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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.

Set up Your 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 permissions, job titles, and wages, and determine if team members are tip eligible. 

Learn more about how to set up your team with Square Staff in our Support Center.

Note: 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.

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 your online Square Dashboard or from the notification center in the Square Team App. 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 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 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 your tip distribution method, select one of the following:

    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. Pool tips by percentages: Tips are split by a user-defined percentage at the end of each workday or workweek among tip-eligible jobs. Tip-eligible team members with the same job will receive tips based on hours worked, and tip percentage amounts assigned to each job must add up to 100%.

  4. Select a timeframe to apply to your tip distribution settings, either a 24-hour workday or a 7-day workweek.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 be split among all tip-eligible team members 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: Check your state and local laws regarding tip pooling, notice, and record-keeping requirements.