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Shift Scheduling with Team Management

We know that having clear visibility into daily operations and labour costs is a critical part of managing a business. That’s why, with Square Team Management and Team Plus Shift Scheduling, you have access to a one-stop-shop where you can create, manage and publish schedules for yourself and your entire staff. Shift Scheduling with Team Management provides you with the tools you need and automatically integrates with Point of Sale to ensure a simple and smooth approach to managing your day-to-day staffing needs.

Shift Scheduling Overview

Glossary

Review the table below to learn more about commonly used terms associated with scheduling your team.

Term Definition
Shift A shift refers to a period of time that a team member works under one job title. Shift Scheduling includes multiple shift states, including: scheduled shift, current shift and completed shift. A team member can be assigned multiple shifts in a workday.
Timecard A timecard is the record of a set of shifts, generally associated with a business’ pay period. Depending on the timeframe viewed, a timecard could include both in progress and completed shifts.
Workday A workday is a rolling 24-hour period of time where all business activity takes place. For most businesses, the standard day (12 a.m. – 12 a.m.) aligns with their workday. For businesses that are open past midnight, the workday hours should align with when all team members have clocked out for the day (e.g. for bars, the workday may span from 4 a.m. – 4 a.m. to account for the few hours they’re open past midnight).
Paid hours Paid hours refers to the total number of hours worked, minus any unpaid breaks. For example, a team member works from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., with a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. This means the team member worked a total of 7.5 paid hours.
Availability Availability refers to the days and times a team member is able to work. In general, availability is recurring, and is separate from one-off time off requests. For example, a team member’s availability might state they can work 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Time off Time off refers to one-off unavailability requested by a team member. Time off is not a recurring concept. A team member can request off for a single day or series of days.
Job title Job title refers to the position a team member holds within a business. Team members can have up to 12 job titles, with a wage assigned to each. The associated wage(s) will be determined by which job title the team member clocks in as. For example, a team member who has the job titles “Cashier” and “Bartender” may make $15 under the “Cashier” job title and $17 under the “Bartender” job title.
Notifications Notifications refers to active messages that are delivered by a push method (e.g. a notification pushed to the account owner or team member by Square, on behalf of the other party). Note: Team Management and Team Plus only support email and app push notifications at this time.
Alerts Alerts refers to passive messages, typically visible in your online Square Dashboard reporting. This includes, but is not limited to: break violations, shift violations and overtime alerts.

Getting Started

Prior to creating your first schedule, you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken care of a few things in order to ensure a seamless creation process.

  • Create your Team Members: Before you can implement a schedule, you need to make sure you have created your team and assigned them an email address to log in, a job title, wage(s) and a permission set.

  • Suggest the Team App to your Team: In order for your team members to manage their schedule on the go, make sure your team downloads the Team app. This will allow team members to access their schedule and request changes, whether they’re at the business or at home.

Setting Up Your Schedule

Availability

Once you’ve set up your team, you’ll also want to make sure their availability is accurate and up-to-date. You can either have your team members set their availability via Team app, or set it for them in your Square Dashboard. To set it yourself:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard > Availability.

  2. Select the appropriate location from the drop-down menu above your team member list.

  3. From a team member’s row, click the ”+” icon to open up their availability page for a specific day.

  4. Toggle on Available all day if the team member is available during all scheduled business hours, or enter a Start Time and End Time to specify when the team member is available.

  5. To add another layer of availability, click Add availability or choose to repeat the same availability for other days of the week by checking off the appropriate days under the Repeat on section.

  6. Click Save.

Shift Scheduling Availability

Your team can also set their own availability in the Team app. To do so:

  1. From the Home page of the Square Team app, tap More.

  2. Under the Work Settings section, tap Availability.

  3. Tap on the day of the week that you’d like to edit to open up the Add availability screen and make any necessary changes.

  4. Tap Save changes to return to the Availability section and repeat for the remaining days that need to be updated.

Note: Availability can only be updated through the online Square Dashboard and the Square Team app. Each team member is allowed up to four blocks of availability. Account owners and team members with full access or the ‘Manage availability’ permission can update availability for themselves through the online Square Dashboard at any time. Team members with limited permissions will have the option to update their availability when using the Square Team app.

