Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Homebase

Homebase official image gotten from (X) Twitter

Table of Contents

Homebase, a cloud-based time tracking and scheduling solution was founded by John Waldman. The private company helps reduce the administrative burden of hourly work by making use of automated scheduling, timesheets and effective communication between employees.

Homebase caters to business needs in various industries including food & beverage, medical & veterinary, retail, hospitality & leisure, healthcare and more.

As of 2021, the cloud company has raised about $ 108 million and their latest funding round was raised on May 16, 2023 from a Non-equity Assistance round. As of July 2021, Homebase had a post-money valuation in the range of $ 500 million to $ 1 billion.

Ease of Use5
Pricing 5
Integration 4.7

Getting Started with Homebase

1. On the Homebase homepage, click on Get Started.

2. Choose how you will be making use of Homebase by selecting the business or employee joining a team approach. I chose the business approach.

3. Input your name, select how you heard of the Homebase platform and click on Get Started.

4. The next phase is for selecting what you need Homebase for. Select the options that apply to you and click on Continue.

5. The next phase is to indicate the nature of your business by selecting any of the options meant for you. (Note: You may have to input your business zip code, and also select if your business has multiple locations). Then click on the one last step.

6. The last step is to fill in the necessary details which are not limited to your email address.

When you are logged in, you have a 14-day trial.

Pricing Plan      

The Homebase pricing plan has 4 sections. All plans have a free 14-day trial and payrolls can be added to any of them. You can schedule your payments annually or monthly.

1. The Basic Plan

This plan is for those getting started with Homebase and want to set up a new team. It costs $0 (both monthly and annually) for one location and can accommodate up to 30 people.

The plan comes with features including Hiring, Timesheets and time clock, Messaging, Scheduling and availability.

2. The Essentials Plan

This plan helps in simplifying the process of tracking and managing shifts. It has a monthly bill of $24.95 and an annual bill of $20; both plans are per location and accommodate unlimited employees.

This plan comes with features in the Basic plan including Remote & Field Tools, Team Communication and Performance Tracking.

3. The Plus Plan

This plan helps to boost your team’s productivity and improve communication. It has a monthly bill of $59.95 and an annual bill of $48; both plans are per location and accommodate unlimited employees.

The Plus Plan comes with everything in the Essentials plan including PTO Tracking & Time-off Limits, Labour Costs Controls & Budgets and Permissions & Policies.

4. All-in-one Plan

This plan helps you get control of your labor costs and streamline operations. It has a monthly bill of $99.95 and an annual bill of $80; both plans differ per location per month and accommodate unlimited employees.

The All-in-one plan comes with everything in the Plus plan including HR & Compliance, New Hire Onboarding and Employee documents.

Note that all plans come with the payroll add-on available option.

How Homebase’s Dashboard Works

1. The Dashboard option is an overview of all your activities. Homebase’s dashboard option has two kinds of views – company view and manager view & My Week option to go over your schedule.

2. The Schedule option helps in scheduling or setting up your activities, departments/roles and also tracking your team’s availability.

3. The Timesheets option helps you track and save time.

4. The Payroll option is built for hourly teams.

5. The Hiring option gives you access to the best hands through Indeed, Google Jobs and ZipRecruiter.

6. The Manager Log option serves as a register or board.

7. The Reports option serves as an overview of all activities.

8. The Safety option helps keep your team safe.

Features of Homebase

To get started with Homebase features, click on the Quick Start Guide on how to get started.

1. Advanced Scheduling Management

This feature helps and offers lots of scheduling tools that help you build schedules, manage your team and allocate labour.

How It Works

On your Homebase sheets, click on Schedule and a calendar-like image display. Click on any block on the events aisle to add an event. Input an event title and description and click on Add Event. You can add more events by clicking another block and input details there.

Under Events is Open Shifts, also select a block on the Open Shift aisle and fill up the fields. You’re automatically directed to the Custom section where you select time frames, roles, days and shift notes.

To add employees, click on +Add Employees to fill up the contact information. When this section is filled, click on add team member.

Under Schedule, click on Departments/Roles and click Add new department to create several departments needed in your business.

Clicking on Team Availability is for your teammates or employee’s schedule. Click on any tab under any day, click on Add+ and edit your (team) availability, say for a project or a delivery service.

