Use Charlie’s time off feature to reclaim your working day from distracting requests, and give yourself more of the one thing you need most: time.
When you work in a small business, time is your most precious resource.
Forget about having a bigger team, or more investment, or a shinier office. With more time comes clearer thinking. With more time, you have the headspace to hire the right person, to choose the correct option, and to make not just a good decision but the best possible decision.
It’s for this reason that – when we started building Charlie – an automated time off feature was at the top of our list. We knew that the ‘traditional’ method of tracking time off was stopping people from doing work that makes a real impact at their company.
Let’s take a look at why.
The ‘traditional’ time off model
Every company needs to deal with time off. And every form of time off – annual leave, sick days, working from home, compassionate leave etc – requires information to move from one place to another.
Here's what I mean.
When a team member asks for time off, that request needs to find its way to their manager. When that request is approved or denied, that decision needs to be communicated back.
And every time that time off is cancelled or amended – that change needs to be communicated too.
Here's what this looks like in reality:
In the vast majority of small businesses across the UK, every single one of those queries runs through a single person. Sure, in theory, there are line managers in place to help but all those requests must be documented somewhere – and maintaining that documentation will always end up being one person's job.
For long stretches of my career, that person was me – but it could be anyone from an Operations Manager, Office Manager, COO or even a small business owner.
That process usually happens on an ad hoc, DIY-basis via a combination of shared spreadsheets, company calendars, paper forms and endless email threads – each and every one of them living in a different place.
The result? Messy, chaotic, and a constant drain on both your time and mind.
When I was still working at my first company, there wasn’t much of an alternative. There was already time off software on the market – but nothing with a user experience I’d be willing to roll out to my own team.
With Charlie’s automated time off feature, we built the alternative.
Automated time off by CharlieHR
With Charlie, you can tame the chaos of processing time off.
By automating your time off processes and ensuring every request is routed to exactly where it needs to be, you can totally remove yourself from the process – and protect your time from needless distractions.
Let’s take a look at how it works:
- Visualise every team member’s time off simply and clearly
When people get into the office on a Monday morning, they like to know where everyone is – who’s on holiday? When are they back?
Before Charlie, those questions often found their way into my inbox. Now, our whole company’s time off is visualised simply and clearly, all in one place.
What’s more, our Slack and Calendar integrations mean that wherever you work, Charlie works there too.
2. Put team members in control of their own time off
Within Charlie, every team member can make time off requests and amend or cancel their own bookings themselves – without ever needing to go through you.
Not only that, but Charlie automatically summarises every team member’s time off for them, so they can clearly see their upcoming annual leave, as well as how many days they have left.
3. Delegate time-off approval to the right people
By assigning every team member to their own line manager, you can ensure that every time off request goes directly to the right person, without it ever touching your inbox.
By removing yourself from the time off process in this way, you can shield yourself from needless distraction – so you can concentrate on work that makes a real impact.
“One of the most helpful parts of the time off function is being able to set specific approvers for each team, and not having to centralise the approval process. That way, I can see the requests coming through but I only step in when I need to.” Matt Hurst-Smith – Head of People, Founder’s Pledge
4. Intelligent overlap warnings mean no more double-booked holidays
If one of your employees makes a request for annual leave that clashes with another team member, Charlie gives them an automatic overlap warning before their request is processed. This way, your team members given ample warning that their request could be denied.
What’s more, line managers are shown clear overlap warnings when approving time off requests – both in their approval email and in the Charlie interface.
Taken together, Charlie works to empower both team members and line managers to make good decisions about their time off… without you ever needing to be involved.
5. Set company-wide time-off in a single click...
Have a company away day coming up? Book it into your whole company’s calendar in a single click – and leave the days of bulk email threads behind.
6. ...and block out holiday for those days you need everyone in the office
Every business will have a few crucial weeks every year. Before we built this feature, I’d find myself having to manually deny holiday requests for those periods – and then need to explain all over again, every time.
With automated time off I can block out those crucial points of year, and stop the holiday requests at source.
Reclaim your working day with automated time off
Operational roles often revolve around helping others to do their best work. But a lot of the time, the most effective way to achieve that is by taking a step back. By removing yourself from the frontline, you can focus your efforts on the work that really makes a difference.
Automated time off is not a revolutionary product feature – but it can have a revolutionary impact on your working day. It allows you to oversee, without being overwhelmed.
Try CharlieHR for free by clicking here.