Shifts

After you’ve set your team’s availability, you can start to build out your schedule by applying Shifts to each team member. To get started:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard > Shifts.

  2. Select the appropriate time frame and location from the drop-down menus above your team member list. Note: Click the drop-down menu that says All team members to filter on/off specific team members or job titles. For example, if it’s not necessary to schedule the owner of the business, you can filter on all team members except for the owner.

  3. From a team member’s row, click the “+” icon to open the Add shift screen for a specific day.

  4. Verify the team member, job title and date(s) are correct > enter a Start Time and End Time. Note: If the selected team member is unavailable or has partial availability for that day, you will see a note regarding their unavailability.

  5. Optionally, add notes and select a colour to be visibly associated with the team member on the schedule. Note: If there is a note associated with a team member’s shift, the colour of their shift block will appear slightly lighter than others. Notes are only visible to the person creating the schedule and will not appear to team members.

  6. If you need to repeat the same shift for another day of the week, check off the appropriate day from the Repeat shift drop-down menu at the bottom of the Add shift screen.

  7. Click Save.

  8. Repeat the steps above for each team member until you’ve built out enough coverage for your schedule.

You also have the ability to drag and drop shifts that have already been scheduled. Simply click down on any scheduled shift and drag it to the appropriate cell to move from one team member to another. You can also copy a shift by holding down the Option/ALT keys on your keyboard. Once the shift has been dropped into a new cell, the change will automatically save but not publish.

Note: The maximum number of shifts per team member per day you can apply is three. Approved time-off requests will be blocked off when creating the schedule and can be cancelled by clicking into the shift block.

Shift Scheduling Create Schedule

Open Shifts

If you’re unable to fill a particular shift and would like to open the option to all team members associated with a particular job title, you can use open shifts. To get started:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard > Shifts.

  2. Select the appropriate time frame and location from the drop-down menus above your team member list.

  3. From the Open shifts row, click the ”+” icon to open the Add shift screen for a specific day. Note: If you’re filtering by Jobs, click the ”+” icon in the appropriate row and select Open shift from the Team member dropdown menu in the Add shift screen.

  4. Verify the job title and date(s) are correct > enter a Start Time and End Time.

  5. Optionally, add notes and select a colour to be visibly associated with the open shift on the schedule. Note: If there is a note associated with a team member’s shift, the colour of their shift block will appear slightly lighter than others. Notes are only visible to the person creating the schedule and will not appear to team members.

  6. If you need to repeat the same open shift for another day of the week, check off the appropriate day from the Repeat shift drop-down menu at the bottom of the Add shift screen.

  7. Click Save.

  8. Repeat the steps above for any days that you will want to give the option to pick-up an open shift.

From here, the open shift(s) that you create will become visible to any team members that are not already scheduled to work during that specific time frame, and have a matching job title. Team members can pick up an open shift directly from the Team app. To do so, have the team member:

  1. Log into the Team app > tap Schedule.

  2. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the schedule.

  3. Locate a shift that is noted as Open shift in blue > tap the shift in question to open up the Shift details screen.

  4. Tap Request shift.

Once an open shift has been requested by a team member, you will receive a notification in your online Square Dashboard. You can click Review request directly from the notification, or click the three-dot icon in Timecards > Shifts to review manually. You’ll be prompted to Decline or Approve the Shift request, and the team member will receive a push notification from Team App confirming which action was taken.

You also have the ability to drag and drop shifts that have already been scheduled. Simply click down on any scheduled shift and drag it to the appropriate cell to move from one team member to another. You can also copy a shift by holding down the Option / ALT keys on your keyboard. Once the shift has been dropped into a new cell, the change will automatically save, but not publish.

Shift Scheduling Notifications

Trade Shifts

If you’re using Team Plus, your team will also have the option to trade shifts with other members of the team if they’re unable to work due to a change in their availability or just prefer the hours of another shift. To do so, have the team member:

  1. Log in to the Team app > tap Schedule.

  2. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the schedule.

