In the modern world, it’s so easy to run your business entirely from a PC. From email communication to annual leave booking, the internet has moved many of our work tasks online. And thanks to our ability to stay connected, managing and booking shifts has become easier than ever.

But what exactly is a shift booking system and how does it work? In this article, we will answer both these questions and more. Let’s get started.

What is a Shift Booking System?

It is an electronic application that allows staff members to book working shifts. Many also allow employees to book overtime shifts and schedule leave days as well.

What Is Online Shift Booking Software?

An online shift booking and appointment system is one that allows employees to view their shifts over the Internet. It will also allow them to book the future shifts they wish to work. Most online shift planning systems are accessible anywhere for ease of use.

Benefits of a Good Shift Booking System?

A good shift booking system can bring many advantages to your business. These can include:

  • Easy booking of shifts. This may seem self-explanatory, but a good shift booking system will allow shifts to be booked easily.
  • 24/7 access. A good shift booking system will allow staff to book shifts at any time of the day. Most run from the cloud and can be accessed by password from the Internet on any device.
  • Less HR time wasted. A good shift booking system will make your HR staff more efficient. They won’t be tied to their PCs or phones planning shift patterns and creating rotas and can prioritise other tasks instead.
  • Get insights into the business and staff. All software systems come with analytical tools. A shift booking software can keep track of the shifts worked by each employee while summarizing other business data.
  • Everyone will be on the same page. A good shift booking tool allows everyone to view shifts. This can avoid confusion and prevent issues with double bookings or missing shifts.

Shift booking system by Papershift

What Should I Look for in a Shift Booking System?

There are many things you have to look for in a shift planning software, including:

How Easy it is to Use

The first thing you want to ensure with any shift planning system is that it is easy to use. Systems that have a big learning curve will most likely confuse staff and lead to errors.

The system also needs to be super user-friendly from a business perspective. Creating rotas, shifts, and allocating staff should be quick and efficient without confusion or requiring technical support.


As a business owner, you want your business to grow. To accommodate this growth, the systems you employ need to be scalable too. This includes any shift booking tool. If the software cannot upgrade to support new staff, shifts, or situations, then it’s likely it won’t meet your needs.

Accessible Everywhere

Everything these days is in the cloud. From your emails to your photographs, we upload everything in the modern world. A good shift planning tool should have the same accessibility. This can allow staff to book shifts from anywhere the have access to a PC.

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams 🙂

Illustration by Anna Golde from Ouch!