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Home>Team Management

Get Started with Square Shifts

With Square Shifts, you can track your team's time, manage schedules, track tips, and prep for payroll. Your team members can clock in/out at the point of sale or by using the Square Team App, as well as view or print their workday summaries directly from the point of sale. You can also create, manage, and publish schedules based on the availability  of your team. Square Shifts comes with additional advanced features such as labor cost reporting, tip pooling and commissions tracking, early and unscheduled clock-in prevention, and more.

With Square Shift reports, you’ll save time calculating team member hours, calculating tips, and preparing for payroll with automatic timecard reports  that are easily exported to Square Payroll or your computer as a CSV file. Once you’ve set up your team member shifts, you can view your shift reports right from your online Square Dashboard, and your team members can keep track of their time worked on the Square Team app. When using Shifts Plus, you'll also have the ability to view how your scheduled hours compare to the actual hours your team members worked. In both Workday and Labor Cost, you can view: upcoming scheduled shifts, as well as alerts for early, late, and no show clock-ins.

Square Shifts is free for all users with up to five team members and includes access to basic labor management features. For teams of six or more, Shifts Plus is available starting at $4 per team member and includes access to additional advanced features. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial and get started from the Shifts tab of your online Square Dashboard or from the Explore tab in the Square Team App on iOS devices.

Learn more about Square Shifts pricing and features.

Square Shifts Features

Scheduling & Shift Management

Feature Shifts Free Shifts Plus
Create and publish schedules Up to 10 days in advance Unlimited
Shift notes
Duplicate shift schedules
Team members set availability through the Team App
Manage time off
Open shift scheduling
Shift swapping

Time Tracking & Attendance

Feature Shifts Free Shifts Plus
Clock in/out on point of sale or Team App
Timecards & time reporting
Overtime & break tracking
Timecard notes
Timecard edits suggested by team

Labor Cost Reporting

Feature Shifts Free Shifts Plus
Basic labor cost and overtime reporting
Labor vs. sales reporting
Sales reporting by team member
Alerts for unscheduled shifts, early or late clock-in/out, and break violations
View scheduled vs. actual hours
Early or unscheduled clock-in prevention
Break, clock-in, and shift reminders for team members
Block ending breaks early
Auto clock out
Convert paid break overages to unpaid breaks


Feature Shifts Free Shifts Plus
Custom permission sets One custom permission set Two custom permission sets

Wages & Compensation

Feature Shifts Free Shifts Plus
Support for hourly and salaried team members
Multiple jobs/wages per team member
Export timecard reports
Sync with Square-integrated partners
Sync with Square Payroll
Tip tracking
Tip pooling
Cash tip tracking
Commission tracking

Note: Subscribers to Square Appointments Premium, Square for Retail Premium, and Square for Restaurants Premium will have access to all Shifts Plus features at no additional cost. No action is required on your Square account to access these features if you are subscribed to at least one of these services. The free versions of these subscription services will not have access to Shifts Plus features.

Add Team Members

Get started with Square Shifts by subscribing to either the free or paid tier in the Shifts section of your Dashboard. You can then add team members, assign wages, and determine if team members are tip eligible.  Note that Square Shifts Free has a cap of five team members; if you wish to add six or more team members to your account, you will need to subscribe to Square Shifts Plus.

To add your first team member:

Create a team member via Square Dashboard

  1. Log into your online Square Dashboard and click Staff > Team > Team Members.
  2. Click Team member
  3. Fill out the team member’s Profile. Enter the team member’s name, email address, and phone number. The email address and phone number fields are optional. The team member ID is optional, but we recommend filling it out.
  4. Click Next.

Note: Adding an email will invite the team member to sign up for Square, receive their personal passcode, access their timecards in the Square Team App. If you are a Square Payroll user, team members can also view their pay stubs in the Square Team App.

Assign job titles and wages

On the Jobs screen, you can assign job titles and wages to track your labor cost and view team members’ time spent performing one or multiple job functions at your business.

  1. On the Jobs screen, provide a primary job title and pay type (hourly or salary). Note: If the job already exists, click Primary job title to access a drop-down menu of existing jobs.
  2. Based on the selected pay type, enter an hourly rate or annual salary and weekly hours.
  3. If the employee will have multiple jobs, click Add another job.
  4. Click Next.

Note: While adding a job title is required, wage information is optional.

