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Why spreadsheets aren’t great for staff rosters

Updated: Feb 23

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Spreadsheets are brilliant for many things. You can make to-do lists, organise your calendar and track how much you’re spending on lattes (even if you already know the answer is “too much”).


But when it comes to staff rosters, spreadsheets just won’t cut it. Why? Because the top three things you need from a rostering system aren’t going to be found in a free spreadsheet.


  1. Security – your staff roster will need to be shared, but not everyone will require the same level of access. Controlling what individuals can do or see, like pay rates for example, is easier to do in purpose-built roster software. Don’t make the mistake of sending something to Peter that was meant for Paul (#awkward).

  2. Analysis – your roster can be used for more than just organising shifts. Comparing months or years to see if there are any trends can be very useful, but it’s difficult to do that in a spreadsheet. Roster software can keep you on track and on budget.

  3. Communication – getting a spreadsheet out to employees can be a clunky process. Do you print it and stick it on the wall? It might get missed. Email it? You’ll probably get a bunch of edited versions back. Upload it to Dropbox? Well, spreadsheets just aren’t made to be multi-user files. With roster software like goRoster, you can send the roster by email or text message to all or some staff and receive replies, all while keeping one master copy that is easy and quick to edit.