Clicking on My Availability helps to schedule your day. Click on any tab/block on the schedule sheet.

Clicking on New at the top of the schedule sheet is to create an entirely new availability sheet with an option to copy availabilities from previous schedules.

If an employee is creating this schedule and wants it approved, click on Request Approval at the top of the schedule sheet, add a note and click send to manager.

2. Effective Tracking with Timesheets

Voted as a top-rated time clock app, this feature has GPS-enabled time tracking settings that verify clock-in locations, assignment of PINS (to avoid time theft) and snap photos. This timesheets feature helps track hours, breaks and overtime from your computer, iOS/Android devices or POS systems.

How It Works

Click on Timesheets on your Homebase sheet and click on set up our first-time clock – which is optional. It’s a mini questionnaire on how you want your team to track their hours.

Click on Manage timesheet view to search for team members and have an overview of a team. To add a team member, click on Add team member and fill up the fields. Click on Add time card to set up timecards or sheets for your team, to know more about their role, how long they’ve clocked into work and their breaks.

Created timecards are placed under the Logistics sections. Timesheets can be downloaded, and printed (by role or default view). Depending on your (business) location, you can set up your breaks and overtime rules that comply with state, city and federal laws.

More than one timesheet can be created for an employee. You can also activate adding missed breaks. To make a new time clock, click on setup another time clock to do that. Clicking on a set payroll period helps you decide on the timeframe to pay your workers or team.

The summaries option gives you an overview of your payroll. Summaries can be viewed monthly.

3. HR & Payroll

This feature is beneficial to business owners especially local businesses and SMEs in employee payroll. You’re able to save time and reduce errors when all your data is in one place.

How It Works  

Click on Payroll. Select the option that applies to your business – I chose Yes, my team has been paid before. You scroll down to answer some questions that apply to you and click on Resume setup.

The next step takes you to share contact for an authorised signer. Depending on the options you choose, Homebase doesn’t support businesses that pay employees outside the US and businesses in restricted industries. You can contact Homebase for more clarification.

The next step is to fill out detailed legal information regarding the company and it takes you to the last step to complete setting up your payroll.

4. Hiring & Onboarding

This feature assists in posting job opportunities, tracking applicants and onboarding new hires and employees with ease.

How It Works

Click the Hiring option on your Homebase worksheet. Click on Post a Job or scroll down the page and click on Create your own under Start your Job Post section. Clicking on any of those options takes you to the same page.

You choose/select where your job postings should appear and other tools to help manage your online and offline applicants in one place, then click Continue. The next phase is to post a job for your company or organisation.

Include a wage, choose their shifts set up a job description and click Continue at the top of the screen.

Note: When it’s time to write/add a job description, the top bar is for the job title, input it and Homebase fetches an overview based on the job title to what’s satisfactory, there won’t be a need to add more to it.

The next step is to verify your business and then click on Continue. The View Applicants section gives you a look into applicants and their availability. The Interviews section is like a schedule but for your upcoming applicants’ interviews. The Career Page section is for optimizing your company to attract (and retain) the best talent. To edit, click on Edit Page.

5. Team Communication

This feature helps you get the best and be in sync with your team/employees. With this feature, communication is simplified and groups can be added to work on a specific section or arm of a company.

How It Works

On your Homebase sheets, click on Team to access your teammates and to sort them via different subjects.

Each team member’s overall information and performance can be accessed by clicking on the vertical dots at the end of each individual. It works by clicking on Performance and you have access to each member’s job details, personal information, documents and performance.

You can message or terminate the employees in this view or setting.

To add a new team member, click on Add team member, fill up the fields and select Add team member.

The Document section lets you organise your employee paperwork in one place. To get started, click on Set up employee documents, select a teammate or worker and choose any of the documents you’d like to upload.

The New Hire Onboarding option eases the process of onboarding new hands and applicants. To get started, click on Set Up New Hire Onboarding.

The HR Pro option serves as a resource where you gain access to certified HR advisors in your company including a custom handbook builder, labour law alerts and calls. To have access to this, click on Upgrade to get HR Pro where you are directed to pay the All-in-one plan that goes for $99 per month.   

6. Reports & Dashboard

This feature gives you an overview of all activities and is categorised by hours, roles, departments and certificates.

