A Case for Effective Absence Management

Sep 3, 2021      Martin Durina       Future of Work

Absence Management Slack

Keeping track of vacations and absences while managing employees who work from home or remotely is essential for any business in a post-pandemic world. But what does it do for other aspects of the company, and more importantly, how does it affect the team's attitude towards their time at work?

After spending years developing an app that helps businesses tackle leave management, we think we’re ready to answer some of the big questions. Maybe our observations can help you find the right solution to absence management in your organization.

Time is equally valuable to everyone, and the way we manage it determines our success

Time isn't just valuable for us; it's also equally precious to our colleagues. Careful planning ahead of work and leisure time is an everyday activity for many, and you should expect sudden changes in plans to be just as regular.

Having a clear overview and maintaining order will lead to a calmer, happier team. Disruptions such as sick days, sudden illnesses, or family matters are simply not preventable. This is why accepting them as they are and having a process for doing so can dramatically alleviate stress whenever they occur.

Show your team that you respect their time by getting absence management right.
Show your team that you respect their time by getting absence management right.

It's really worth noting that the psychological impact of unexpected absences often has significantly more unfavorable effects than the reality of someone not showing up to work that day.

Spreadsheets may be the easiest to implement, but there’s always a better way

At first glance, spreadsheets can seem like an easy and inexpensive solution for record-keeping. But is this really true? Yes and no. It all depends on what's important to you.

Spreadsheets originated as a bureaucratic tool with written data presented on countless columns and rows. Aside from the glaring security issues and general clunkiness, they highlight a significant problem connected to standard methods used to track time off work.

Spreadsheets are, simply put, a necessary evil that comes with a whole host of disadvantages. People are more likely to forget about updating them, make mistakes, or misunderstand how they work. The way you set up access to these kinds of records is an opportunity to make updating them meaningful and beneficial to the company.

Businesses have to realize that the solutions they choose for absence management affect how employees interact with it.

Don’t let absence management take time away from the things that matter

Do you know how many processes and specifications are linked to attendance already? There are things like approving leave, notifying everyone about absences, updating colleagues about what they've missed and how much time they have, or even discussing the types of leaves they need.

Complex processes are time-consuming and force you into new, often unwanted situations. Luckily, absence management isn't exactly rocket science if you look to a modern solution. Take a step back to consider how many complex problems you and your team deal with daily to make your company's product the best it can be. Why not focus on that and delegate company processes like attendance tracking to your partners instead?

It could mean that neither you nor your team would need to invest valuable time into managing this process, giving you more time to perfect your product.

Leave company processes to your partners and let your team focus on their work fully.
Leave company processes to your partners and let your team focus on their work fully.

Introducing a process doesn’t always have to mean installing a new app

Having a separate app for everything is fine as long as there aren’t too many of them. You can see this clearly when a new colleague first goes through the onboarding process. If it feels overwhelming for them, it might be time to rethink a few things.

Using apps as part of a business communication platform like Slack is an elegant solution because there are no new registrations, passwords, or interfaces.

Transparency and teamwork go hand-in-hand

We believe that everybody has to be involved in the absence management process. It’s a joint agreement, and without that sense of mutual responsibility, it becomes meaningless. Forgetting, ignorance, or overwriting come into play, creating unnecessary tension. If you care about team spirit and a healthy sense of togetherness, transparency and accessible info are the way to go.

A great tool can solve this and create a nudging effect that reminds everyone about their responsibilities to the team in a non-intrusive way.

We are constantly striving to understand this process and its impact on the company because we know where the actual value of our product needs to be. To sum up, we use our our app to bring order to people's work and leisure time in a way that doesn't offend; on the contrary, it's simple, fast, and discreet, and we're proud to say our users experience it as something that works and solves what it's supposed to.