certain pay rate, etc.) or conduct bulk actions such as adjusting pay rate or sending group messages. While there are workarounds, such as using the WorkChat feature and creating customized positions, the software isn’t as easy to use in this regard.

When I Work Review Creating Employee Profile


When I Work has a simple drag-and-drop scheduling calendar that helps you manage and allocate shifts. Managers and supervisors can create schedules by clicking on the date in an allocated workers' row and selecting a shift time/position. Employees will then receive a notification via email or on their mobile phone. There is also the option to schedule an Open Shift, which enables qualified workers to claim additional shifts. By default, the calendar is displayed in a weekly format; however, you change the view to either day or month, which can help view hour-to-hour or assist in building out your schedule several weeks out.

When I Work Review Scheduler

To provide a high-level overview, When I Work has a filtering tool on the left-hand-side that allows you to show or hide various positions/locations. For example, if you run multiple restaurants, you can select a specific Job Site to see how many waiters are allocated and view your schedule at a glance.

One useful tool is the ability to compare Projected Sales against your Labor Cost to ensure you aren’t overspending. A quick Labor Percentage is also shown at the bottom to help you track how much of your budget has been allocated. However, you will need to manually enter projected sales, as When I Work doesn’t integrate with any point of sale (POS) software unlike Deputy, which has multiple options.

Overall the software’s scheduling calendar will suffice for small businesses. However, if you’re looking to take advantage of the free plan, be warned that you can only schedule 10 days in advance and utilize one location. These limitations can severely impact your organization and can be a major downfall for businesses that need to plan in advance.

Attendance Tracking

When I Work includes attendance tracking to help you streamline payroll and manage employees on a daily basis. Employees can log their hours at your workplace using a fixed terminal (time clock installed on desktop or tablet), or they can even utilize their own smartphone to track hours.

Timesheets can then be exported to a spreadsheet, which you feed into your payroll system. However, you can streamline this process by integrating When I Work with payroll providers such as QuickBooks Online, ADP Workforce Now, or Gusto.

When I Work Review Timesheet

While basic attendance tracking is free, there are paid features you can add starting at $1.30/month per user. For example, if you utilize the time clock with scheduling, the system automatically prevents employees from clocking in early. Also, if employees forget to clock in at the start of their shift, a notification will be sent to both the manager and worker. To prevent any unauthorized timesheets, you can also enable location-based restrictions and view a GPS pin to track employee clock-ins at your workplace. This assists with verifying timesheet data and helps improve payroll accuracy. A useful addition to the software would be to include a photo feature to ensure an employee is actually present.

When I Work Review Attendance Login Screen

Task Management

Adding tasks to your schedule can ensure your team completes necessary activities during their shift. When I Work uses Lists to organize individual tasks; for example, time-based (opening or closing), activity-based (cleaning the backroom), or team-based (front of house). Lists can be allocated to specific days of your schedule and set to recur as needed. You can also assign responsibility for individual tasks to employees. Though this functionality is incredibly useful, it’s only available on the paid plans.


When I Work includes a built-in applicant tracking system (ATS) that allows you to create and distribute job postings, evaluate candidates, and automatically onboard new workers into your schedules. New position openings can be distributed on Facebook Jobs or Indeed. Links are available to share via social media, and you can even use a dedicated When I Work-hosted job page to collect applications.

As the Hiring section is not a core component of the software, When I Work doesn’t offer dedicated features like a typical ATS. For example, you can’t automatically post to multiple job boards at once, and there is no ability to build customizable workflows. In addition, the software doesn’t have any interview scheduling functionality, so you will need to manage this yourself. However, for basic hiring needs, the built-in ATS is an excellent addition that can streamline the process and ensure you don’t spend unnecessary money on additional software.

Secure Messaging System

Communication is vital no matter what industry you’re in. When I Work simplifies communication for your entire team through a fast and secure messaging system, called WorkChat. Managers can keep individuals updated in real-time, post announcements for the entire team, and start group messages for selected people. Employees receive notifications on their mobile device (via the app) and can communicate directly with managers and other team members.

When I Work Review WorkChat

Mobile App

When I Work has a feature-rich scheduling app available for both iPhone and Android. The highly-rated app suite has received 4+ stars on Google Play and iOS App Store, with several users commenting on the ease-of-use and intuitive nature of the app.

