5 free and simple apps for managing deskless workforce

If you’re managing workforce in deskless industries like retail, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation or healthcare, office productivity tools are not going to work for you. Instead, you should consider mobile-first apps with features that are built specifically for the deskless workforce. 

There are many heavy-weight solutions out there that are extremely customisable, but they tend to come with a hefty price tag. Apps like Skedulo and Quinyx are great for the enterprise, where it is expected that a consultant spends a few months implementing the software within the organisation. 

But if you’re not looking to hire the big guns, it will make sense to look at simple apps with a self signup option.

Here are five great SaaS apps for deskless workforce management that have a free version and a full self-service. This means that you can simply create a project and start managing your team without going through demo calls or paying for software setup.

Your frontline workforce will thank you for choosing mobile-first software to manage their work.


Zelos is a collaboration app with tasks and chats. Administrators can post open shifts and tasks for the employees to pick up. Tasks can be targeted to specific worker skills to reduce irrelevant notifications, and each task has a separate chat room to keep communication on topic. The interface is very simple, so even the less tech-savvy workforce can easily use the app. 

The free version does not limit the number of users,  so it’s a great choice for companies that have a lot of part-time or contingent employees.

The main feature in Zelos is the central board for open tasks and shifts.


Connecteam is an employee app with a ton of features. You can use it for time tracking and job scheduling, but also for employee chats, handing out recognition badges and sending social updates. The deskless workforce can interact through a mobile app, while the administrators can work on a desktop. 

Although there’s a lot packed into the app, setting up your project is fairly easy. The Connecteam pricing is very fragmented, so you should really know which features you need, as they can all be purchased separately. 

Connecteam comes with a lot of features, so you really need to know how you want to set up your workspace!


Crew is an employee messaging app with basic tasks and shift exchange. Managers can create surveys, share resources, and hand out recognition badges to motivate the employees. The main features are chats and announcements, where you can easily send messages to different groups and see who has read them.

For multicultural teams Crew provides a built-in translation engine, so all messages can be automatically translated into multiple languages. 


Homebase is a communication app for full-time employees. It comes with scheduling and time clock, as well as a variety of in-team messaging options. 

In addition to team communication, Homebase also has a recruitment funnel so you can track applicants and hire people directly through the app. For an additional fee, Homebase can also provide payroll services.

Homebase is more schedule-based, although it lets you leave shifts open until they get assigned to a worker.


Coast provides you with everything necessary for workforce management – scheduling, time clock, chats and tasks. You can also post checklists for the workers, and let them swap shifts with each other.

For an additional fee, Coast lets you also manage assets and inventory in the same app, so you can track the equipment and materials necessary for your operations.

Coast is built around separate chat channels for each function (schedule, time off requests, etc).