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The Power of Digital Employee Rostering

Used in 100+ countries
Supporting 355,000+ workplaces
Benefits to using digital employee scheduling

5 key business benefits

The days of spending hours on paper rosters, figuring out pay rates and trying to manage timesheets are over. A digital rostering solution can save you time, reduce costs, improve productivity and simplify compliance with labour laws, making them an essential tool for effective team management.

This guide gives you five big reasons to consider a digital solution for your rostering needs. Find out why Deputy is the workplace rostering solution of choice for Australian businesses.

1. Build an efficient business

Many Australian businesses are still highly inefficient when it comes to managing their staff. If you’re still spending hours mapping out shifts on a piece of paper or spreadsheet, it’s time to stop punishing yourself and wasting valuable time. A digital rostering solution can literally change your life. A 2019 survey conducted by MYOB found small business owners in Australia spend an average of 5.5 hours per week on administrative tasks such as managing payroll, employee records and compliance with employment laws.

Brittany Smith, Back of House Operations Manager at Sydney’s iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, says it can get chaotic when multiple events are on and service is running hot. “If a few people call in sick or someone is running late it can be a bit of a juggling act. The last thing we want to do is call someone in who is enjoying their day off,” Brittany says.

With Deputy, Brittany is able to remain organised and across all issues concerning staff. “Deputy has helped a lot with those last-minute changes. I can change a shift, remove a shift, swap a shift and send out new rosters and communications to the team so they get notified straight away,” she says.

Time Australian businesses spend on admin

“We save two admin hours ($25/hr) per store per week on sharing rosters and news. With 50+ stores it’s saving a lot of money, about $130,000 a year.”

Giro Maurici, Founder and CEO, San Churro Chocolateria

Deputy’s key rostering efficiency benefits

  • Roster the right people and avoid overspending on labour.

  • Roster the right people at the right times across your business and easily fill shifts based on employee availability, training, cost and your budget.

  • Managers and owners can auto-build schedule templates to handle forecasted sales, delivery orders, foot traffic and other demand trends.

  • Easily share rosters with your team so they never miss an update. Publish rosters instantly from desktop or mobile with smart alerts and reminders.

“We save two admin hours ($25/hr) per store per week on sharing rosters and news. With 50+ stores it’s saving a lot of money, about $130,000 a year.”

San Churro Chocolateria

2. Keep your staff costs under control

Staff are easily the biggest expense for most businesses and many are overspending every week on wages. Take the guesswork out of it and use rostering software to manage your labour costs. The power of a digital roster could save you thousands of dollars a week. Managing staff and sticking to a budget can be a finicky exercise, particularly for managers or business owners trying to roster the correct number of staff to match customer demand.

For Patrick Agostinelli and Georgette Unger, the owners of Sydney restaurant Bar Milano, managing costs was a major factor in a digital rostering solution. “You have full control of costing, which is everything,” Patrick says. “When a sale is made, that sale goes into Deputy and allows us to track where we are with actual revenue and also forecasting. Deputy also shows you your labour percentage, which helps us know how many staff we need.”

Annual wage increases in 2024

The Peel Inn Hotel saves 50 hours weekly

The Peel Inn Hotel in rural NSW is another business that is benefiting from the power of the digital roster. When owner Drew Schofield analysed Peel Inn Hotel’s earnings compared to running costs, the cost-per-shift numbers from Deputy helped him identify the best combination of people to deliver an excellent customer experience for each shift.

He realised it would be better for the business, including his staff, to hire more full-time employees rather than juggle so many casual workers. Now he can better predict his spend, while his team have more consistent hours and predictable wages.

“Having the best staff working full time also means we’re mostly rolling over our rosters week to week in Deputy. That saves me several hours on rostering every week. And because our employees can put their leave in there, we know when we need to plug the gaps with the few casuals,” he says.

“We went from around 330 hours of wages per week down to about 280 hours. That’s 50 hours that were unaccounted for.” Those 50 hours save the Peel Inn Hotel between $1,000 and $2,000 every week.

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3. Boost productivity with better planning

Sometimes you don’t realise how unproductive you are until a new solution comes along. Pay disputes, missed shifts and low morale are often the result of an unproductive and poorly managed team. Leaning on automation and strong processes for employee rostering is a solid way to boost your business’s productivity.

Sydney-based concrete construction group Azzurri Concrete was plagued by poor productivity before it found the answer in digital rostering. As the company grew to over 100 employees, paper-based timesheets and rosters had become more than unproductive. They had become a liability. Without clear visibility of the actual working hours for each worker on each site, payroll and subcontracting disputes were starting to become more common, resulting in money down the drain.

