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When I Work Review: We Tested the App—Here’s What We Discovered

Emily Maina
Last update on:
Jun 3, 2024
Published on:

Employee scheduling is a challenge faced by companies of all kinds, from small startups to multinational corporations. If done well, it can boost employee morale, optimize productivity, and ensure customer satisfaction. On the other hand, poorly managed schedules can lead to overworked and frustrated employees, missed deadlines, and, ultimately, lost revenue.

When I Work aims to bridge this gap by offering features that cater to these challenges. This popular employee scheduling software is designed to streamline the process for both businesses and staff. But with a growing market of similar tools, is When I Work the right fit for your needs? 

This review explores the app’s features in depth, examining pros and cons, as well as pricing to help you decide. We will also cover one of the best When I Work alternatives you should consider. 

*Note: We recognize that this article was written in May 2024 and changes may have been made within the When I Work app since this article was published.

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What is When I Work?

When I Work (WIW) is cloud-based employee scheduling and time-tracking software. It aims to simplify workforce management for businesses of all sizes. 

Managers can easily create and share schedules with drag-and-drop tools and customizable templates. Employees can view their schedules, request shift swaps, and communicate directly with managers – all within the app. This translates to less paperwork for everyone. 

The software goes beyond basic scheduling. It offers features like time tracking, which helps with payroll and ensures employees are working their designated shifts. Additional functionalities include team messaging, integrations, and time-off management.

When I Work Features: Comprehensive Walkthrough

We signed up for the When I Work free trial to test the platform's functionalities. Here’s a comprehensive walkthrough of its features and what we found:

Time Tracking

The When I Work time clock makes it simple for users to keep track of their working hours and breaks. The information gathered by the time clock feature is shown on timesheets. To make it easy for managers to review these timesheets, users can add clarification notes and edit them. 

Timesheet edit histories are accessible to administrators, who can also make changes to them. Once they verify the timesheets are accurate, they can approve them.

Using When I Work to track time
Using When I Work to track time.

We found clocking in on this app to be quite straightforward. All employees need to do is click “Clock In” and the app begins logging time. If an employee wants to take a break, they select “Start Break” on the device they used to log time. 

break When I Work
Start your break easily with When I Work.

At the end of the workday, employees click “Clock Out” to stop the time clock. Managers can also clock in or clock out workers from the admin account. This can be useful when an employee forgets to clock out after their shift is done. 

Although When I Work is commendable for its ease of use, the app was a bit buggy when we tested it. It would lag sometimes and needed to be refreshed in order to work properly. In some cases, when we attempted to clock out, the application would freeze, which was quite frustrating. 


When I Work is mainly known for its scheduling tools. You can add users to the schedule and assign them shifts. If you’ve created a shift but you’re not ready to publish it, you can leave it in draft mode and come back to it later on. 

When I Work. scheduling
When I Work’s Scheduling feature.


We found the drag-and-drop scheduling feature especially convenient. To move a shift from one time slot to another, simply drag the specific shift icon to your preferred date and time. 

When I Work’s scheduling functionality allows you to save frequently used shift patterns for recurring tasks, conserving time and ensuring consistency. This option is available for use when you’re adding shift details. 

Adding a shift on When I Work
Adding a shift on When I Work.

To simplify things further, the software allows you to edit multiple shifts at a time, copy shifts from the previous week, and print and export schedules. 

Managers can post open shifts that employees can claim if their schedules allow. This helps fill staffing gaps efficiently. They can also create a shift template to use for all employees instead of adding shifts separately. 

Employees can set their availability within the app, allowing managers to create schedules that accommodate individual needs. This reduces back and forth communication because admins can easily see when team members are open to take jobs or tasks. 

Workers can indicate availability
Workers can indicate availability on the app.

Attendance Management

When I Work offers several capabilities that help you manage employee attendance. First and foremost, you can create attendance rules in your account settings. 

Attendance on When I Work
Attendance on When I Work. 

This involves defining your pay periods and selecting how employees can clock in, which can be through mobile, desktop, or both. You can also choose whether employees should be near your specified work locations to clock in. 

This means that if you include a work location when adding an employee’s shift and this feature is enabled, they will not be able to clock in or out if they are not at the work site.

Admins can view attendance history from their manager accounts. If an employee clocks in later than their scheduled shift, an alert will appear on the timeline. 

When I Work attendance history
When I Work Attendance History

Managers will also receive attendance notices and alerts when an employee fails to show up or clocks in/out late. They won’t have to worry about keeping tabs on shift attendance because the notices will clearly indicate if something is amiss. 

When I Work Attendance
When I Work Attendance Notices.