How It Works

Click on Reports and click on any of the options to have a summary report. Reports can be printed.

7. Employee Health and Safety Screening

This feature helps screen all your employees before their shift to ensure workplace safety.

How It Works

Click on Safety and select set up screening questions. You are presented with sets of questions with options to edit or delete them. To add a new question, click on +Add question at the bottom of the page. Click Next to adjust settings and then select Finish.

8. Integrations

This feature helps integrate or pair Homebase with your POS, payroll or other tools. The apps that can be integrated with Homebase are into 4 categories – payroll, job boards, point-of-sale integrations and Business tool integrations.

9. Mobile App

 Homebase can be accessed via your mobile devices rather than setting it up on your desktop. With your desktop app, you can have a swift look and also edit and make corrections.

Homebase Ranking & Why We Recommend This Product

1. User Friendliness

The Homebase platform is user- and beginner-friendly- especially for new users and first-timers coming to terms with payroll software.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 5.

2. Employee Self-Service Functions

Employee self-service function is becoming a thing and it’s important for any kind of software that’s used for workplace management. Homebase makes it easy as employees can view their upcoming shifts at any time and also get notified when their schedule is published by their manager.

Homebase also allows employees to access current and past pay stubs, W-2 forms (documents) and salary information.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 4.8

3. Scalability

This is another important criterion to look out for when choosing payroll software. Homebase, being a payroll software, has the tendency to easily add employees, and grow and integrate payroll processes as a company grows.

Homebase has software solutions that (can) grow along with the business.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 4.8

4. Automation

In Homebases’ case, it has the auto-scheduling feature where auto schedulers help/allow the business to seamlessly schedule employees in just a few clicks.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.5

5. Integration

Comparative Analysis: Homebase vs When I Work

As the subheading depicts, this section takes software in the same category and we analyze both software for you. Our competitor is When I Work, an employee scheduling and time-tracking platform, designed for shift-based teams.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States; the company gives shift-based workers a voice that promotes fair scheduling and a place to better manage their work life.

The private company has acquired 2 organisations – Shifthub and the latest being Lean Financial (which was on July 11, 2023). The company has a post-money valuation in the range of $ 100 million to $ 500 million and they have raised a total of $200million in 4 rounds.

When I Work Pricing Plan

When I Work pricing plan is in 3 different types which include the following:

a. Essentials Plan

It’s priced at $2.50 per user and it’s for workplaces that need to save time with an easy-to-use, employee-focused scheduling platform.

The plan comes with confident shift coverage, the ability to control your labour budget with ease, team management and engagement.

b. Pro Plan

This plan’s price goes for $5.00 per user and it’s for workplaces that need to balance employee empowerment with management visibility.

This plan comes with enhanced visibility & role permissions, custom reporting, and the ability to share labour across multiple locations.

c. Premium Plan

This plan’s price goes for $8.00 per user and it’s for workplaces that need a scalable workforce management platform with more automation.

This plan comes with API-first & ready integrations, single sign-on capacity, and quick daily implementation.

When I Work Features

1. Employee Scheduling Software

With When I Work, you can save up to 15 hours per week in scheduling your hourly employees with the platform’s top-rated shift scheduling software.

With the platform, you easily manage time off, switch shifts and see your team’s availability.

2. Employee Time Clock

This feature is the ultimate time clock app for small businesses. Easy to use and set up, it has GPS for accurate clocking in and out across devices.

3. Team Messaging

Good communication is essential – especially in a business. This feature by When I Work brings all team communication onto one secure platform.

4. Shift Planning

This feature helps you combat labour costs and boost productivity.

5. Integrations

This feature helps you streamline workplace and HR workflows.

Benefits That Make Homebase Stand Out

1. Homebase is more labour-compliant than When I Work.

2. Homebase has a payroll feature that’s beneficial to small business owners

3. Homebase has HR tools and helps in job syndication.

4. Homebase’s pricing plan accommodates lots of employees which is cost-effective.


With the speedy rate with which startups and companies are catering to small-scale businesses and organisations, it will do you a lot of good to check out Homebase and experience the features for yourself to improve your team and employees.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can also try out When I Work, to know if it’s also a good fit for your business and know how they differ.

In case you have more observations or you would like us to cover more, send them in as comments.

Charis Raji
Charis Raji
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