Recently, the US company Netflix attracted attention with their appealing new vacation policy: instead of getting a set amount of leave days, employees can now decide for themselves when they take a day off. Most working professionals of this day and age definitely like the sound of that. Because who wouldn’t want to have more freedom in how they organize their time? However, this method also has a downside. After all, a company needs a structured, coordinated, and streamlined way of managing leave days, which is easier said than done. How could it be possible to structure such a ‘fancy-free’ leave system?

With great freedom comes great responsibility

It requires a lot of responsibility of employees to be using a leave entitlement system that isn’t based on a limited number of days. In this case, it is up to them to decide whether it is even possible to take a leave day. With every leave request, they need to assess the current situation within the company. Can they do without me for a while, and is there someone else who can take up my duties temporarily?

Absent or unavailable?

Working in the 21st century, with the rise of start-ups and self-employed persons, motivates companies to drift away from a fixed number of leave days. Netflix isn’t the only one to respond to this trend. Start-ups often try to draw in new talent by advertising the flexible nature of their leave system. But in their eagerness to please, companies often forget to make essential distinctions between different types of leave. As a result of this flexible working environment, the following question arose: to what extent is an employee absent when they aren’t at work? Has the employee taken a holiday or gone on an educational trip? And is the employee who is absent on Wednesdays actually working at home, and still available for questions?

Watercooler talk: a thing of the past

The days of catching up with your colleagues while getting a cup of coffee, and coordinating your leave days in the process, appear to have become a thing of the past. Good communication is more important than ever with the increasing physical distance between employees. Who is taking leave, and when? Is it possible to take the day off next month? Which co-worker may be able to take over my duties while I’m gone? Questions like these demand a fast and efficient reply, even when you opt-out of a fixed number of leave days, like Netflix.

The solution – a capable leave management system

When it comes to flexible leave entitlement, this complete liberty in leave-taking needs to be rendered clearly in a suitable registry. An elaborate leave management system allows employees to see when their colleagues are on leave at a single glance. Other than that it allows employees to effortlessly request different types of leave and gain insight into their coworkers’ rosters. As a result, it becomes much easier for employees to work out a suitable time to take leave. In addition, when using a cloud-based management system, employees also have the opportunity to request leave from a mobile app, or a personal computer at home. From there, they can also view the current distribution within the company.

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