Team Messaging

When I Work offers a broadcast messaging solution that allows managers to send announcements to all staff members at once. It notifies employees instantly through alerts, making sure they don’t miss out on any important information like schedule changes.

Sending a message on When I Work
Sending a message on When I Work.

You can also have one-on-one conversations with your team members without having to email or call them. If you want to communicate with a specific group of people, you can create a group chat and add the relevant employees. There is also a functionality that allows your staff to create custom channels.

Setting up WorkChat
Setting up WorkChat.

Time-Off Management

Companies often find managing employee vacation time difficult and time-consuming. The When I Work Time Off Management tool simplifies this procedure by offering a centralized platform for workers to request time off and for managers to evaluate and approve requests. 

Employees can easily submit requests for time off by using the When I Work app (available for iOS and Android) or web interface. They can include the dates, duration, and reason for the leave. Managers can instantly review, approve, or reject new requests in accordance with personnel requirements and availability.

Time off request When I Work
Time off request on When I Work.


Business owners can generate comprehensive reports that meet their unique needs and specifications using an array of pre-built report templates and customizable filters. When I Work's reporting feature gives users the ability to keep track of attendance, timesheets, shift and time off requests, and more. 

This helps managers make strategic decisions by providing actionable information. Reports can also be exported in a variety of formats for sharing with important stakeholders or for additional analysis.

When I Work reports
When I Work reports.

The app integrates with various accounting and payroll software, including QuickBooks Online, Gigwage, Run Powered by ADP, Gusto, OnPay, and Square. It also integrates with several point of sale (POS) systems, business operations, and on-demand pay software. 

Does the When I Work App Track You?

When I Work doesn't continuously track employee locations during work hours. However, it does offer an optional feature for location verification during clocking in and out. This helps ensure employees are physically present at the designated workplace during their shifts, like the best GPS tracking apps.

Here's how the location verification functionality works:

  • Work Locations: Managers set up designated work locations within the app. These could be specific buildings, offices, or work areas.

when I work job site

Adding job sites on When I Work.

  • Optional Verification: Managers can choose to enable location verification for their teams. When this feature is on, employees can only clock in or out of shifts if their device's location data shows they're within or near the designated work zone


when i work optional verification
Clock in/out requirements on When I Work.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using When I Work for Employee Scheduling?


  • Simplified Scheduling: When I Work offers a user-friendly interface for creating and managing employee schedules. Drag-and-drop functionality and shift templates make scheduling efficient.
  • Improved Team Communication: The platform facilitates communication between employees and managers thanks to its team messaging and chat feature.
  • Automated Time Tracking: When I Work automates time tracking, reducing manual work for both employees and payroll departments.
  • Availability Management: Employees can easily set their availability within the app, allowing managers to create schedules that align with individual needs.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: When I Work offers tiered pricing plans, making it accessible for both large and small businesses. 


  • Limited Features: While When I Work offers basic scheduling and communication features, some users find it lacking in advanced features such as GPS and mileage tracking.
  • Mobile App Issues: The mobile app freezes sometimes, which can be inconvenient when employees need to clock in or out.

What is the Monthly Cost of When I Work?

When I Work offers three different pricing plans: Essentials, Pro, and Premium. Each plan is tailored to fit different business needs. 

The Essentials plan is priced at $1.50 per user and is designed for workplaces seeking an efficient, user-focused scheduling platform. It caters to businesses that prioritize saving time and simplifying scheduling processes. 

With Essentials, users gain access to:

  • Standard scheduling features
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Shift confirmations
  • Labor cost management tools, including forecasting and overtime alerts
  • Team messaging for increased employee engagement

The Pro plan is priced at $3.00 per user, and builds upon the Essentials plan by offering additional features. It is suited for workplaces that require a balance between employee empowerment and management visibility. In addition to everything included in Essentials, Pro subscribers benefit from:

  • Advanced scheduling features
  • Enhanced visibility
  • Role permissions
  • Custom reporting capabilities
  • The ability to share staff between schedules

At the top tier is the Premium plan, which costs $5.00 per user. This plan is geared towards businesses in need of a scalable workforce management solution with extensive automation capabilities. This plan encompasses all features of the Pro plan and adds further functionalities such as:

  • Quick implementation of the software within days, not months
  • API-first architecture for custom integrations with existing platforms
  • Single sign-on capability

Businesses subscribing to any of the When I Work plans have the option to integrate When I Work Payroll for an additional fee. This is available for $39 per month plus $6 per active user each month.

Timeero: The Best Feature-Rich Alternative to When I Work 

Although When I Work is a helpful app for scheduling, it lacks many essential capabilities. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution for workforce management, Timeero might be a better option. 