When I Work Review Mobile App

Managers can use the mobile app to build schedules, approve time-off requests, and communicate directly with employees through the app (WorkChat) while on the go. Information is automatically updated and synced in real-time, so that you can stay on top of any schedule changes, and manage your team effectively, regardless of where you are.

The app can be used by employees to manage availability and check their schedules. One useful feature the app provides is the ability to allow employees to swap shifts directly with co-workers if they are unable to work, or put the shift up for grabs and offer it to eligible colleagues. Employees can be self-sufficient and manage shifts accordingly through pre-set criteria in the system. If needed, managers can monitor requests and set up an approval process.


When I Work doesn’t have a dedicated reporting section. However, you can use the main dashboard to view information at a glance. The dashboard provides a quick snapshot of your business and allows you to compare information such as scheduled hours vs hours worked (Labor Forecast), scheduled wages vs actual wages (Wages Forecast) and even how much of your budget has been spent against the actual pay period.

When I Work Review Labor Forecast Example

However, compared to Deputy, which allows you to build custom reports using any data field, When I Work is lacking in its reporting capabilities. Scheduling, Attendance, and Employee data can be found within each different section, although, you will need to export the data to a spreadsheet to really gain useful insights.

When I Work Alternatives

We'll analyze how Deputy stacks up against its competitors.

When I Work vs. Deputy

Deputy is a leading scheduling software with a similar set of features to When I Work. While both companies include intuitive scheduling, advanced attendance tracking, and an excellent app suite, Deputy has a more extensive range of value-add features offered on top of its core functionality.

Using Deputy, managers can track employee performance, manage stress levels, and utilize artificial intelligence to auto-schedule and build out complex rosters. Deputy connects with point of sale (POS) software allowing you to gain real-time insights on sales, revenue, and costs through the platform's dashboard. There is also an option to build customized reports, which is one area that When I Work severely lacks.

While When I Work doesn’t have the same level of overall functionality, it does have a modern and intuitive interface that makes building rosters and managing employees extremely easy. The hiring section can also help streamline your workflow, and the highly-rated mobile app suite simplifies employee communication. However, when comparing both companies, in terms of price, Deputy is much more expensive at $2/month per employee, while When I Work offers a free plan for up to 75 employees, and paid plans start at $1.50/month per employee.

If you’re looking for a robust scheduling solution and you think that you will benefit from the additional features such as in-depth reporting, performance management, and auto-scheduling, Deputy might be a better alternative. Although, if you only need a simple scheduling tool and the ability to generate reliable timesheets, When I Work is an excellent option that is likely to suit your needs, and be more affordable as well.

When I Work vs. Humanity

Humanity is another popular cloud-based employee management and shift scheduling tool. The software operates in a similar fashion to When I Work, enabling users to create dynamic schedules, track attendance, and communicate with staff using the built-in messaging system.

However, Humanity does excel against When I Work in specific areas. With multiple forecasting options, users can integrate point of sale (POS) data and track staffing requirements. Managers can also build custom reports to gain useful insights into employee shifts, attendance, leave, and payroll. The company also has an excellent suite of apps (iOS and Android) that help to simplify scheduling and streamline your attendance tracking.

Regarding pricing, Humanity starts at $2/month per user, which puts the software more in line with Deputy. The company only offers a free 30-day trial, compared to the free plan for up to 75 employees at When I Work.

Overall, Humanity is a more robust platform. Although, this does come at a cost. You will end up paying for additional features such as in-depth reporting, employee onboarding programs, and advanced forecasting, even if you don’t use them. Both companies have an excellent product, and your choice will largely depend on your business needs and budget requirements.

Is When I Work Right for You?

When I Work is a modern and easy-to-use software that helps businesses simplify shift scheduling and employee communication. The free plan is ideal for small companies on a tight budget that don't need advanced scheduling or task management. With the highly rated mobile app suite, you can streamline communication through the messaging system and make it easy for employees to manage their schedules.

When I Work’s exceptional free plan makes it a top option to consider. Businesses looking for the paid option will also be satisfied with When I work, as the product is relatively affordable, starting at $1.50/month per employee, compared to other employee scheduling systems which start at $2/month. However, if there is some functionality that When I Work does not offer, such as custom reporting or intelligent automated scheduling, then you may need to pay for these more expensive products. Otherwise, When I Work will suit your needs at an affordable price.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit. He leads the team's research and publishes content about software products and trends. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.

Bruce is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Mental health software
  • SEO software
  • Social media software