Are you ready to give up on spreadsheets (or that cobbled-together system you’ve created) for tracking your team's leave? It’s time to start using an easy-to-use leave management app.
An app has more functionality, yes, but the right app also simplifies how you track and manage your team’s leave, so you don’t need to juggle multiple tabs, spreadsheets, forms, and calendars. Plus, the right app automates everything — so tracking leave balances, responding to requests, and keeping your calendar updated can all happen automatically.
In this post, we look at how you can use Timetastic, our leave management app, which works as a web app and a mobile app (available for both iOS and Android devices).
Here are just a few examples of businesses currently using Timetastic (and how it makes their life easier):
- Jasmin French runs a salon in Edinburgh, and Timetastic makes it easy for her to receive and respond to time off requests and avoid scheduling clashes. She doesn’t need to manage emails and notes left on her desk — all time off requests are put in the Timetastic app, where she can easily respond to them on her phone or computer. (Read the full case study here.)
- Paul Patterson, General Manager at Curiousa & Curiousa, a bespoke glass lights shop, likes how simple it is to customise everyone’s leave balance and how many days off each person gets a year through the app. For example, if you’ve been an employee for more than 5 years, you get 35 days of annual leave, and 33 days of leave if you’re not yet at the 5 year mark. Plus, all employees get 4 hrs in lieu every time they work a 12-hour day. All of this can be easily updated from your desktop or mobile app. (Read the full case study here.)
Next, let’s look at the core features of our leave management app, and how they will make your life simpler.
Are you more of a learn-by-doing kind of person? Start your free one-month Timetastic trial.
How Timetastic works for leave management (both as a web and mobile app)
When you use Timetastic, you get the core features needed to simplify your leave management process:
- A quick way to see who is off for the day, and who has time off coming up.
- An updated balance of everyone’s annual leave, including a clear breakdown of different types of leave (sick, holiday, parental, etc.) that someone has taken.
- A simple way for people to submit time off requests (and for you to respond to them).
Plus, you get other benefits like calendar and app integrations (with Slack and Microsoft Teams) and an update that tells you who on your team is at risk of burning out because they haven’t taken a day off recently.
FYI: Some of the more advanced features (like your Burnout Board) are only available on the web app, but most of these features can be used on either your desktop or mobile device.
See who is off and what type of leave they’re taking
When you use Timetastic, you can view your team’s Wallchart to see who is off and what kind of leave they’re on.
This is the web app view:
This is the mobile app view:
The colour-coded descriptive icons tell you what kind of leave someone is on.
(FYI: You can edit the leave types in your settings to customise them for your business.)
See everyone’s leave balance
From your Wallchart, you can also see everyone’s leave balance. This is how much time off someone has left to take for the year.
Next to each employee's name is a number icon that shows how much leave each person has left to use. (You can configure this to be in hours or days.)
You can also click on their name and get a more detailed breakdown of when they took time off throughout the year and how much leave they have left to take.
This is the web app view:
This is the mobile app view:
Web app bonus: See who is at risk of burning out
When you log into Timetastic through your web browser, you can see your company’s Burnout Board. Your Burnout Board tells you who on your team hasn’t taken time off recently and doesn’t have any time off coming up (i.e., who is at risk of burning out).
You’ll also get this information emailed to you at the end of each quarter in The Fire Wire:
Respond to someone’s leave request
Your team will submit new leave requests using the mobile app or web app.
Here’s the web app view of that process:
This is the mobile app view:
Either way, the process is the same:
- They pick the dates they want off.
- They select the type of leave they’re taking (such as sick leave or holiday leave).
- They add any additional notes (optional).
- They can also upload a photo for medical documentation if they’re taking sick leave.
Once you hit send, your request is sent to the right manager for approval. (You can customise your approval process in your settings.) The leave request can get sent to someone through email, Slack, or MS Teams (more on this below in our section on app integrations).
All you need to do is click approve or decline.
Avoid calendar clashes and staff shortages
When you use our app, you can create guidelines so you’ll never have to worry about too many people having the same day off.
First, you can set maximum absent levels.
This tells Timetastic how many people can take a holiday on the same day. Once that threshold is met, Timetastic won’t let anyone else try to take that day off.
You can set maximum absent levels for the entire company, or customise it per department.
Second, you can lock key dates. Locking a date tells your staff that they can’t take that day off. You can lock dates for the entire company, by a specific department, or even down to the individual.
This way, when you get a time off request sent to you, you already know that there’s no calendar clashes and this request doesn’t fall on a locked date. That means, it’s good to approve. Get a notification on your app, look at the request, and click approve.
FYI: Plenty of our customers will make their life even easier by letting Timetastic automatically approve requests that fall within their customised guidelines. This way, they don’t have to respond to each leave request personally, and their staff doesn’t have to wait for their response.
Plus, you can integrate Timetastic with other apps
A leave management app makes your life easier by reducing how many tools you need to track and manage leave.
For example, without an app, you will be stuck:
- Responding to emails, text messages, and hand-written notes when someone wants a day off.
- Manually updating company time off calendars.
- Changing someone’s annual leave balance in spreadsheets.
But an app replaces all those tools, and Timetastic goes even further by integrating with tools you already use — like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
You can get daily absence summaries sent to you directly on Slack or MS Teams, letting you know who is out for the day and who has time off coming up in the week. (You can also get a daily absence summary emailed to you.)
And as we discussed above, you can also get new requests routed directly to your Slack or MS Teams account so that you can approve or decline a request within seconds.
You can sync Timetastic with your work calendars
Finally, you can sync your Timetastic account with your work calendars, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal.
You can pull in just your leave, so you can display to the rest of the team what days you’re off on your work calendar, or you can also pull in specific users, departments, or the entire team.
A quick recap: How the best app for leave management simplifies your processes
An app replaces many separate and inefficient methods for tracking and managing leave, such as using spreadsheets, forms, and calendars that need to be manually updated.
In this post, we looked at how Timetastic’s leave management app:
- Gives you an updated view of who is off, and their leave balance.
- Lets you quickly respond to new time off requests.
- Tells you who on your team might be at risk of burning out (and thus needs a holiday).
Plus, we looked at how you can integrate Timetastic with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and your preferred work calendar.
Combined, these features help make handling your team’s leave management a breeze.
For more articles on leave management, check out:
- 3 different types of completely online leave management systems
- 2 options for absence management software
- 5 tips to stop PTO requests from ruining your week
- Annual leave policies: how to write yours
- How to do employee leave management without Excel spreadsheets
- Different types of annual leave software, from HR software to time tracking software
- The best leave management system for small businesses