shift schedule

Excel vs Scheduling Software: 5 Signs to Consider

Excel and Google Sheets are no doubt beneficial for entering data and making calculations. You can tweak the formatting and make use of the formulas to create shift schedules for your staff.

But it’s only sweet and beautiful in the beginning. Once your staff want some time off, aren’t available, mistake their shifts with others, forget their shifts, etc., maintaining the schedules can become a pain.

So how do you know that this relationship with spreadsheet programs isn’t for you anymore? And that you should use scheduling software instead?

Here are some signs that tell you it’s time to make the switch.

1. You’re wasting more than 7 hours a week scheduling

Even if you’re comfortable with using Google Sheets and Excel, scheduling can take hours of your week.

To create shift schedules, you need to manage multiple sheets, from employee availability and preferences to time-off requests. Each time you assign a shift, you have to jump back and forth between these sheets to make sure the assignee is available and qualified for the shift.

And how will you distribute schedules to employees effectively and make sure everyone’s informed about their shifts? That’s not to mention changes happen all the time and you have to come back to make adjustments.

By using employee scheduling software such as Camelo, you can save up to 7 hours every week. This means you’ve got more time for actual management work that’s meaningful and time-worthy. 

2. You’re drowned in time-off and change requests

When one staff asks for time off or schedule changes, you’ll have to update the entire schedule. And every update means the distribution process is repeated. In other words, you have to notify all of your staff again, which is time- and energy-consuming.

During holiday seasons, leave requests may flood in. Feeling overwhelmed, you may miss some of them, or forget to store and organize them properly. This not only causes your employees to feel unhappy, but the risk of compliance issues also exists.

A scheduling app puts all requests into one place so you can tap Approve or Deny to process the requests right away. And it suggests a list of staff for replacements so you don’t have to reference different sheets to select substitutes anymore.

Plus, it saves all of those records so you can store and retrieve necessary documents easily and stay compliant.

3. You find too much back and forth in team communication

Remember all those email threads and group chats created to inform and get informed about work stuff?

Most business owners or managers who use spreadsheets have to communicate via another channel, whether a chat app or a Facebook group or emails.

Using all those programs just for scheduling work means you’re spreading your attention all over the place. It’s hard to keep track of conversations and make sure staff have received the necessary information.

Scheduling software automatically informs your team of new schedules and updates. You can quickly drop announcements and discuss scheduling issues in the app via the messaging feature. Manual work and back-and-forth issues are minimized.

4. Payroll is tiresome for you

Payroll isn’t just about multiplying total work hours with hourly rates. It’s also about staying compliant with the labor laws and making sure that human error is minimized.

Late clock-ins, time theft, and unplanned overtime can cause big headaches for payroll processing. If you’re not careful, you may overspend or pay your employees incorrectly.

Scheduling software automatically tracks clock-ins and clock-outs, as well as the total working time of employees. You can easily export timesheets for payroll processing, and even integrate with payroll software for further convenience.

5. You want an optimal option

Spreadsheets programs require some learning to make good use of. Formatting, processing data, and retrieving information can be complicated. You may encounter errors and end up wasting hours on finding the solutions.

Even though you’re comfortable with using Excel or Google Sheets, you may want an optimal solution just to save time and eliminate unnecessary troubles.

A scheduling app makes it easy for you to create, edit, share, and make changes to your employee schedules. Labor data can be retrieved for payroll and time tracking. And there’s no need to dig the Internet when an error value appears on your spreadsheets.


So, the above 5 signs should be enough to tell you that you need to make the switch from Excel to scheduling software.

All that time and energy you put into scheduling can actually be spent on things that truly matter and can’t be replaced by any digital apps.

If you’ve suffered from the scheduling problems we mentioned above, try scheduling apps such as Camelo to see if they can regain that peace of mind you’re losing.

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