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When I Work

When I Work: A Scheduling & Payroll Solution

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When I Work: A Scheduling & Payroll Solution

Updated: December 13th, 2023

When I Work is a workforce management software company founded in 2010 and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They specialize in employee scheduling and time-tracking software and offer integrated payroll processing capabilities to provide a complete employee management solution. They aim to provide a simplified, faster payroll experience that reduces labor costs, but do they deliver?

This review will discuss When I Work's features, plans, costs, and real-world customer experience. We will help you decide if they would work for your company's needs. Read on to find out!


Free 14-day trial
Seamless integrations
Easy mobile app
Digital timesheets
Guided demo available


No refunds or money-back guarantee
Service only available if you have >50 employees
Payroll app may not have fully launched yet
Features not as comprehensive as competitors


Quick Stats

Free Trial
Pricing Option
Transparent Pricing
Customer Experience
$2.50/user per month (basic scheduling)
Trustpilot Score
3.6 out of 5
BBB Rating

Payroll at When I Work

When I Work primarily serves their clients with employee scheduling services that include labor tools, team messaging features, and turning any device into a full-featured time clock and attendance tracker. They boast over a million shift-based workplaces as clients, with over 10 million employees, and aim to provide user-friendly solutions for improved business outcomes. For their scheduling service, they serve companies of all sizes worldwide in various industries such as food and beverage, retail stores, professional services, entertainment, home care, security, healthcare, franchises, and many more.

The company has come to allow its scheduling tool to be integrated into the software of top payroll service providers such as ADP and Gusto, providing clients with a comprehensive overall package. However, they also offer an in-house payroll software solution for businesses with less than 50 shift work employees, making them a one-stop shop for a small company's employee management requirements. For their payroll clients, their services include payroll processing, paid time off (PTO) management, multiple location support, and streamlining payroll reporting by automating the process, among other features. With real-time payroll processing that eliminates the need for manual calculations, you can save a lot of administrative time.

They are generally well-regarded and recognized within their industry for their employee scheduling software and app, receiving accolades like the 2022 HR Tech Award for best SMB solution. They are not, however, similarly lauded for their payroll services, nor are they listed as a provider by the Global Payroll Association (GPA). They are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) nor receive any reviews or complaints there, but they hold an A+ rating.

Payroll Features at When I Work

When I Work offers many useful payroll software features for small businesses, which makes use of their other services to achieve a comprehensive package of offerings. These features, in a nutshell, are:

  • Singular platform: The company's payroll is effectively an app that runs in When I Work's employee scheduling software, which also has tools to schedule employees, track time off, and message team members, among other tasks. This ensures all the data is kept secure and is easily imported where needed. This platform is accessible on any device, via the web or their iOS or Android mobile app
  • Payroll processing: They state that they automate and process your payroll in real-time across different locations, including special considerations for blended over time, saving you the time and trouble usually associated
  • Blended OT: Their blended overtime (OT) automation simplifies the process of calculating overtime pay, especially when different rates are involved. They take into account the various pay rates to make sure that all employees receive fair and accurate compensation for their overtime hours
  • PTO management: When I Work strives to make paid time off (PTO) management easy, by enabling you to set up and enforce PTO policies seamlessly, track accruals, and maintain transparency with your team. They want to achieve automated and error-free PTO management by eliminating the need for manual tracking
  • Insights and reports: The platform provides real-time insights for data-driven decision-making, generates W2 forms, and offers detailed payroll summary reports for easy financial data management and reporting
  • Tax compliance: With up-to-date payroll records and robust support for employees in multiple states, you can ensure compliance with local labor laws, tax regulations, and wage requirements
  • Integration: They natively integrate with accounting software Quickbooks Online to allow you to transfer payroll data efficiently, making sure the data is accurate and consistent throughout

Keep in mind that when signing up for free, you will not be able to see all the above features within the dashboard. It is not clear why this is the case, though it may be because the native payroll app is an extra add-on, or they may not have fully released it as yet.

Integration with other service providers

When I Work provides a payroll app as part of their scheduling solution. However, they also allow you to integrate their scheduling and time clock tools with other service providers' software. This means you can have complete and synchronized systems and solutions using top payroll service solutions and POS software. They have certified integrations with industry-leading tools like Gusto and ADP payroll solutions, as well as Zapier business operations software.

When I Work Plans & Prices

When I Work offers three transparently-priced subscription plans for its scheduling software, but none advertise payroll functionality. In fact, their pricing page seems to suggest that the full-service payroll option has yet to be fully introduced, even though it appears to be advertised elsewhere on the website as fully deployed. We recommend you contact their sales department to inquire about pricing, which you can do by scheduling a demo at the top of their website page.

That being said, their scheduling solutions plans are priced between $2.50 and $8 per user monthly, including basic shiftwork tools and scheduling tools. If you opt for their top plan, Premium, you will receive more comprehensive features, including advanced scheduling, custom reports and role permissions, and scalability options. Keep in mind that 'time and attendance' tools are not included as standard in those plans, and if included, that raises costs to between $4 to $10 per user monthly.