  3. Tap the shift in question to open up the Shift details screen.

  4. Tap Trade shift.

  5. From the list of available shifts, select the shift that works best and tap Request trade.

From here, the team member whose shift was requested for trade will receive an email and/or push notification from the Team app (depending on their Notifications settings). This will alert them that another member of the team wants to trade shifts, to which they can accept or decline. Note: Team members who have requested to trade shifts will receive a notification prior to the request that states they are responsible for their shift until the trade request has been accepted.

Time-Off Requests

In addition to trading shifts, Team Plus provides your team the option to request time off directly from the Square Team app for any unpublished schedules. Once a team member requests time off, you’ll receive an email notification, as well as a notification in your online Square Dashboard. From here, you can approve or decline the request, and the team member will receive an alert letting them know your decision. You’ll also receive a notification if another team member already has approved time off within the same time frame as someone else. To get started with time off requests, have your team member(s):

  1. Log in to the Team app and tap More.

  2. Tap Time off  > Request time off.

  3. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the time off request, and add a note under the Reason section.

  4. Tap Request off.

Team members can monitor their requests, as well as cancel any pending or approved requests, by visiting the same section of the Square Team app. 

Note: Team members cannot request time off for schedules that have already been published.

To approve or decline time off requests made by your team members:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard, then select Schedule > Shifts.

  2. Click the “...” button and select Requests.

  3. Click Review request to view the details of the time off request and click either Decline or Approve. You’ll also have the option to leave a note.

  4. Once you approve or decline the request, the team member who sent the request will receive an email notification as well as a push notification from the Square Team app if they have them enabled.

You can also approve or decline requests directly from any in-progress schedule – just click on the shift you want to edit to open the Shift details screen. Prior to publishing, you’ll receive a notification if any outstanding time off requests need to be approved or declined. You can choose to individually approve or decline these requests or automatically decline all pending requests.

Note: If plans change, you can easily cancel a time-off request that’s already been approved – just click into the shift block with the approved time off and select Cancel.

Alerts and Notifications

With Shift Scheduling, you’ll receive alerts and notifications associated with specific actions related to the schedules you create. Alerts are issues that are flagged in your online Square Dashboard, and notifications are proactive messages sent by email and Dashboard Notification Centre. You can manage the alerts and notifications you receive from scheduling and timecard activity by updating settings in your online Square Dashboard. To get started:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard, then select Settings > Alerts & notifications.

  2. Under the Alerts and Email notifications sections, check the alert types you want turned on. Uncheck an alert to turn it off.

  3. Click Save.

Once you save your settings, you will only receive alerts and email notifications for the alert types you selected.

Publishing Your Schedule

Once you finish creating your schedule and can confirm that no more edits are necessary, click the Publish button in the top-left corner of the Shifts screen. Review the summary to see the total amount of team members scheduled, total shift count, and total hour count, and select whether you’d like to notify affected team members or all team members. From here, click Publish schedule. Your team members will receive an email notification with their new schedule, along with the option to view their schedule from the Square Team app.

You can also easily duplicate any existing schedule, whether it’s complete or not, by clicking the Duplicate icon located next to the Publish icon. From the Duplicate schedule screen, select which week you’d like to copy the schedule to and click Duplicate schedule to finalize the process.

Shift Scheduling Duplicate

Managing Your Schedule

In order to minimize errors and confusion when clocking in/out or viewing the schedule, it’s important to make sure you have the appropriate settings enabled for Timecards. Take a look at the settings types below to learn more about each one.

Schedule Settings

Your workweek and workday affect how overtime is calculated. For reporting purposes, it’s best to set your workday hours for after your last team member typically clocks out. To update your workweek and workday settings:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard, then select Settings > Schedule.

  2. From the Workday hours dropdown menu, select the appropriate day of the week.

  3. Click workday hours to select the appropriate time of the day. Note: For most businesses, a 12 a.m. start time is standard. However, if your business has team members working past midnight (e.g. bars, restaurants, etc.), you should adjust your Start of Workday to reflect when all team members have clocked out for the day.

