Google Docs is a powerful file-sharing tool that businesses can use to publish work schedules. You can accomplish this by creating the schedule directly in Google Docs. When you regularly publish an employee work schedule, you prevent miscommunication that might lead to having shifts uncovered by employees who didn't realize they were scheduled to work.

Use Free Work Schedule Templates

Google Docs maintains a huge library of free and ready-to-use templates. To access a template, open a new Google Docs document and then search templates with the words "work schedule." Most employee work schedules use a week-to-week format because employers publish on a weekly basis. If no template meets the schedule needs, create a custom schedule in another program.

Create a Custom Schedule 

Like Google Docs, Google Sheets has templates that managers can customize. Find these in Sheets under the Template Gallery menu. Simply choose Schedule from the list and then customize the fields by replacing template data with schedule dates and employee names. Delete any rows and columns not needed.

Create a schedule from scratch by opening a new file. Click Start a New Spreadsheet on the main page and use the header to title the document as "Weekly Schedule" or other desired name. Use the first row to define the dates the schedule covers.

Next, create a chart on which the horizontal column headers list the days of the week and the rows list the shift times. Insert employee names in the corresponding shift boxes. Save the file to Google Docs under an appropriate file name.

Manage Employee Permissions

Employers want employees to read the schedule and perhaps download a file to save on personal computers or devices. However, employees shouldn't be allowed to edit the schedule. By default, Google Docs allows employees to read and download files shared to them.

Share files by clicking on the icon with a person's silhouette and plus sign that represents "Share." Enter the email addresses of the employees you want to share the file with. Check the permissions before sending the email link to ensure the document is read-only.

For permissions, choose "can view" rather than "can edit," and then select the Share button to publish the schedule for employees. The employees receive an email notifying them a new schedule has been published. The email includes a link to the schedule.

Set Regular Schedules

Keeping a template of the schedule makes weekly scheduling easier. Set a standard day and time to publish the schedule and share it with all employees via email at the same time.

Name the schedule files in an easy-to-find manner such as "Jan. 15 Shift Schedule." This reduces confusion and allows employees to note scheduling discrepancies or issues quickly. Create company policies requiring employees to provide the desired notice for changes in the schedule.