Glossary of Terms

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Absence Tracking

This feature of When I Work allows employees to report when they will not be at work. Also gives supervisors, managers, and admins the option find coverage for the shift.

Access Privileges

A user’s Access privilege, also called ‘role,’ determines what they can see and do in When I Work. See also employee, supervisor, manager, and admin.

Account ID

A unique ID for the workplace account set in the General Settings that employees can use to register for your account without an invite.


This user is the owner of the account and in charge of billing. The admin has complete access to all account settings. See also access privileges.


Email and mobile alerts tell you when something has changed or needs your attention. If you’d like to customize the alerts you receive, see Setting Alert Preferences.

Android Device

An Android phone or tablet using the When I Work Employee Scheduling application. See Minimum Requirements.


Use annotations to send your staff important information about a particular day. You can send a general announcement, let your staff know that time off isn’t allowed, or let your staff know that your business will be closed that day. The When I Work apps prominently display annotations to your entire team. For more information, see Using Annotations.

Annual Billing

An annual billing cycle allows for you to pay for your When I Work plan for the year. 


API is available on particular When I Work plans to allow workplaces to streamline their scheduling process or create custom integrations. See more details in our API Reference Guides.


When I Work product that tracks users’ work hours for easy export to a payroll processor. Users clock in and out using one of three time clock methods.

Attendance Notices

Notices on the dashboard of accounts with Scheduling + Attendance. These notices let you know when an employee is late, forgot to clock out, clocked in at the wrong location or forgot to clock in.

Attendance Settings

These settings determine when users can clock in, how they can clock in, and how pay periods are managed.

Auto-Deduct Breaks

The break option in the Attendance Settings that automatically deducts scheduled unpaid breaks from timesheets.


Auto-Assign leverages the information already entered in your When I Work account to create a schedule. This button will assign unpublished OpenShifts to eligible employees for you to review and publish.


When I Work feature that allows employees to record when they prefer to work and when they prefer not to work. The scheduling manager has the option (not obligation) to take employees’ preferences into account when building the schedule. For more information, see Setting Your Availability Preferences and Interpreting Availability on the Schedule.


Bell (notifications) 

Shows notifications for pending employees and swap, drop, and time off requests that have been updated or need your attention. See Processing Time Off Requests and Processing Shift Requests.


Unpaid lunch breaks or paid breaks can be enabled in the Attendance Settings.

Bulk-Edit Shifts

This allows supervisor, manager, and admin to make changes to multiple shifts at once to speed up scheduling modifications.


Calendar Sync

A feature that allows you to add your When I Work schedule to your personal calendar. See Syncing Your Schedule to a Calendar App.

Custom Reporting

Custom Reporting helps create exports for businesses around shifts, time entries, and shift history.



Page that shows a snapshot of what’s going on today. The dashboard appears when you first log in to the When I Work app. See Using the Dashboard.


A central repository in When I Work for documents you want to share with all users. This is useful for onboarding checklists, employee handbooks, or training manuals. You can share links to documents in shift notes, job sites, annotations, and WorkChat. See Document Storage Reference for managers.


If an employee cannot work an assigned shift, the employee can initiate a drop request that offers the shift to eligible coworkers. If one of the coworkers accepts the request, the shift becomes that person’s responsibility. See Swapping and Dropping Shifts.



An employee is eligible to pick up a shift if they meet the following criteria: They are qualified for the shift based on their assigned positions, they are not already scheduled for a shift, they are not scheduled for approved time off, and they are not hidden in the scheduler. See How Do OpenShifts Work?


A user that gets the schedule in When I Work but does not make the schedule. See also access privileges and Adding and Editing Employees.

Employee ID

An employee ID is a unique numeric identification code set by your employer. You can use this ID to clock in and out on a time clock terminal.


A way to get data from When I Work for your records. 


Find Replacement

A feature that allows you to find a replacement for a shift that an employee is unable to work. The first employee to accept the shift will be automatically assigned the shift to their schedule.

Forecast Tools

Forecasting is a tool in the Scheduler to allow supervisor, manager, and admin to make sure they are staffing adequately based on needed hours, a labor budget, or custom units.


Gear menu 

Menu in the When I Work web app that provides management access to general settings, scheduling settings, attendance settings, integrations and the account & billing page (admin only).