If your team member has additional job responsibilities that require a secondary wage and you’re using Square Shifts, select Add Another Wage to add another job title and pay type. The team member will be able to choose from a job title when clocking in/out in the Square app, and the wage for that job will be tracked in your labor cost reporting. For example, a team member can clock in as a Host for part of their shift and then switch to Manager.

Set up Permissions

On the Access screen, you can assign permissions to the team member. With permissions you can allow your team members to log in to the Square app to accept payments, clock in and out using the Square app, or access your online Square Dashboard.

  1. From the Access screen, select an existing Permission set or click Add permission set. Note: Custom permissions are available to Team Plus paid subscribers. Creating new permission sets is only available through the online Square Dashboard and cannot be done in-app.
  2. Click Locations to select the location your team member will work from. Note: If you’re using multiple locations and want to give your team member permission for each, toggle on Assign to All Current and Future Locations.
  3. Create a personal passcode the team member will use to log in and track time. You can customize this passcode or create it randomly by clicking Generate.
  4. Click Save & review.

Note: Make sure to keep this passcode for your records and provide it to your team member. Each passcode is unique per team member; this is how they’ll access the Square app on any device paired to your business location.

Create a team member via Square Point Of Sale app

  1. From the Navigation panel in your Square Point of Sale app, tap Team.
  2. Tap the + icon to pull up the Create team member screen.
  3. Enter the team member’s name, email address, and phone number.
  4. From here, tap Primary job title to assign the team member a job title or tap Create job to assign them a newly-created job title.
  5. Tap the back arrow to return to the Create team member screen and enter the team member’s hourly rate. Note: This field is not required to save your team member’s profile information.
  6. Tap Permission set to assign your team member to an existing permission set. Note: Team members will automatically be assigned to Team permissions upon creation. Creating and editing new permission sets is only available on Square Dashboard at this time. Shifts Plus subscribers also receive access to a second customizable permission set in addition to team permissions access.
  7. Tap Personal passcode if you’d like to create and assign a custom passcode to the team member, then tap Done. Note: An automatically generated passcode will be assigned to new team members, but you will always have the option to assign a custom passcode from this section.
  8. Tap Location to select the appropriate location(s) for the team member and choose to toggle on/off the option to Assign to all current and future locations. Note: The Location section will default to the current location associated with your Square Point of Sale account during the creation of your team member(s).
  9. After returning to the Create team member screen and confirming all information is accurate, tap Save.

Set up permissions

Once you’ve added team members, you can assign custom permissions that give different levels of access to your online Square Dashboard or your Point of Sale.

In addition to a set of team permissions, Shifts Plus subscribers have access to a second customizable permission set. This custom permission can be assigned to multiple employees and used to give your team access to complete certain shift-related tasks, like approving timecards or managing schedules.

Learn more about creating and assigning team permissions and custom permission sets.

Set Your Work Period

Setting a Work Period enables Square Timecards to report and calculate overtime based on your business’ operations. If your team members are typically clocked in past midnight, set your workday hours to at least an hour past the end of the closing shift. For example, if you’re operating a bar that closes at 2 a.m. and team members leave at 3 a.m., make the workday hours start at 4 a.m. in case of overtime and to ensure their shifts can be viewed in the same work day.

  1. Visit Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Schedule.

  2. Set your start of Workweek and Workday.

  3. Click Save.

Review and Set Your Overtime and Breaks

Overtime settings are automatically associated with your state based on your location. You can confirm your location(s) by visiting Account & Settings in your online Square Dashboard.

If your team members are working multiple jobs at different wages, overtime will be calculated using the weighted average of the total normal earnings divided by total hours worked.

Set Overtime Rules

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings.
  2. Under Overtime, set a daily, weekly, and doubletime limit. Make sure to review your state’s overtime rules.
  3. Save.

Set Up Break Tracking

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Breaks.
  2. Click Add new break to add your first break.
  3. Add a name, duration, and select the compensation setting (paid or unpaid) for the break.
  4. Click Save to confirm the break settings.
  5. Add up to 3 breaks in total for each of your locations.

Block Ending Breaks Early

To help stay compliant with local labor regulations requiring employee breaks, Shifts Plus allows you to enable settings that prevent team members from ending their breaks early. To get started:

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Breaks.
  2. Toggle on Block Ending Breaks Early.
  3. If applicable, enter a time under Allow Within and toggle on Only This Location or All Locations.
  4. Click Save.

Prevent Early/Unscheduled Clock-Ins

You’ll also have the ability to restrict your team members from clocking-in early for their shift or on days when they’re not scheduled to work. To get started:

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Clock in/out.
  2. Toggle on Block early and unscheduled clock-ins.
  3. If applicable, enter a time under Allow within and toggle on Only this location or All locations.
  4. Click Save.