  4. Click Cancel to discard changes or Save to confirm.

With Team Plus (or other subscriptions like Retail, Restaurants, etc.), you can also allow your team members to swap shifts with other employees and request time off – with your approval, of course. To get started:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard, then select Settings > Schedule.

  2. Toggle on/off the Shift trading and Time off requests app settings based on your preference.

  3. Click Cancel to discard changes or Save to confirm.

Overtime Settings

Overtime rules vary by state and are extremely important to comply with to avoid any issues with your local or state Department of Labour. To update your Overtime settings:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Overtime.

  2. Toggle on/off the appropriate overtime rules and include the After Working (hours) associated with any applicable overtime rule.

  3. Click Cancel to discard changes or Save to confirm.

Breaks Settings

Meal and rest period rules vary by territory and specify when team members should break, and whether that break qualifies as paid or unpaid. Note: You are limited to creating a maximum of three breaks, per location. To update your Break settings:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Breaks.

  2. Click Add new break to open the New Break screen. From here, give the break a name, duration and select whether the compensation will be Paid or Unpaid.

  3. Click Cancel to discard changes or Save to confirm.

If you’re subscribed to Team Plus, you can enable the Block ending breaks early and Convert excess time from a paid break to an unpaid break settings from this same section. You can also allow select team members to override this setting by turning on the Override early and unscheduled clock-ins permission when using Custom Permissions.

Clock in/out Settings

The Square Team app allows your team to clock in or out and request edits to their timecards. Additionally, you can enforce location-specific clocking settings to prevent early and unscheduled clock-ins. To get started:

  1. Visit the Timecards section of your online Square Dashboard, then select Settings > Clock in/out.

  2. Toggle on/off the Clock in/out from Team app, Timecard editing and Block early and unscheduled clock-ins app settings based on your preference.

  3. Click Cancel to discard changes or Save to confirm.

FAQ

Can I make edits to a schedule once it’s been published?

Yes! To edit a schedule that has already been published, simply locate the schedule in question through the Shifts section of your online Square Dashboard and edit accordingly. Once you have made the necessary edits, click the Publish button to resend the updated schedule.

One of my team members didn’t receive their schedule. Can I send it again?

Yes, but not without resending to the other team members who are scheduled to work during that specific time frame. Have the team member check their Notification settings in Team app to confirm they are able to receive push notifications from the app. There is also a possibility that the schedule email went to an out-of-date email address or into the team member’s spam/junk folder. As a best practice, please have your team member confirm that the email address associated with their team profile is up-to-date and that they have double-checked their inbox.

I need to schedule a team member outside of their availability. Can I do that?

You can update your team’s availability at any time through the Availability page within Shifts in your online Square Dashboard. You can also simply schedule over their availability conflict. When scheduling outside of availability, you will see a warning that notes the shift is outside your team member’s availability, but you will have the option to Save Anyway. We recommend discussing your team members’ availability with them directly, prior to making any changes, to avoid any potential confusion or issues with the schedule in question. Note: Each team member is allowed up to four blocks of availability.

Are my team members able to request edits for their timecards?

Yes, but first you’ll need to make sure you’re subscribed to Team Plus and that you have the Timecard edits setting turned on.

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, go to Shifts > Settings > Team App.
  2. Toggle the Timecard edits setting on. This gives your team members the ability to edit a timecard for any past shifts.

Once a request is made, the account owner or any team member with the Respond to timecard requests permission will receive a notification prompting them to approve or decline the request.

Note: Edit requests expire after 30 days.

Do I have the option to distribute tips among my team members?

Yes. With Team Plus, you can use tip pooling to equally divide each credit card tip across all clocked-in tip-eligible team members. Tip pooling ensures equitable and timely tip payouts for your team and removes any alternate and complicated workflows you currently use to distribute tips manually – giving you more time for other aspects of your business. Learn more about tip pooling with Team Plus.

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