General Settings

The General Settings section contains your app settings (account name, account id, timezone, start of the week, time format and currency), your overtime thresholds, WorkChat, Time Off Request and Employee Privacy settings.



Tools that allow When I Work to connect with products from other vendors to streamline how you run your business. See Setting Up Payroll Integrations and Getting Access to the When I Work API.


Imports can be used to load objects into the workplace quickly such as Users, Shift Templates, or Job Sites.


The receipts of payments made on your account.

iOS Device

An iPhone or iPad using the When I Work Staff Scheduling application. See Minimum Requirements.


Job Site

A place where shifts take place that is off-site from your workplace schedules. Check out When to Use Schedules and Job Sites.


Labor Sharing

Labor Sharing allows OpenShifts to be shared between schedules at the same Workplace so qualified users can see them and pick them up.

Location Restrictions

These prevent users from clocking in unless they are within a radius around a location for a Job Site or Schedule. See how to set this up at Restricting Where Users Can Clock In Or Clock Out.

Lunch Break

Also called an unpaid break. Allow employees to report their lunch breaks by enabling it in the Attendance Settings. See Take a Lunch Break.



A user that can manage the schedule and timesheets for all schedules. See also access privileges.

Max Hours

The maximum hours per week that are set for an employee or a schedule that help track hours while scheduling. See Tracking Hours in the Scheduler.

Mobile App Time Clock

Feature that allows users to clock in and out for shifts from the When I Work app on their mobile devices. See Allow Clocking In from Mobile Devices and Clocking In and Out on iOS and Android.

Monthly Billing

A monthly billing cycle allows for you to pay for your When I Work plan month-to-month.

My Schedule 

Your My Schedule page allows you to see your schedule, confirm your shifts, and pick up OpenShifts.



An OpenShift feature that allows you to select which eligible employees can pick up a shift.


A shift that is published without an assigned employee. OpenShifts can be taken by any employee that is available to work and qualified to work the position. See Scheduling an OpenShift.


When I Work calculates weekly, daily and double daily overtime. You can set overtime thresholds to determine when employees earn overtime.


Paid Break 

A break setting option that allows employees to report that they have taken all of their required paid breaks during their shift. See How Paid Break Reporting Works.

Pay Period

Recurring length of time during which employees’ hours are recorded. Employees are paid once for each pay period. The length of the pay period can be configured in the Attendance Settings. See Close and Export Pay Period Hours.

Personal Computer Time Clock

Feature that allows users to clock in and out from shifts from the When I Work web app on a personal computer. See Allow Clocking In From a Personal Computer.


A particular job, duty, or skill that is performed at your workplace. For example: barista, roaster, and cashier. Assign employees with positions to identify their qualifications, and assign shifts with positions to make sure you have the schedule coverage that you need. See Creating and Managing Positions.

Preferred Hours

The number of hours that an employee prefers to work per week. See Setting Your Preferred Hours.


Feature that keeps personal contact information private in When I Work. Employees can set their own privacy preferences.


Each user in When I Work has a profile that defines their name, picture, contact information, time zone, preferred hours, and alert preferences. See Updating Your Profile Settings.


Paid time off. See also time off request and Time Off Types.


Shifts aren’t visible to employees until they are published by a supervisor, manager, or admin. See Publishing the Schedule.



A term for when an employee is assigned to the same position as a shift. See How Do OpenShifts Work?


Repeating Shift

A shift that automatically recurs every 1–6 weeks. See Setting Up Repeating Shifts.


A centralized location for all of the reports available for your account. See Reporting Reference.

Requests Menu

The menu that contains time off requests, shift requests and OpenShift requests.

Role Permissions

This allows admin to modify the default access of supervisor and manager to make sure they cannot make specific changes to the account. For a complete breakdown of the options, see Role Permissions.


An attendance setting that allows employee clock-in and clock-out times to be rounded by 5 minutes, 6 minutes, or 15 minutes.



A feature that allows you to group employees into separate schedules. You might want to set up multiple schedules if your business operates out of different physical locations/regions or you want to build separate schedules for different teams/departments. For instructions, see Creating Multiple Schedules.

