The best time off management software will always solve three important problems for you:
- It’ll handle your team’s time off requests. Unfortunately, a lot of companies still rely on people texting or writing down their holiday requests, which is messy and can lead to things getting missed. The best time off management software will handle all these requests for you. Specifically, the best software will give your employees an easy way to book time off and your managers an easy way to respond.
- It’ll keep a real-time record of everyone’s leave balances. Time off management software should tell you how much leave your team has left to use and a breakdown of the types of leave used over the year. This info should be easy to access.
- It’ll keep you and your team up-to-date with who’s off. Time off management software will make sure you don’t forget that someone has a holiday coming up. You’re always on top of upcoming staff leave, effortlessly.
These are things you might have already tried to organise with a spreadsheet. But even the best Excel templates for leave planning are ugly, prone to human error, and unable to handle leave requests and holiday approvals by themselves.
So, we set out to fix this for you. Our time off management software, Timetastic, is designed to make it easy to manage time off for your entire team.
Let me show you some of the key features of our app, and a few real-life examples of UK businesses who have switched to Timetastic.
Timetastic: Everything you need in time off management software
When you use Timetastic, you get an accurate record of everyone’s time off — pending and approved. You also get daily and weekly absence summaries sent to you, easy-to-use calendar integrations, and most importantly: A simple way for your team to book time off.
First, let’s take a peek at the Wallchart. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a million times better than a spreadsheet:
Your Timetastic Wallchart: All the info you need in one place
When you log into Timetastic, you see your company’s Wallchart, where you get a monthly view of your team’s time off calendar.
- You can quickly see who has time off booked and why they’re taking time off. The requests are colour-coded (red for holiday, brown for sick leave, etc.), so you can also see why someone is off for the day.
- You get an updated annual leave balance for everyone on your team. The number next to each person’s profile pic tells you how much leave they have left to use. And if you click on a name, you’re shown a detailed breakdown of their leave balance:
Sync with your existing calendar
You can set up a calendar integration with any calendar that uses an iCal web feed (iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and others). When this is set up, Timetastic syncs with your calendar. You can see who has time off just by looking at your work calendar.
Plus, you can get absence summaries sent directly to you via email, Slack, or MS Teams. These summaries will tell who is off and who has time off coming up.
An easy way for your team to book their time off
Your team books their time off request in Timetastic. It’s easy to do via our mobile app for iOS or Android, or through the Timetastic web app.
They select the days they want, pick the leave type they’re taking, write additional notes if necessary, and then click “Send request.”
Fast approval (Plus an optional automatic approval process)
Once someone on your team submits their leave request, it gets routed to you (or whoever is responsible for handling team holidays).
Requests can get sent to you via:
- Microsoft Teams
You can approve or decline the request without leaving your inbox/direct message.
Pro tip: Let Timetastic automate your company’s time off requests
At Timetastic HQ, we let Timetastic handle all time off requests except sabbaticals, which we like to manage because it’s a much longer time period.
We recommend you do something similar because it makes the approval process lightning fast. Not only does this mean you’re spending less time on tedious tasks, but it also means your team can book their holidays without waiting for a response. Great for everyone.
Think of it as a sort of “employee self-service portal” — they put their holiday request into the system, and find out immediately if it’s approved or not.
Here’s how you can offer this freedom, without losing control of your staffing:
- First, set up maximum absent levels. Maximum absent levels are how many people can be absent on any given day. You can set this as a company-wide rule or set it by department. For example, if your company can only have 2 people on holiday at a time, then your maximum absence level would be 2. After 2 people have booked time off, Timetastic won’t let a 3rd person book a holiday on those same days.
- Second, you can lock key dates. A locked date prevents someone from requesting a specific date off. You can lock dates for the entire company, for specific departments, or even down to the individual. For example, you might want to lock dates around tax season for your accounting department.
Absence Insights and Burnout Board
All of your team’s time off data is housed in Timetastic, which gives you easy access to valuable info.
You can even see a year-long breakdown of how much leave (and what kind of leave) your team has taken:
And you can see who is overdue for a holiday on your Burnout Board:
Real stories: Businesses using Timetastic as their time off management software
Timestatic is used by thousands of companies, from brick-and-mortar shops and salons, to digital marketing agencies and charities.
How Timetastic simplified time off requests for a salon owner in Edinburgh
Before using Timetastic (based on a recommendation from her mother, who uses it at her own company), Jasmin French was having a painful time handling her team’s time off requests.
Jasmin’s stylists would text her the dates they wanted off, and she’d have to figure out if it was possible. This is pretty common for small businesses, but it caused a few problems:
- It was hard to remember who already had time off approved.
- It was a challenge to check for clashes between pending holiday requests.
- There was always the risk of approving time off for too many people on the same day.
This resulted in unwanted staff shortages and general chaos when someone wanted to change their holiday plans. Not good.
Timetastic helped Jasmin find an easier way to manage time off. One of the biggest benefits for her was that she could see potential clashes before they became a problem:
“Now that I use Timetastic, we can easily see if things clash,” Jasmin explained.
By using Timetastic to avoid overlapping staff holidays, Jasmin has a newfound peace of mind knowing that when a staff member takes leave, she’ll have proper coverage at the salon.
How Extract Coffee Roasters use additional lieu days to show their staff appreciation
With Timetastic, you can give extra time off — or time in lieu — to people on your team. This was a big win for Extract Coffee Roasters.
Lee Bolam, Extract’s commercial director, explained it to us like this:
“Our competitive advantage is the power of small, and Timetastic helps us in intriguing little ways,” he says. “We get a real kick out of sending ‘Happy Lieu Day’ to someone who has busted their balls… launched a new cafe… or supported a charity with their downtime.”
Giving out lieu days is a great idea — but companies may shy away from the benefit as it can be a pain to track. But with Timetastic, simply go to your employee’s profile, add a lieu day to their balance, and then click save. It’s that easy to reward someone with extra time off.
How Timetastic helps the Format team avoid burnout
Employee burnout can happen quickly, and often right under our noses. Plus, it can happen at any business, large or small. Unfortunately, research shows that 36% of employees think their company isn’t doing much to help them avoid burnout.
That isn’t the case for Format, an online portfolio platform and Timetastic customer.
Jojo Alexandroff, Format’s Chief of Staff, told us, “We know how important it is to rest and recharge. Timetastic lets us encourage those who may not have taken time off in a while to get away and reset.”
Jojo is talking about our easy-to-access Burnout Board, shown earlier in our post. Our Burnout Board tells you who on your team is in need of a holiday (i.e. who hasn’t had a break recently).
Getting started with Timetastic
With Timetastic, you get a one-month free trial. This gives you time to see how well it’ll work for your team. You’ll get an up-to-date record of employee time off, an accurate employee leave calendar, and a simple way for your team to submit holiday requests. You’ll also be able to see trends in absence, and much more.
If you’re looking for more info on topics related to time off management software, check out these articles:
- What is the best absence management software for you?
- How to create an annual leave management system (without using Excel spreadsheets)
- How to create fair leave request policies (spoiler: don't make it a pain to request time off)
- How the right holiday tracking software can save you loads of time
- A guide to paternity leave in the UK (everything from how accruals work to what happens if you’re self-employed)
- How to make an annual leave policy
- Different types of annual leave software (from HR management tools to time tracking apps)