Homebase vs. When I Work (2023)

You’re expanding your business, which should be a cause for celebration. But instead, you’re spending more time on scheduling and payroll than ever before.

That’s when you know you need a human resources app like Homebase or When I Work to automate repetitive tasks and streamline your operations. Then, you can shift your focus to other priorities and make sure you clock out on time. But which software will best serve your small business?

We’ve compared Homebase and When I Work based on their essential features, pricing, and best use cases. Discover which one will let you burn through paperwork instead of burning the midnight oil.

Why choose Homebase instead of WhenIWork in 2023?

If you want to keep your business operations simple, Homebase is the clear choice. We offer a range of comprehensive tools for small businesses, including payroll, hiring tools, and human resources (HR) support. That means you won’t overburden yourself learning and maintaining three different apps as everything you need is in one place.

But if you’re only looking for essential features, When I Work may be best for its stripped-down set of scheduling and time tracking tools.

Homebase is also better for small businesses working with tight profit margins. We have the same scheduling and time tracking tools as When I Work but on our free plan. Plus, we only charge per business location, so we’re more cost-effective and easier to budget for when you have fluctuating staff numbers.

Comparison chart: Homebase vs. When I Work at a glance

Homebase WhenIWork
Employee scheduling
Time tracking
HR tools
Team messaging
Labor compliance
Support for departments or worksites
Task management
Hiring tools and job syndication
Mobile app
Early pay access for employees — via partnership with Clair
Customer service — phone, chat, and email — chat and email
Pricing Plans range from free to $99.95 per location per month

Homebase payroll costs $39/month base fee +

$6/month per active employee

Plans range from $2.50 per user per month to $8 per user per month
Cost for most comprehensive plan for a business with 1 location with 20 employees $80/monthly (annually)

$99.95/monthly (monthly)

$160/month (monthly or annually)

How Homebase and When I Work stack up against each other

As a small business owner, cost is one of your biggest concerns. So, it’s important to note Homebase and WhenIWork have very different pricing systems. Homebase charges per business location and has flexible paid plans to suit growing and seasonal businesses with sudden hiring influxes. Meanwhile, When I Work charges per employee — which is better for businesses with very small teams.

You’re probably also wondering what these apps can actually do. Again, Homebase and When I Work differ in terms of the features they offer. Homebase has HR, payroll, and hiring and onboarding features, whereas When I Work has task management. What you choose depends on what tools you’re already using (if any) and whether you’d prefer to replace your existing software or integrate it with your new HR app.

Homebase also has more employee happiness tools to build camaraderie among tight-knit teams working at the same business location. Whereas When I Work has more organizational tools like checklists which are helpful for remote workers who need to complete unsupervised jobs.

An in-depth breakdown of Homebase’s fees and features

Caption: Homebase has a comprehensive set of scheduling tools that can save you time and stress.


The best scheduling tools save you time instead of adding more tasks to your ever-growing to-do list. That’s why Homebase offers a range of auto-scheduling and self-scheduling features that let you assign shifts with the click of a button. There are also unlimited templates in the drop-down menu if you already have an exact idea of how you want your staff timetable to look.

But scheduling tools don’t just make life easier for you. Help staff by publishing their timetables to the mobile app and sending them automatic notifications so they’re always up to date. And activate alerts for upcoming shifts so nobody’s ever confused about when they’re working.

Time tracking

Once you’ve scheduled your team, you need to accurately track their hours. And you can find all the essential time and attendance tools you need with Homebase. The main features include:

  • A multi-device time clock: Employees can clock in using the app, a computer, or a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for quick entry to work. Then, Homebase automatically logs their time and attendance to produce timesheets and sync with payroll.
  • Clock in controls: Homebase lets you prevent early sign ins and automatically clocks employees, so you can stick to your labor budget more easily.
  • Labor reports: Access data about previous shifts and use it to forecast your staffing needs for future schedules.

HR and compliance tools

Small businesses can’t afford dedicated HR personnel but incur the same hefty fees for compliance issues as larger businesses. That’s why Homebase offers HR tools and services at a fraction of the cost of an HR manager’s salary. You can expect to find:

  • Live access to qualified HR professionals to check your policies and advise on challenging situations like terminations or hiring minors.
  • Alerts for changing local laws and regulations that could affect your business.
  • Notifications for employees who are approaching overtime or missing breaks.
  • A custom-made employee handbook based on a 30-minute phone interview.