The Perks of When I Work Payroll

This company's payroll software is highly commendable, particularly for those already utilizing its scheduling and time clock functionalities. Integrating these features enhances their payroll system's overall efficiency and effectiveness. You might choose their payroll tool for the following reasons:

  • Native integration with scheduling and time tracking: If you are a user of their easy and intuitive platform but struggle to set up and pay for two administrative solutions for payroll and time tracking, you may find their native all-in-one solution compelling. Though they offer robust payroll integrations with top providers, you might appreciate having your payroll processing with advanced features like auto-scheduling and custom shift reports built into one reliable system
  • Native mobile app: While similar companies may not provide a separate mobile application, When I Work does so using the same simple and easy-to-use interface as the web dashboard. This allows you and your whole team to have the same tools whether or not you're at the job site, helping to boost accountability
  • Free trial: You can sign up for a free version at any time, which you may use for 14 days, and fully try out their scheduling features pressure-free, no credit card necessary
  • System demo available: If you need to explore the full depth of their software features before purchasing, you can schedule a demo with one of their sales team representatives, who can walk you through their payroll

Why You Might Not Choose When I Work Payroll

Of course, there may be disadvantages to choosing When I Work to process payroll and ensure tax compliance. Those include:

  • A newer service: Their full-service payroll is a newer offering that is relatively untested and, as such, may not be as refined as their other software capabilities
  • Limited availability: They state that they limit their availability to small companies with less than 50 employees, which means if you are a larger company or one that is rapidly expanding, this solution will not work for you
  • May not file taxes: They do not indicate if they file your taxes, although they do automate necessary calculations and provide the proper forms and reports. It is recommended that you inquire about this specifically during your demo to be fully aware of what you'd be receiving

The When I Work Customer Experience

This company enjoys a very positive reputation among their customers, receiving excellent online review scores. On Capterra and GetApp, they score 4.5 out of 5 stars and a similar 4.3 out of 5 on G2. Finally, they have an 8.6 out of 10 score on TrustRadius.

Please note that most feedback does not involve their payroll app but their scheduling, connectivity, and attendance solutions. In fact, when one small business reviewer remarked that they had to switch to another provider because What I Work does not offer payroll, the company did not correct them, and this may be because those services had not been fully deployed as yet. That said, the overall feedback informs us about the general quality of their tools and support structure.


The general consensus is that their user interface is easy and integrates well with other business systems, and some liked that the platform's documentation was to-the-point and simple. They found features like shift creation, employee setup, availability designations, time off requests, and the message board to be simply presented but colorful, whether accessed on the web or via the mobile device app. In fact, employers found that their employees had no trouble downloading and using the app.

Though not as frequent as positive notices, there is some critical feedback about the system, which some call outdated and visually unappealing. One employer complained about the amount of notifications and emails it sent them, while others said the app takes a long time to load and may miss some clock-ins.


Reviewers do not talk about the company's customer service experience as often. Still, when they do, they praise the customer service team for their availability and excellent support. Some reviewers complained that support representatives sometimes took many days to respond.

Overall feedback

Although there isn't a lot of discussion about the company's costs, a few users did express dissatisfaction with their pricing, given their limited features, leading them to switch to a competitor that offered payroll functionality. One user complained of immediately losing access upon cancellation without a refund, even though they had canceled shortly after their last payment.

When I Work often responds to positive or negative reviews with a friendly and collaborative tone. They ask those with specific issues to open a ticket on their website. Because they resolve issues privately, we cannot comment on the quality of these resolutions, but it bodes well that they take the time to do so.

Customer Support

You can reach When I Work live chat support by logging into their system or submitting a ticket to have their team get back to you. The customer care team is not available 24/7, but they do post their hours of availability under the ticket submission form.

If you'd rather access helpful articles, you may do so at their help center.

Final Thoughts

When I Work is a workforce management solution primarily known for its employee scheduling and time-tracking capabilities for businesses with shift workers. The company offers an integrated payroll processing feature that works within their platform to use their scheduling, time clock, and attendance features, ensuring accurate compensation management while providing users with a streamlined and efficient solution. The native mobile app makes it more accessible, offering convenience for users on the go. Also, When I Work's commitment to transparency is evident through their free 14-day trial and the availability of a guided demo. They allow users to explore the platform's features before committing to it.

However, When I Work's payroll solution is limited to companies with less than 50 employees, and there are uncertainties about the full deployment of their payroll services. Additionally, their full-service payroll is relatively new and may lack tax filing information, which may not be suitable for businesses seeking an established solution. While user feedback on scheduling, connectivity, and attendance solutions is generally positive, some users have concerns about an outdated interface and system delays. That being said, their customer service receives mostly satisfactory feedback.

When I Work is an ideal choice for restaurant owners, retail managers, or other businesses needing a streamlined solution for staff scheduling and shift trading. This comprehensive software is designed to simplify employee shift assignments and exchanges, making it an excellent option for businesses seeking an efficient, full-featured management tool.

However, we encourage you to research and read up about top payroll software and services companies and then compare When I Work against some competitors. We often add helpful articles on our blog page to help you understand the essential factors surrounding these kinds of products and services. Making an informed decision is vital to finding a payroll solution that aligns seamlessly with your business requirements.

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