Scheduling software is especially popular in the retail and service industries, where stores are open many hours each day, and employees sometimes have complex schedules. Students often work in these fields, so employers rely on software to help them schedule students' hours around their classes. Many employees in these fields work part-time, and schedule software helps employers avoid giving workers full-time hours.
Increasingly, software can use other factors to predict how many workers are needed during a particular shift. Weather, for example, can have a profound impact on how many people buy a cup of coffee after work, and some programs are able to pull in weather data to help guide employers. These capabilities are often tied to programs that track sales and can find correlations between tracked variables and sales activity. This enables companies to scale their workforce to meet demand.
Many employers also use scheduling software linked to accounting programs. Employees asked to stay late may accrue overtime, which can affect taxes. Integrated software makes this information far easier to track.