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Homebase is a time tracking and scheduling tool that offers valuable time-saving features to businesses with hourly employees. It can help business owners and managers schedule employees, keep track of hours, and export timesheets to payroll when it’s time to do so. Employees also benefit from the scheduling system by receiving reminders of upcoming shifts and communication tools to switch shifts with team members when needed. Additionally, Homebase offers features that streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Homebase starts at a great price — free for unlimited users and paid plans for additional features.
- Businesses with hourly employees
- Free unlimited plan with core features
- Easy-to-use interface
- Paid plans can be pricey
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Homebase’s pricing makes it an attractive option for many businesses, especially small businesses that may not want to add additional software into the budget just yet.
Here’s how the pricing structure breaks down:
Basic: Homebase’s basic plan includes time tracking, scheduling, team messaging, hiring, live support, and integrations. All of this is included for free, no matter how many employees you have.
Essentials: This package comes with all the features in the Basic plan, as well as performance tracking and remote and fieldwork. The Essentials plan is $19.95/month if billed monthly and $14/month if billed annually.
Plus: The Plus plan comes with everything included in Basic and Essentials. It also offers labor cost controls, budgeting and forecasting, time-off policies and controls, and departments and permissions. The cost of this plan is $49.95/month if billed monthly and $35/month if billed annually.
All In One: This top-of-the-line plan includes all the features that are in the lower-tier plans and then some. It gives you API access, as well as HR Pro advisors and resources. The All In One plan also offers onboarding and paperwork features, including employee documents and e-signing.
Homebase offers plenty of features to help make scheduling and managing your employees as efficient as possible. Some of the highlights include:
Scheduling: You can set up your employees’ work schedules in a functional and easy-to-read visual chart. Homebase has scheduling templates to get you started, then all you need to do is make changes moving forward. The schedule can be immediately shared with your team so they can see their updated work schedules anywhere, anytime. The scheduling tool reminds employees of upcoming shifts and allows you to keep track of shift trades and no-shows if they happen. The scheduling tool tracks time-off requests and approvals for every employee.
Time Clock: Homebase can be used to track your employees’ hours and manage their clock-in and out times. The Homebase time clock is GPS-based, letting you verify that employees are only logging in from their designated locations. The system prevents employees from clocking in early and even automatically clocks them out if they forget to do so. If an employee is late or approaching overtime hours, you receive alerts so you address the situation. When it comes time for payroll, you sync your Homebase timesheet data directly to popular payroll software, including Quickbooks, Gusto, and Square Payroll.
Hiring and Onboarding: In addition to managing your current employees, Homebase helps you recruit new employees. It posts job listings to sites such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter to help you find quality candidates in less time. Homebase even offers pre-written job descriptions so you don’t have to worry about coming up with the perfect wording. You can use applicant screener questions to find the best candidates, then use the Homebase app to message your top picks to schedule an interview. When you do find the right person for the job, Homebase assists with r the onboarding of your new employee. Homebase can email a new hire packet where your new employee enters their information and e-signs the documents before beginning work. Homebase even stores all of your signed documents for safekeeping.
Team Communication: Your employees can use Homebase to communicate with other members of their team while they’re on the job. As the employer, you can send messages with shift instructions or any other important information to select individuals or groups. You can also set up a Manager Log to keep track of team communication, notes, and issues.
HR & Compliance: Homebase allows you to manage HR tasks, even if you don’t have an HR person within your company. In addition to its onboarding option, Homebase offers several features that help you make sure that your business is running smoothly. You can build a custom employee handbook with team policies (including scheduling and time clock policies) using Homebase’s handbook builder. You can also set up time-off restrictions to ensure that your business is never left short-handed. If you do need help with HR issues, Homebase offers on-demand training and access to certified advisors to help answer your questions.
Health and Safety: In today’s business world, health and safety screenings may be more important than ever. Homebase recognizes this need and has built employee health and safety screening into its software to benefit your business. Employees complete their screening when clocking in for the day. If there are any potential health and safety issues, Homebase sends real-time alerts to managers so the issue can be addressed swiftly. The health and safety screening can be customized based on your state’s regulations to ensure that your business is compliant.
Homebase offers plenty of support to its customers. Its robust support page makes it easy to search for topics that you need help with. You’ll find how-to articles and videos that help walk you through setting up Homebase, using the scheduling and time clock features, and more. Even better, Homebase offers these guides based on whether you’re the employer or the employee, so if your employees are having trouble with the setup process, they can use the website guides as well.
If none of these resources answer your question, Homebase offers a few ways that you can reach out to its team for direct assistance. You can send an email and expect a reply within 24 hours. For more immediate answers you can also call or start a live chat with a representative between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT on weekdays.
Homebase’s mobile app makes managing employees on the go simple. When you open the app, you’ll see a welcome screen in which you put in your phone number or email address. You then set up your company and employee list within the app. When employees download the app, they use their work email address to be added to the team that you’ve already created. Within the app, you and your employees see the schedule and access the messaging features to get in touch with the rest of the team. Employees also use the app to trade shifts and receive alerts to remind them of upcoming shifts.
If you’re using Homebase to send employee packets and store documents, you may want to know about the security features that Homebase offers. Unfortunately, Homebase does not offer any information on its website about the specific security measures that it takes to keep your documents and information secure. It does say that it only allows the owner of the Homebase account to create the onboarding packet and view employee documents. It also allows managers and general managers to send the new hire onboarding packet, but those individuals do not have the permissions to view the packet.
Homebase, as a whole, is a relatively simple piece of software. It doesn’t take much time to set up and offers pre-written job descriptions and templates to minimize the amount of work you have to take on to use it. Employee schedules are easy to create using a drag-and-drop interface. Homebase even allows you to send schedules to employees via text or email to keep everyone on the same page.
The best thing about Homebase, though, might be its integrations and alert system. Homebase can notify you, the account owner, immediately of any issues that need your attention. Notifications include an employee not clocking in on time, an employee coming close to overtime hours and more. Its integrations also make it easy to sync timesheets and data to payroll and point of service software.
Overall, Homebase is a great option for small businesses, especially those in the restaurant and retail industries. The fact that it offers a mobile app makes it easy to keep employees up to date and manage schedules in real-time. Plus, it offers hiring and integration features that can make your day-to-day as an owner or manager easier.
For most businesses, the software you choose comes down to pricing, right? Homebase’s completely free plan is great because you can have as many employees connected as you need without paying a dime. The fact that the free plan comes with so many features means that the paid pricing tiers can seem a little steep for some businesses. Homebase could possibly alleviate these concerns by providing more information on the additional features that the paid plans offer. However, this minor concern doesn’t affect its value, so if you’re interested in Homebase, it doesn’t hurt to try out the free plan now and consider additional features later.