Pros and Cons of Spreadsheet Scheduling

Spreadsheet Employee Scheduling

Employee scheduling is not the most exciting task in the world but that does not undermine its importance as an integral business function. It is imperative that you spend time thinking over the process to treat your staff professionally. Employee scheduling creates a flow and order to your business, allowing employees to focus on their jobs. Proper scheduling ensures important tasks are completed at appropriate times. It also guarantees all employees are treated fairly in regards to leaves. The management can conveniently look at the report and allot leaves accordingly.

Using the right tools and methods makes the task easier. Businesses can choose from a variety of methods for employee scheduling, including paper processes, using spreadsheets (Excel, Google Spreadsheet) or using employee organizational software. Several businesses around the world use spreadsheets for creating staff timetables.

Spreadsheet scheduling is among the most easiest and budget friendly ways to maintain order in your business. While this method is more advanced than the traditional paper processes, it is not quite as efficient as using an app or employee organizational software. Here are some pros and cons of this technique:

Pros of Using Spreadsheet Scheduling

Spreadsheets have been around for ages. Here are some notable pros of using spreadsheet scheduling for your organization:


Free to Use

Most small organizations resort to using spreadsheet programs, such as Excel, because they are free to use. This allows companies to spend their budget wisely on more productive tasks. Additionally, since these programs are free to use, organizations do not have to worry about spending money on upgrading the software. Other free methods include printing out memos, posting charts and making announcements in the office. However, these methods are more time-consuming and may not always yield the best results.

Suited for Small Organizations

Spreadsheet scheduling is best suited for small organizations where managers do not have to make complex schedules and only oversee a few employees. This convenient method saves time and makes it possible for managers to efficiently manage schedules without putting in too much effort.

Easy to Use

Perhaps the most notable pro of using spreadsheets is it is easy to use and implement. Organizations need not invest their time and money in training employees on how to use the program since it is quite easy to use and navigate. This proves highly beneficial if your employees are not tech savvy and are not accustomed to using complicated applications and software.

Cons of Using Spreadsheet Scheduling

Needless to say, spreadsheets are definitely great for completing a variety of tasks, whether it is archiving, storing or calculating data. However, when it comes to scheduling, it is an entirely different story. Employee scheduling is a dynamic process and a bunch of formulas can only do so much. If you are currently using spreadsheet scheduling, it is time you opt for an upgrade. Here are some cons of using spreadsheets that can significantly impact your business:



One of the most notable cons of scheduling your team using spreadsheets is the process is time-consuming. Shifts may have to be changed and there are chances an employee may not turn up due to an emergency. The point is, the schedule might have to be changed on a daily basis and using spreadsheets does not make the task any easier.
Constantly editing and using spreadsheets is a time-consuming process and one has to deal with countless formulas and manually make changes. While the whole point of employee scheduling is to save time and avoid confusion, using a spreadsheet may have the opposite effect.

No Automation

As mentioned earlier, while spreadsheets might be great for a variety of office functions, such as calculating data, there are no formulas for handling intricate details of scheduling workers. Using an automated software or application makes the task much easier as you can automate just about any process.

Organizations and businesses can customize the software to suit their needs. Most applications feature advanced functions that automatically make suggestions for employees who can cover open shifts and much more. Unfortunately, working with a spreadsheet requires you to enter data manually, that slows down the process.

Does Not Encourage Collaboration

Using spreadsheets does not encourage collaboration, unlike using employee scheduling software. Using software allows HR professionals and managers to ensure all shifts have been covered and approve employee requests at the same time. Using a spreadsheet for these complicated tasks can be counterproductive, leading towards confusion.

Not Intuitive

Spreadsheets will not notify managers if there are shift conflicts or if there is an open shift that has not been assigned to anyone yet. When it comes to employee scheduling, the use of spreadsheets has become outdated as they cannot help you make your job easier. Unfortunately, there is no way to make spreadsheets more proactive and dynamic. This overburdens managers, making their job more difficult.

Prone to Errors

Like other basic programs, spreadsheets are prone to human error. Because spreadsheets utilize formulas, there is a risk that you get all the data wrong if you make a mistake in writing down the formula. Additionally, having tons of formulas and information throughout the program can make it difficult to locate the error.

It creates unnecessary hassle that can significantly impact your company’s performance. Additionally, entering, editing and constantly updating spreadsheets manually increase the risk of errors.


Using a spreadsheet makes it difficult for managers to plan the schedule efficiently. This results in tasks not being equally distributed in the workplace, overburdening some employees. Likewise, it leaves other people with less work to do, leading to loss of profit and productivity. Up-to-date software allows you to easily track shifts and stations, letting you know who is doing what.

No Consistency

Manually updating data can often cause business owners and managers to misplace or forget time-off requests which results in a shift being scheduled for an employee who has taken the day off. This can result in major problems for both the employees and the organization as a whole. These avoidable mistakes impact employee morale and even have an impact on your organization’s reputation. Using a spreadsheet makes it difficult for managers to handle holiday requests, time off requests and early in/early out requests.

Difficulty in Accessing Information

Spreadsheets make it difficult for managers and HR professionals to have access to critical information on the go whereas using an employee scheduling software makes the task much easier.


From the above, it is pretty clear your organization is better off using employee scheduling software rather than relying on spreadsheets. Organizations of any size can greatly benefit from the software, saving not only effort but also time and money. Avoid all these shortcomings by switching to an effective employee scheduling software, which is what we offer.
Schedulehead makes it easier for managers to assign tasks, keep track of employees and reward those who perform the best. The intuitive software thinks like you do and considers skills and history whilst scheduling and reaching out to workers.