Schedule Template 

Schedule templates allow you to create a daily or weekly schedule that is reusable. If your schedules are very similar from day to day or week to week, use a template to save time and avoid creating schedules from scratch. See Using Schedule Templates.


Page in the When I Work web app where supervisors, managers, and the admin build the schedule. See Scheduler Reference Guide.

Scheduler Views

You can change the way shifts are organized based on colors, times, positions, and staff views that help you see the schedule in different ways. See Scheduler Views for a complete breakdown.


When I Work product that streamlines the schedule building and distribution process. See Setting Up Scheduling for Your Business.

Scheduling Rules

This helps create guidelines for shifts, including how many shifts users can be assigned in a week or how many hours per day to help businesses manage labor requirements in their location or industry. See Scheduling Rules for additional details.

Scheduling Settings 

The Scheduling Settings section contains options for the scheduler, shift swaps and drops, Shift Confirmation, Availability and Tasks.


A time period during which an employee works at your business. See Scheduling Basics.

Shift Bidding 

Also called “OpenShift Requests,” this option within an OpenShift allows employees to express interest in the shift. Management can then view who has requested to pick up the OpenShift and select and approve an employee to work the shift. See Shift Bidding.

Shift Confirmation

A verification measure that helps managers and supervisors know whether users have seen their scheduled shifts. See Using Shift Confirmation.

Shift Replacement 

If an employee is unable to work an assigned shift, a supervisor or manager can offer the shift to other eligible employees. The first employee to accept the offer is automatically assigned to work the shift. See Finding a Replacement for a Shift.

Shift Template

Shift templates save you time when you need to schedule shifts with consistent start and end times. Instead of manually creating custom shifts one-by-one, shift templates allow you to schedule a shift quickly and easily. See Creating and Managing Shift Templates.

Shift Requests

A way for employees to swap or drop shifts that they are unable to work. See Processing Shift Requests. 

Split Shift 

If an employee cannot work a part of an assigned shift, the employee can split the shift and then swap or drop the shorter, conflicting shift. See Split Shifts.


A user that can manage the schedule and timesheets for specific schedules. See also access privileges.


If an employee is unable to work an assigned shift, the employee can trade shifts by initiating a swap request that offers the shift to eligible coworkers. If one of the coworkers accepts the request, the employees trade shifts. See Swapping and Dropping Shifts.



Tags are a feature that creates an additional qualification for a shift or user. An example would be a particular certification or language for specific shifts. For more examples, see When to Use Positions and Tags.


Use tasks to let your employees know what activities they need to complete on a given day and ensure those items are completed.


A feature that allows supervisors, managers, and admins to send text messages to their employees. See Sending Group Emails and Text Messages.

Time Clock

How employees clock in and out for their shifts. When I Work allows employees to clock in from a time clock terminal, mobile device, or personal computer.

Time Clock Terminal

A dedicated computer or mobile device at the workplace that is used solely for clocking in and out. For setup instructions, see Setting Up a Time Clock Terminal. See also time clock.

Time Off Request

A way for employees to request time off from work and get approval from a manager. See Requesting Time Off.


Record of a user’s hours for a given pay period. See Reviewing Employees’ Timesheets. 

Time Tracker 

An attendance feature that provides a way to compare daily scheduled shifts with actual clocked-in hours or breaks quickly. See Using the Time Tracker.

Time Zone

Time Zones can be set by the account or user to help businesses manage teams across different regions. See Time Zone Best Practices for additional tips.

Two-Step Verification

Also known as ‘multi-factor authentication’, two-step verification allows users to secure their account by requiring an additional step during log in.


Unpaid Break 

Unpaid breaks can be scheduled into shifts so they can be auto-deducted from the timesheets. See Add Unpaid Breaks to Shifts and Automatically Deduct Scheduled Breaks.


Collective term used to describe all the staff – including the employees, supervisor, manager, and admin – at a workplace.



Webhooks are an advanced feature that allows workplaces to subscribe to updates using an Endpoint to identify when specific actions are taken.


Chat feature that allows all users at a workplace to communicate and share photos in real time. See Using WorkChat and Managing WorkChat.

Workplace Menu

The menu that provides access to employees, positions, schedules, shift templates, tasks lists and more.

Updated on August 30, 2023

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