Automattic, Buffer, Zappier, InVision — distributed teams are on the rise. Thanks to high-speed internet and an improving array of online collaboration tools, many companies employ partially or fully distributed teams working across multiple time zones and locations, while HR teams and project managers are facing new management challenges.
Many think of distributed teams as remote teams — but there’s a difference. Remote teams have a physical office, although not all team members are located there, and can be spread out globally. While distributed teams are teams, or whole companies, that don’t work in the same location and don’t have a central office. As long as they can’t gather in the same location, distributed teams have to use digital tools that allow them to work entirely remotely and provide maximum collaboration.
Distributed teams have to work from multiple time zones and collaborate with others at the same time. That raises a question of how teams could track the availability of their peers? Or how HR teams and project managers could handle employee absences and vacations?
Choose the Right Absence Management Software
Distributed teams need to implement all sorts of software that would allow them to communicate effectively, manage time and projects, review team availability, and more. The software market offers hundreds of solutions, but it’d take weeks to review all the options. That’s why we’ve done the work for you and made a list of the features that absence management software for distributed teams should possess.
Ease of use
Absence management software should be intuitive so that any employee could easily navigate it. Pay attention to the software interface — it should be clear and straightforward.
For distributed teams, desktop software might not be the best option, especially in IT teams because employees may prefer different operating systems. In our opinion, you should consider web-based options with mobile support. With the web-based absence management software, all your employees will be able to access it through their browsers, while mobile apps will allow them more mobility.
In distributed teams, it’s essential that project managers and team members can see who’s at work at any given time. We strongly suggest that you look for software that offers a shared schedule, where all team members can see, who’s at work. who’s late and who is absent today or is going to be any other day in the future.
Automated PTO calculation
With paid-time-off calculations automated in your absence management system, your accountants and managers can forget about manual calculations in Excel spreadsheets. If you need this feature, look for software where you can set up custom accrual rules and manage PTO balances manually, for example, to add overtime to the balance.
Managers should be notified about late arrivals, absence and vacation requests, and more. While regular users will benefit from notifications about the absences of their peers, their absence requests approvals or denials.
Any business software should provide flexible user permissions, set up admins and managers to protect confidential information like reasons for requesting an absence that should only be accessible to team managers.
Free trial period & product demo
Any business software should provide a free trial, allow you to get some hands-on experience with it and decide if it’s a good fit for your team. Sometimes you don’t have much time to explore the software by yourself — in this case, the software vendor should offer you a product demo where they’ll show you the software, answer your questions and show you how to tune it for your business needs.
In a distributed team, if some technical issues come in the way, your webmasters or administrator may be unable to fix them. This is exactly why customer support exists. Usually, absence management software is available on a subscription basis which means that customer support is already included in the fee.
With these essentials in mind, we created actiPLANS — absence management software with rich functionality that covers leave management needs of any business and that is easily scalable according to the size of your team.
actiPLANS Absence Management Tool
actiPLANS is a leave management system that streamlines the entire absence management process. It allows you to request and approve time off in a few clicks, review available resources in the corporate schedule and keep Paid Time Off and Sick Days balances up-to-date.
With actiPLANS, regular users have access to the corporate schedule, can set up their work status, request leaves of absence or vacation and supply their statuses with comments. Managers can approve or reject leave requests, review the available workforce and distribute the workload accordingly. Moreover, they can create custom leave types, set up paid-time-off accrual rules, automate leave time requests and get an overview of the team absences. With reports, managers can also review users’ balances and identify trends.
What makes actiPLANS perfect for distributed teams is that it eliminates the need to do the most accounting routines, allows users to review peers’ availability and plan the workload accordingly. It also allows setting up time zones, configuring individual schedules and accrual rules, displaying user schedules according to departments and time zone groups. The intuitive interface of the tool requires no special training and allows you to implement and use the software right away.
What makes actiPLANS stand out from the rest of the offers on the market is it’s integration with actiTIME — time tracking software.
With actiTIME, you can manage projects and log time against them with a handy timesheet, browser extension and mobile app. Dozens of charts and reports give you insight into employee productivity, project progress and costs and more, allowing you to bill and invoice your clients right from the app. When integrated, the two apps share the same database, settings, user accounts and syncs the data between them.
How to Implement actiPLANS for Distributed Teams
- Explore the product with a free 30-day trial. Just fill in the form and explore the product. No credit card required.
- If you need a product tour, you can always request a product demo. Our product experts will give you a tour and show you how actiPLANS can help your business.
- Consider actiTIME integration. With actiTIME, you can manage time, projects, accounting and absences and sync the data between the products.
- Enjoy the product while your trial period is active and make a payment after it’s over.
Originally published at https://www.actiplans.com.