After partnering with Deputy, though, Azzurri Concrete’s finance team saved up to five hours a week in timesheet-related admin alone. “Before we had Deputy, the rostering and timesheets were being done by about six people. Through putting systems in place with Deputy, we’ve brought it down to a one-person job,” explains CEO Peter Martino. “Annually, it’s probably saved us about $160,000 – just in headcount.” The productivity benefits are tangible and have also given the group a competitive edge.

“Deputy helps us to better manage our staff, including forward planning for each shift on each site – we’re now a lot more proactive rather than reactive about getting the right number and type of worker on each site,” Peter says.

4. Attract, engage and retain your employees

Building a solid team and a positive company culture has multiple benefits. Happy employees mean less staff turnover, better customer service and a more productive business. A digital rostering solution could be just the thing you need to drive engagement and improve employee satisfaction. If businesses really want to succeed, they need to start listening to the needs of their employees. People are your greatest asset and retaining good staff is well worth the effort. Businesses with high staff turnover rate experience poor productivity, high recruitment costs and lost sales.

According to Deputy’s 2023 State of Shift Work report, 50 per cent of staff desired being valued and recognised for their contribution and 39% want a culture of trust, openness, and compassion. Implementing a digital rostering solution is a proven way of empowering your staff and ensuring they’re fully supported in their role.

With a central platform to view schedules, request time off and cover any extra shifts, your employees will have more control over their work/life balance. Rostering apps also make life easier for managers by taking the headache out of creating, printing and changing rosters. In this way, you’ll be saving time and giving your team a better experience.

Shift Worker satisfaction

"The ease of finding available staff has changed everyone’s life. And for the trainers, it’s just so much easier. They love literally seeing their shifts in their hands. Or if something’s changed, they get a message."

Alex Loaney, Business Manager, F45 Opulent Group

F45 builds connected teams

F45 business manager Alex Loaney says managers are finding the Deputy app easy to use and were quick to see how it could engage their team.

Many shift workers belong to a younger demographic and have grown up using apps to communicate. Almost three-quarters (81 percent) of shift workers are under the age of 40, according to Deputy’s State of Shift Work report.


"The ease of finding available staff has changed everyone’s life. And for the trainers, it’s just so much easier. They love literally seeing their shifts in their hands. Or if something’s changed, they get a message."

F45 Opulent Group

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5. Simplify compliance with complex labour laws

Getting pay rates wrong has serious financial implications for your business. The good news is that a digital rostering solution like Deputy automates many of the complex pay rules in modern awards, keeping compliance super simple. Failing to comply with Australian labour laws can have serious consequences for both employers and employees. The Fair Work Ombudsman, has the power to investigate and take legal action against businesses found to be in violation of these laws.

The consequences of non-compliance are weighty, and may include monetary fines and civil penalties. Apart from legal consequences, non-compliance can also harm a business’s reputation and lead to decreased employee morale and productivity. Working out different awards and pay rules has traditionally been a time-consuming burden for managers and business owners. The good news is Deputy can auto-fill key award entitlements for each employee, including penalty rates and overtime.

Bar Milano co-founder Georgette Unger says “Running a restaurant can be hectic. It’s a fast-paced environment, so having changes to Fair Work pay rates made automatically on Deputy is fantastic.”

For Rashays franchise business manager Brendon Ford, moving onto the Deputy platform coincided with the group’s expansion. “These days, everything is automated and streamlined,” he says. “Deputy has helped us become totally efficient in resource allocation and as our employees fall under a number of different awards, we can rely on Deputy to help automate complex pay rules and simplify compliance with complicated Award conditions. Shift data feeds directly into payroll. Managers can view and approve on the fly. Importantly, there are no delays with pays.”

Serious consequences for non-compliance

Fair Work Australia is on the lookout for businesses underpaying their workers. For some, this could be an innocent mistake, but the consequences are serious and include substantial civil penalties for both the business and individuals who violate the laws.

Find out why we are

Australia’s leading rostering software

If you’re still running your business on paper-based timesheets and manual processes, it’s time to unlock the power of the digital roster. Manage HR without the paperwork, roster staff with ease and simplify timesheets. Our software’s power, simplicity, and mobility has earned us more than 355,000 happy customers — who are our greatest advocates. With Deputy, you’re not just saving time and money. You’re making life easier for your teams and helping them provide better service.

Try out Deputy for free today and see just how much a new rostering app can help drive your team’s success in 2024.

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