If you’re managing mobile workforce in deskless industries like retail, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation or healthcare, office productivity tools are not going to work for you. Instead, you should look for a devoted mobile workforce management application with features that are built specifically for the workforce on the go.
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 staffing apps that are built with mobile workforce in mind.
Free workforce management software
Here are five great staffing apps for mobile 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.
We’ve added screenshots from the desktop administrator view for better overview. Every app on the list also comes as a native download from the App and Play stores – so we can recommend these as convenient for mobile workforce.
Zelos Team Management
Zelos is a task management and shift planning app with built-in chats and communication features. 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.
Connecteam is an mobile workforce management 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.
Crew is an employee 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 great mobile workforce 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.
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.
Implementing a workforce management app
Implementing a mobile workforce management app can bring many benefits, but there can also be some common challenges that businesses may face.
You should carefully evaluate the needs of your business and choose a mobile workforce management app that really meets your requirements. It’s also important to involve employees in the implementation process and provide training and support to ensure they can use the app effectively.
Even when you’re on tight budget and decide to use free workforce management software, don’t forget to prioritize security measures to protect sensitive data and address any technical difficulties as quickly as possible.
Free apps still need to follow relevant security and privacy guidelines with no exceptions. Get in touch with the software provider whenever you have any doubts.