Although When I Work can send out overtime alerts, it doesn’t offer any other HR services or tools. It’s best for teams who are qualified to handle HR and compliance issues.

Team messaging

Scheduling and time tracking tools are most efficient when you partner them with a versatile messaging system. That way, you keep a direct line of communication with staff about issues like last-minute covers and late arrivals due to traffic.

With Homebase, all staff can message each other from desktops or mobile devices to get on top of these problems quickly. Managers can also chat with individuals or custom groups to make sure nobody’s getting spammed with unnecessary messages. Homebase also has the option for admins to send announcements to the whole team for urgent or vital updates.

One advantage Homebase has over When I Work is our helpful filter settings. You can instantly create custom groups based on who’s working or who’s available. This saves you precious time looking through your roster when you need to find last-minute cover for a shift.


Getting payroll right is critical for your business. Employees depend on you to pay them accurately and on time, and you don’t want to accidentally create any compliance issues for yourself either. Homebase’s built-in payroll feature syncs with your schedules and timesheets for a quick, error-free process.

In case you already have an accounting system that works for you, Homebase offers payroll as an optional add-on. Then, you have the choice to integrate with a range of popular tools like Gusto and Quickbooks instead.

But When I Work and some other scheduling apps only provide external integrations so you don’t get the choice — you have to switch between different apps to run payroll.

Employee happiness tools

Schedule and time tracking management may be key to running your business smoothly, but Homebase doesn’t let you forget about your team’s well-being either. Here are three employee happiness tools we offer:

  1. Early cash outs: Employees can receive a portion of their wages before payday. That’s great for emergencies like burst water pipes and vet bills when staff don’t want to dip into their overdraft. Plus, there are no hidden fees for them or you.
  2. Team recognition and shoutouts: Homebase tracks your staff’s performance with metrics like on-time arrivals. You can then shout individuals out for excellent performance on the mobile app where everyone can see it.
  3. Employee feedback: Team members can rate their shifts and write comments to help managers stay on top of issues and promote staff well-being.

Support for departments and remote workers

Managing different departments and teams can be tricky. If you don’t consistently check in with everyone, you might miss an employee traveling to the wrong site or a shift with the wrong ratio of certain roles. Our tools help you to oversee all your different teams without creating extra work for you.

Using our free time clock tool means employees can clock in and out wherever they are. You can even create a virtual field around the off-site job so the app can verify each team member’s location on arrival.

Managing complex teams also becomes a cinch when you can assign team members to different custom roles and departments. For instance, if you run a restaurant, Homebase lets you categorize employees based on whether they’re chefs, wait staff, or delivery drivers. And you can give them different levels of seniority, too.

Caption: Homebase’s onboarding tools let you send essential documents to new employees before they start.

Hiring and onboarding tools

Small businesses often rely on seasonal and temporary workers during busy times of the year. So, versatile hiring and onboarding tools are a must. Here’s what you can find on Homebase:

  • A library of job advert templates for hundreds of different roles
  • Integrations with popular job sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter
  • Screener questions to save you time eliminating candidates that aren’t right for the job
  • Applicant tracking to get an overview of each candidate’s progress
  • Welcome packets for new hires
  • E-signatures so paperwork gets taken care of before a new hire’s first day

When I Work doesn’t offer any hiring tools or integrate with apps that do. That means you have to download another app and enter all your new team members’ details into your system manually.

Mobile app

As of February 2023, the Homebase app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.4 rating on Google Play. It lets managers tweak employee schedules and contact their teams while on the go. Staff members can use the app to view their timetables, contact their colleagues, and arrange shift swaps and covers.

Homebase pricing

A big difference between Homebase and many of our competitors is the robust free plan. You can access essential scheduling, time tracking, and messaging features with no charge whatsoever.

