Homebase is a popular employee time tracking app that turns a phone, tablet or computer into a time clock and scheduling app. It allows employers to set schedules, track hours worked and administer human resources tasks. Its all-in-one system makes it easy to go from scheduling to tracking hours to transferring those hours into payroll with one click. Its free yet powerful version makes it a popular app with restaurants, hotels, hospitals and retailers.
Homebase at a Glance
A well-run company starts with good scheduling to make sure there is proper coverage for customers at all times. At the same time, companies need to address employee needs such as vacations or other time away from the job. Homebase allows employers to easily create a schedule, make changes with a few clicks and keep all employees updated with the latest data.
But it doesn’t stop there. With the phone app, employees can clock in and out as their shifts begin and end. This makes it easy for employers to track hours for each employee. It tracks hours, breaks and overtime, along with paid time off that you may offer.
For managers who aren’t on site when employees clock in, alerts can be sent to notify them of when employees clock in late to a shift or can provide a GPS snapshot of who is clocking in from where. This allows you to manage remote teams or central teams when you are remotely located.
Time clocks sync with the payroll segment of the application. This makes running payroll from anywhere a simple process. Everything is automated, so all you need to do is to confirm the payroll data and then process it.
Homebase takes running your human resources one step further and allows you to communicate with your whole team through the messaging application. It also allows managers to post new job listings with Indeed, Craigslist or ZipRecruiter. Once employees are onboarded, the system helps you maintain compliance with a central place for document storage and managing employee information.
Pricing and Features
Homebase has four different pricing plans. When you subscribe to it annually versus monthly, you get a 20% discount on the cost.
In the Free plan, you get to use the system for unlimited employees based out of one location. This plan includes time sheets and time clocks, scheduling that includes accessing employee availability, messaging and job postings.
When you move up into the Essentials plan, you get everything in the Free plan plus team communication, performance tracking and remote tools. The Essentials plan is $20 per month when subscribing annually; otherwise, it is $24.95 per month.
The next level is the Plus plan for $48 per month, billed annually or $59.95 per month at full price. In this plan, you get everything in the Essentials plan plus labor costs and budgets, tracking of time off and PTO, and permissions and policies, so employees are in the know.
The highest-tiered plan is the All-in-one plan, which costs $80 per month, billed annually or $99.95 per month when regularly priced. It gives you everything in the Plus plan, along with new hire onboarding, managing employee documents and HR compliance notes.
We especially like the Free plan that Homebase offers. It provides features that other competitors charge for, making it a comprehensive solution that a small business doesn’t need to pay for. Even at $80 per month for the All-in-One plan, Homebase remains competitively priced. One of its main competitors, Connecteam, costs $99 per month on the annual subscription for the top-tiered plan.
One bug that users seem to experience is found in the messaging app. While it is convenient to be able to communicate with the whole team, the system doesn’t allow you to remove participants. This can be problematic if you have people who no longer work there. Some users have complained that this opened up the chat feature to be a place of harassment by disgruntled former employees of management and fellow workers. Homebase claims that bug was fixed and removing employees is now an easy process.
How Homebase Stacks Up
|Starting Price||Free; $20 per month, per location||Free; $29 per month (up to 30 users)||Free; $29.99 per month, per location|
|Maximum Users With Free Plan||Unlimited users||Up to ten users||Up to 30 users|
|Time Clock Included in Free Plan||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|PTO Management||Yes – With $48 per month plan||Yes||Yes – With $29.99 per month plan|
|Auto Clock Out||Yes||Yes||No|
|Recurring Shifts and Schedules||No||Yes||No|
|Payroll Add-on||Yes – $39 per month, plus $6 per employee||Yes – With $29 per month plan||Yes – With $69.99 per month plan|
Homebase, Connecteam and 7shifts are three work scheduling apps commonly used by small business owners. They are all designed with the small business owner in mind to handle the ever-changing needs of scheduling and managing a team in a small retail or restaurant setting.
Homebase is not the cheapest but does offer an unlimited number of employees in the free plan, which the others cap. Connecteam’s higher-tiered plans cap employees at 30, whereas 7shifts requires you to get the highest-tiered plan to get unlimited employee access.
All plans will take care of the basic time clocks for employees who can clock-in on-site with a smartphone or via the company tablet or POS system. All plans offer geo-tracking to ensure that employees are really at work when they clock in, though you may need to subscribe to a more advanced plan to unlock this feature.
Is Homebase Right for You or Your Business?
Homebase is a good option for a small business that wants to have an intuitive platform that allows you to make an employee schedule, track hours and run payroll. It doesn’t limit the number of team members you can use in the free version, which is a bonus. The paid plans are good for employers who have more turnover and need to manage human resources with job ads, onboarding and employee paperwork tracking. Homebase is a good option for restaurants and retailers of all sizes despite its bugs.