Starting Guide to Time Off

All about using Connecteam's Time Off feature.

Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated over a week ago

One of the most important aspects of running a business is managing and approving your employees' time off. This could be a vacation, a sick day, or simply a day off. Accurately managing time off however is far from easy and if you are spending a lot of time trying to track & manage days off using pen and paper, then you’re far from accurate. A part of an all-and-one solution, Connecteam's time off feature lets you see approved time off in the schedule, and on your employee's time sheets. Providing full digitization of the time off process, there are no calculations needed. It's completely transparent to both you and your employees making the management process easier than ever!

Now let's dive into this exciting feature. In this article, we will go over.

Why You Need to Manage Your Company's Time Off

Accurately managing time off is incredibly important following reasons:

  • Compliance and Legal Purposes - in most places company employees are legally obligated to be provided paid leave. Preventing mistakes that could land you in legal trouble, should be one of your top priorities.

  • Record Keeping - When it comes to time off, which can involve sensitive topics such as employees' personal lives or company money it's important to keep detailed records. Using time-off management software helps you keep a record of policy details, employee balances, history of absences and requests, and more! This can help you easily resolve any disputes if an employee was to leave the company in the future.

  • It affects company operations - managing time off with Connecteam helps you easily see when employees take time off and lets you allocate leave more effectively, ensuring your business won't be affected by too many people taking a vacation at once.

  • Data Reporting - Using software to manage time off, you can gain insights you otherwise wouldn't have, such as leave patterns or which policy has been most requested.

Time Off: Activating the Feature and Creating Policies

The first step to managing time off is to activate the feature. This can be done by navigating to the Time Off feature on the left sidebar and clicking activate. Now you are inside the time off dashboard, which is where you will manage and track everything related to time off.

To the right, is where you set your policies time off policies These are paid and unpaid policies, and in both categories, we can click on + Add Type to create different policy types, such as time off, sick leave jury duty, and so on.

Take a look at the different policy types below. After choosing a policy type, you will be able to click on + Add Policy and add individual policies to your policy types (we will go over how to do this below).

In the example below you can see I created three policy types. Time Off and Sick Leave are under the paid policies and unpaid leave is under the unpaid policies.

Getting to Know the Dashboard

Now that you understand the basics of creating a policy type let's take a look at our dashboard!

On the left side, you can see approved time off. You can select a policy and get an overview of each user assigned to the policy. You can see their number of requests, approved hours or days, and current. Here, you can also gain insights into each of the policies and see your pending requests.

On the right side, is where you set your time off policies and where you can add time off on behalf of users. There are paid and unpaid policies, in both categories we can click on + Add Type to create different policy types, such as time off, sick leave jury duty, and so on.

How to Set Time Off Policies (Paid/Unpaid)

When it comes to time off each of your employees should know and understand, from the first day they start working what the policies are regarding time off. These policies should be clear and accessible to your employees. They should know exactly how much time off they receive if it's paid or unpaid, and their current balance. When it's a hassle for employees to access and see their time off balance it causes unnecessary back and forth between the employee and the person responsible for tracking time off. This demonstrates that time off is not a priority to the company which can hamper employee productivity.

With Connecteam, you can set policies on the left side and these can be either paid or unpaid and each is set in the exact same way. Now, before we begin it's important to note that setting policies is divided into four parts. These are setting the policy details, settings, assignments, and setting balances. In this example, we will be creating a paid time off policy for full-time employees.

Part 1: Setting the Policy Details

  1. Navigate to either the Paid or Unpaid Time Off policy in your dashboard and click on Add Policy

  2. Name the Policy. In this example, we'll name it 'Full-Time Employees'.

  3. Choose if the policy will be calculated by hours or days.

  4. Decide if there is a limit on the amount. If there is a limit then you will need to set the Accrual Settings to be either fixed or hourly. This refers to the way your employee will receive the time off hours/days.

    • Fixed amount - Meaning employees receive a certain number of hours per year, distributed according to the accrual cycle.

      When setting up a policy with a fixed amount, you will need to set the determined accrual settings too, meaning when your employee receives their accrued time off. These can be set to either all at once (at the beginning of the year), on the employee's anniversary date, or throughout the year in the payroll period.

    • Earned per hour - Meaning for every x hours an employee works, they will receive x number of time off hours or days.

    When setting up a policy that's earned per hour, remember to choose if to include paid breaks. Selecting this option will consider the duration of manual paid breaks in the accrual.

    💡 Tip: If you set the policy to be accrued hourly your employees need to clock in to track their working hours, therefore you are only able to set up this option if you have activated the time clock. To learn more about tracking time with Connecteam click here.

  5. Click 'Next step', and congrats your policy details are set!

Take a look at how this step looks from start to finish below

Step 2: Setting the Policy Settings

First, set the general settings this means setting which work days the policy applies to and the work hours per day. This can be done by selecting the days (represented in blue) and entering the hours. Below you can see I set ours to be Monday to Friday for 8 hours a day. If an employee were to request time off from Thursday to Sunday, it would not count Saturday and Sunday as work days, meaning the employee has taken 2 days off for a total of 16 working hours.

Step 2 of creating a time off policy in Connecteam

Next, decide if the time-off requests require admins' approval and determine the minimum time in advance users may request a time off. Finally set the carryover limit - or how many hours or days they can transfer to the next year. In the example below you can see I set the policy to require admin approval and the limit for requesting an absence to be 14 days in advance. I also set the carryover limit to 56 hours.