Let’s take a look at some of Timeero’s key features:


Timeero provides reliable scheduling features. With just a few clicks, you can create, edit, and assign shifts to your team members in accordance with work orders. You can also make changes to the schedules at any time and have notifications sent to your employees.

timeero scheduling
Adding a shift on Timeero.

The software allows staff to handle assigned shifts efficiently. They can choose to Accept All, Decline All, or Cherry Pick individual shifts offered to them. This gives employees more control over their schedules. 

Admins receive email notifications when an employee accepts or declines a shift.  Additionally, hovering over a shift displays a comma-separated list of who has accepted and declined, providing admins with a quick overview of staffing for each shift.

Pending shifts are presented chronologically, with the most recently assigned shift appearing at the top. This makes it easier to see the latest scheduling needs. It also ensures there are no scheduling conflicts that could lead to no-shows.

timeero cherry picking
Cherry-picking shifts on Timeero.

GPS Location Tracking

With Timeero's real-time location data, you can monitor your staff's whereabouts and ensure they are where they are expected to be.

Timeero’s Who's Working dashboard displays the hours, locations, and jobs/tasks of your workforce as they clock in. In the event a worker must leave a job site, these insights will help you find a nearby worker who is accessible to quickly pitch in and finish the task at hand.

Timeero’s Who’s Working
Timeero’s Who’s Working dashboard.

Segmented Tracking

Timeero provides an easy-to-use Segmented Tracking tool for employees who visit multiple sites in a day. Workers use the app on their mobile devices to clock in once at the start of their shift and clock out when it is over.

When workers travel between different job sites or locations, Timeero records each stop automatically throughout the work day. Segmented tracking shows you the route traveled, the duration of each stop, and the tasks finished at each location. Administrators can view all of these details in a single visual dashboard.

timeero segmented tracking
Segmented Tracking on Timeero.

Mileage Tracking

Mileage tracking is a valuable function for teams that frequently travel and require mileage reimbursement. Thanks to its motion-detection technology, Timeero only records miles when the vehicle is moving. 

The app will halt recording when the car stops or gets stuck in traffic, saving your business money on fuel and reimbursement expenses. Even better, your employees' mileage will still be recorded even if they lose internet access because Timeero has an offline mileage tracker. To  learn more about how to track mileage for work, be sure to check out our guide. 

Mileage tracking on Timeero

California Breaks Tracker

Some states, like California, have particularly strict regulations regarding meal and rest breaks. If these laws are broken, there may be hefty fines or lawsuits. Timeero offers a solution for this – the California Breaks Tracker. 

This feature can help you stay compliant and provide documentation in the event that you are sued or subject to other legal action. Once you activate the California Breaks feature, designate who is required to take mandated breaks. 

The relevant employees will be prompted via the Timeero app to confirm that they have taken their meal and rest breaks in line with the law before they clock out. If they haven't taken their breaks, they will be required to provide an explanation. You will be immediately notified if an employee does not comply. For more information on this, read our article on meal and rest break attestation in California

Reports and Integrations

Timeero provides customized reports, putting helpful data like employee hours, breaks, and distance right at your fingertips. These summaries provide you with a rundown of how your employees have been performing. Tailored insights allow you to identify areas of improvement and address issues promptly.

Timeero's integration with widely used accounting and payroll software makes the quick export of employee time data for payroll processing possible. This accelerated export can reduce the likelihood of errors and save management a great deal of time when it comes to paying employees.

Integration partners include Paychex, Rippling, Zapier, Vieventium, Paylocity, QuickBooks, Gusto, Xero, and ADP.

timeero integrations
You can integrate other applications into Timeero.

The When I Work App Review: Is It Worth It?

When I Work offers a user-friendly solution for many businesses' scheduling needs. Features like drag-and-drop scheduling, communication tools, and basic time tracking can improve workflow efficiency. 

However, it's important to consider your specific requirements. Businesses with more complex needs, such as mileage tracking, GPS integration, or specific labor law compliance (like California), might find When I Work's functionalities insufficient.

Timeero is a strong alternative platform that offers these features alongside comprehensive scheduling and communication tools. Its potential for handling a wider range of needs might outweigh the benefits provided by When I Work. Sign up for Timeero’s free trial to test these features firsthand. You can also read our detailed Timeero review for more information.

Timeero: Your Workforce GPS time, location and mileage tracker

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Emily Maina

Emily Maina is a tech-savvy writer with a passion for creating content. With years of experience in the industry, she is well-versed in the latest trends and developments in the tech industry. When she’s not working, Emily enjoys exploring the great outdoors or watching her favorite shows.

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