Note: If you’ve enabled the settings to block ending breaks and clocking-in early, your team member(s) will see a notification in the Team app if they attempt to do so.

Convert Paid Break Overages to Unpaid

In addition to preventing early or unscheduled clock-ins, you can also enable the option to convert paid break overages into unpaid breaks. If the setting is toggled on, your team members will automatically switch from a paid break to an unpaid break once they go one minute over their allotted break time. To get started:

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard > Settings > Breaks.
  2. Toggle on Convert excess time from a paid break to an unpaid break.
  3. Select the Apply to option to either Only this location or All locations.

Any break that goes over by a minimum of one minute will be flagged in both your Workday and Labor Cost reports to help make sure you’re aware of the change. By default, the setting is turned off and can only be enabled within Shifts settings by account owners, administrators, or any team member(s) with the Manage Shifts permission enabled.

Timecard Editing

To help maintain the accuracy of your timecards, Shifts Plus allows your team members to request changes to their timecards for past shifts. Once the appropriate setting is toggled on, team members can request changes directly from the Square Team app, and you can manage the requests through the online Square Dashboard. To get started:

  1. Log in to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard, and select Settings > Clock in/out.
  2. Toggle on Timecard editing.
  3. Click Save.

Note: Account owners and team members with the Respond to timecard requests permission enabled will receive a notification when team members request edits to their timecard(s). These requests can be approved or declined directly from the email notification, Square Team app, or online Square Dashboard. Edit requests will expire after 30 days.

Turn on Time Tracking

Once your permissions, team member profiles, and shift settings are all set up, it’s time to enable break tracking in the Square app.

Log into the Square app and visit Settings > Time Tracking > toggle Time Tracking on.

If you’ve paired a device to a specific location using device codes, you’ll need to make sure your team members have permission to work at that location. To check, go to Team in your online Square Dashboard, select the team member name to make sure the correct locations are selected under Permissions.

Turn on Tip Pooling

With Shifts Plus, you can use tip pooling to equally divide each credit card tip across all team members clocked in at the time of the transaction. 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.

To get started:

  1. Go to Staff > Team in your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select the team member you want to edit to open their team member profile.

  3. Click Edit under the “Job and compensation” section.

  4. Toggle on or off Tip eligible for each role.

After confirming that you applied tip pooling eligibility to all of your team team members, you can turn tip pooling. To do so:

  1. Go to Staff > Shifts in your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select Settings > Tips.

  3. For distribution method, select Tip directly, Pool tips per transaction, or Pool tips by hours worked.

    1. Tip directly: Transaction tips are attributed to the team member who collected the tip.

    2. Pool tips per transaction: Transaction tips are split equally among all tip-eligible team members clocked in at the time of the transaction. This distribution method works best if you want to reward your team based on the tips earned during their specific shift.

    3. Pool tips by hours worked: Transaction tips from sales are split among tip-eligible team members based on their hours worked. You can specify whether to split tips based on a 24-hour workday or across a 7-day workweek. Splitting tips by workday works best if you want to reward team members who may not work their entire shift interacting with customers, while splitting tips across a workweek better accounts for tip variability across a wider time frame.

  4. Choose whether you want to apply tip pooling to Only this location or All locations, as well as an effective date. Note: The effective date can be up to two weeks in the past.

  5. Click Save.

You have the option to toggle on or off Distribute unattributed tips equally, which is only relevant if you’ve selected Pool tips per transaction as the tip distribution method. If the setting is toggled on, tips received when no one is clocked in will be equally distributed among all tip-eligible team members who clocked in on that workday.

If applicable, toggle on Declare cash tips. Tip-eligible team members will then be required to indicate the cash tips they earned for their shift before they clock out or switch roles at the point of sale or on the Team App. Your shift reports, such as Workday, Labor cost, and Timecard CSV reports, will also include cash tips entered by your team, and the cash tip data will be adjustable.

Once you follow the steps above, credit card tips will either split equally among all tip-eligible team members clocked in at the time of the transaction, or split among all tip-eligible team members based on their hours worked within a 24-hour workday or across a seven-day workweek. Any changes made in the middle of a pay period will not apply to transactions retroactively. Note: Be sure to check your state and local laws regarding tip pooling, notice, and record-keeping requirements.

Learn more about: Retail Point of Sale