Connecteam's time off limitation settings

Step 3: Assign the Policy to Users

Simply select relevant users from the list or use the filter to quickly find and select users who meet your desired criteria. When ready press the next step.

Step 3 of creating a time off policy in Connecteam

Step 4: Set the Assigned Employees' Balance

Each employee has a different remaining time-off balance, some may have taken time off already and some may have carried over days from the previous year. This is why when creating a policy we also need to set the individual balance of each user. It is from this balance that each time-off request will be deducted. This step is a bit more tedious than others, but you should only need to do it once. We recommend you come prepared with a list of your employees' current balances!

To set the balance simply add the number of remaining time off each user has next to their profile. Press save and that's it.

Notice in the example below each of my employees has a different balance:

Setting balances in connecteam's time off feature

Congrats you have created a policy!

Admin Actions to Manage Time Off

Now that you have gotten everything set up, let's go over the actions admins can take to manage time off in your company.

Approving a Time Off Request

Once your employees request time off you may need to approve it. This can be done from the time-off dashboard on the desktop Simply navigate to the view request button and you'll be able to see all the requests awaiting approval. Here you can approve or decline them.

Adding Time Off on Behalf of Your Employees

If you want to add time off for your employees, you can just go to the add time off button on the right side, and select the user, and the policy you want to add time off for. If you have more than 1-time clock set up in your account, you will need to select which time clock you want the time off to appear. Automatically you will see the user's remaining balance. Enter the days of time-off days you are requesting.

After you select the days of time-off being added you can see the total time-off hours being deducted and below it the employee's new balance. All this with absolutely no calculations needed! Lastly, add a manager's note if needed, and don't forget to press add time off at the bottom left to save the added time off.

A time off request with Connecteam

💡 Tip: If you want to add a partial day time off, and not an all-day time off you can! Simply toggle off the all-day time-off option and add the time-off hours.

A time off request in Connecteam

How to View Employees' Approved Time Off

Once you've set up your time off and approved requests, you might be wondering where you can see approved time off. The approved time off can be seen in multiple places making it easy for you to keep track of who is off them. Let's go over all the options below.

The Time Off Lobby - Simply enter the time-off lobby, and right away you will be able to see all the users who made requests and their approved time-off. To view a breakdown of their remaining balance, hover over the total remaining balance. To view their individual requests, click on the line with their name and scroll down to see their past requests.

💡 Tip: If you want to get a breakdown of the approved time off per a policy and not by all users, simply select the drop-down and change the policy.

The Employee's User Profile - In the employee profile you can navigate to the time of time. Here you can see all the policies they are assigned to, their balances, and their request history.

Time off on the Admin Tab

As a mobile-first solution Connecteam, helps you manage your employees' time off whether you are in the office or on the go. From the admin tab just click on the time off feature. Here you can see who is on time off today, approve or decline any pending requests, view request history and add time off on behalf of your employees.

How Does Time Off Look for My Employees

For your employees, time off could never be more simple. By accessing their profile on the mobile app they can view all the policies they are assigned to and their balance for each policy. By clicking on view request, they can also view their past time-off requests, and easily request time off. To help your employees learn more about how to request time off both from the mobile and the dashboard, you can share this article with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I edit an existing time-off Policy?

To edit an existing time-off policy, simply click on the three dots found next to the policy you want to edit. Press edit policy and that's it! Note that here you can also edit the policy assignment, meaning which employees are assigned to this policy, or delete the policy.

Editing a time off Policy in Connecteam

How do I know which users are not assigned to a specific policy?

When looking at the time clock policies in your time clock lobby you can see the number of users who aren't assigned to a policy. This is displayed by a red person icon and a line through it and the number of employees not assigned to the policy written beside it.

Take a look at how this looks below:

 A paid time off policy in Connecteam

How can I change a user's time-off balance?

There are two ways you can change a time-off balance:

  1. Choose a policy and navigate to the user whose balance you want to edit, select the three dots next to his name and select edit balance, enter the new balance, and press save.

    Changing a time off balance in Connecteam

  2. Navigate to the user's profile, and to the time-off section. Find the relevant policy you want to adjust the balance of and click edit balance enter the new balance and press save.

Changing a time off balance in Connecteam

Can I add time off in bulk for my employees?

Yes, navigate to the time-off feature and select the time-off relevant policy, select the user, and then in the actions button select add time-off. Set the relevant days, and additional time off. If you have more than the one-time clock, then you will be asked to select which time clock the time-off should appear for each user. Take a look at how this looks below:

Gif of adding time off in bulk with Connecteam

Can I reject an approved time off?

If the user has not clocked in already and the date of the absence has not passed then absolutely! Simply select the policy and navigate to the user whose time off you want to edit. Click on the three dots next to their name and select view requests. The requests will appear to the right. Find the relevant approved request and select the three dots next to the approval button, then click reject. Take a look at how this looks below.

Rejecting time off requests i connecteam


In this article, we went over Connecteam's Time off feature. We discussed why managing time off is important and how difficult it can be to do so accurately. We went over all the in and outs of using our time off feature including activating it, the dashboard, how to create policies, how to approve time off requests, how to view approved time off, and how to add time off on behalf of your employees. Finally, we went over some of our most frequently asked questions. Now you can rest assured knowing manual time off calculations are long behind you and everything is clear and transparent to both your managers and employees.

Have questions about Time Off? Check out our most frequently asked Time Clock questions here.

Additional Time Off Resources

*Time Off is available on Connecteam's HR Hub*

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