Aside from that, Homebase has three monthly paid plans. They all have the option to commit for a year for a discount:

  • Essentials for $24.95 per location, which expands on features from the free plan with late alerts and shift notes.
  • Plus for $59.95 per location for overtime and time off tracking and permissions.
  • All in One for $99.95, which has Homebase’s full range of features including HR support and onboarding management.

The payroll feature is a separate add-on that comes in at $39 per month plus $6 per employee. So if you already have accounting software and aren’t ready to swap, you don’t have to pay for this feature.

An in-depth breakdown of When I Work’s fees and features

Source: https://wheniwork.com/
Caption: When I Work has many of the same useful scheduling tools Homebase does.


Similarly to Homebase, When I Work has time-saving features like auto-scheduling, templates, and self-scheduling. It also shares Homebase’s ability to publish timetables to the app and send shift reminders so you can keep your team updated. But When I Work’s scheduling tool requires extra steps to set up, making it less convenient to make quick edits on the go.

Time tracking

When I Work offers the same time and attendance features as Homebase to let you accurately record your team’s hours. So, you can use its time clock to ensure staff follow their timetables and controls to stop your business from losing money due to early clock ins and late clock outs. However, When I Work doesn’t have built-in payroll, so you have the extra hassle of leaving the app to take care of it.

Task management

Businesses with many unsupervised employees may appreciate When I Work’s task management tools. You can create custom to-do lists for the entire team or individual team members based on their roles. Then, staff can check off the items as they complete them. And once they’re done, you’ll get a notification to let you know.

Homebase doesn’t have this feature, but you can emulate it with our shift notes tool. As you schedule, just click on specific shifts and write comments. You can leave instructions, helpful information, or friendly messages.

Source: https://wheniwork.com/
Caption: When I Work has a team chat app so you can easily connect with employees when you’re off-site.

Team messaging

Like Homebase, When I Work knows how much small business managers rely on instant messaging to get things organized. So, it has all the basic messaging features like direct messaging and group chats. But it doesn’t have a filtering tool like Homebase, so you’ll have to create custom groups manually.

If you have employees without smartphones, When I Work lets you send text messages for an extra charge.

Employee happiness tools

When I Work lets staff access their wages early. They’ve partnered up with

Clair to offer this feature, which you can add for an extra fee. And just like Homebase’s early cash out tool, there’s no charge for your employees.

Support for departments and remote workers

To help you manage complex or multi-location teams, When I Work lets you specify individual employees’ job sites and roles for different shifts. It also has a time clock tool that lets managers create geofences for off-site workplaces like Homebase. But When I Work doesn’t let you categorize team members by department like Homebase, meaning you won’t have the same granular control over team rosters within one business location, like restaurants and salons.

Mobile app

As of February 2023, When I Work is rated 4.8 on the App Store and 4.2 on Google Play. Like Homebase, the app gives you and your team access to scheduling, time tracking, and messaging features. It also supports more languages than Homebase does.

When I Work pricing

When I Work doesn’t have a free plan like Homebase, but it offers a 14-day free trial. Otherwise, there are two paid plans:

  • Standard for $2.50 per user per month for all the basic scheduling features.
  • Advanced for $6 per user per month for extra tools like permissions and schedule notifications.

The time and attendance feature is an extra $1.50 per user for the Standard plan and $2 per user for the Advanced plan. That includes all the time tracking tools like the time clock, timesheets, and labor reports.

All When I Work plans are pay-as-you-go, so there’s no option to commit for a year and receive a discount like Homebase.

Homebase vs. When I Work’s integrations compared

Integration Homebase When I Work
Lightspeed Retail
Lightspeed Restaurant
Restaurant 365
ADP Workforce Now
Quickbooks Online

Homebase vs. When I Work’s scalability

If you’re looking to grow your business, Homebase is the better option for you. We charge per business location, meaning you won’t incur extra costs as you hire more employees. On the other hand, When I Work charges per location and per employee. That’s great if you have a very small team and plan to stay that way. But if you start hiring more employees, the extra charge could cut into your budget for expansion.

Homebase’s full repertoire of features and integrations also makes it easier to scale. As you grow, you’re more likely to find the additional tools you need within our platform. When I Work gives you access to a smaller range of features, so it may be able to adapt to your future needs.

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