Between extended hours, holiday plans, and cold-weather sickness, hourly employees have it particularly hard when it comes to swapping shifts this time of year.

Most rely on Facebook groups or group text chains with coworkers to find someone to take a shift they have to miss. Using a scheduling app instead can provide a cleaner interface and help protect personal information like phone numbers, when locating a substitute.

Here’s a sampling of what’s out there:

  • Shift Messenger: The Gap is giving this app a test run this holiday season. Message based, like WhatsApp, Shift Messenger allows staff to join their store’s location group and post shifts that need to be filled to the group or individually. It masks the phone numbers of participants as well.
  • Shift Smart: Employees post available shifts to a calendar with this model. It also allows users to keep track of how much annual leave they’ve used, overtime they’ve acquired, and training they need to complete.
  • When I Work: With this app, employees looking to trade shifts don’t have to wait for a response to their group message. The app shows them who is eligible for a trade based on the time and day of the shift.

Most of these apps apply best to hourly employees in retail, restaurant, fulfillment, and warehouse, but apps like Slack can also help salaried workers coordinate projects and manage time as well.

By Prasana William