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Vacations Planning in OffiServ

by on March 31, 2011

One of the most awaited major features in OffiServ was Vacations Planning. And here it is.

Overview

Vacations Planning is a feature that allows managing employees’ vacations and absences. Usually its workflow looks as follows. First an employee selects dates range and absence type, e.g. annual. Then the employee submits it for approval to the employee’s manager. The manager receives an email about the new absence request and then he or she can check the request in OffiServ (via a link in the email) and approve or reject it. Next, the employee receives an email with approval or rejection. Approved request is presented in the employee’s calendar in green color.

Presentation

Here is a presentation that shows briefly how to use Vacations Planning.

Following sections describe more precisely how to use Vacations Planning in OffiServ.

Configuration

Enabling the Feature

Vacations Planning is a feature that is by default not enabled. It can be enabled on organization’s configuration page: Organization->Configuration menu position.

The picture above presents an organization’s configuration page. In the left panel, there is a list of all OffiServ features. In the middle (marked) there is a position Vacations. If you want to make the feature available, check the check box next to it to and save it. After refreshing the page new menu position Vacations is visible – just next to Resources.

Global Configuration

Now Vacation Planning is available and must be prepared for using. First step is to enter all absence types used in your organization. New absence types can be added on Vacations Configuration page (menu: Vacations->Configuration).

The page contains a grid with absence types. Each absence type has a name, a number of days a year and an addition flag configurable per user indicating if days can vary for different employees. If a absence type is configurable per user then additionally every employee can have his/her custom limit. For example, in some countries graduates have smaller annual free days limit than employees working already for a few years.

Custom Day Limits

OffiServ provides additional page where HR people can set up custom free days limits for each employee. The page can be reach via menu Vacations->HR Administration.

The grid on this page contains a list of all employees. For each employee it is possible to set a new limit of free days for any configurable absence type. As custom limits can vary between years there is a button Add new year on the right that allows setting up custom limits for another year. The combo box above allows switching between already added years.

Requesting and Approving Absences

Now the absences are configured in OffiServ. The absence types are defined, custom limits for employees are set up. Now it is possible to start absences planning.

Requesting an Absence

Employees have their own page with absences plan. It can be reached via menu Vacations->Your absences & vacations. The page contains a calendar with marked absence days, a form on the right for entering data for new absence, and a table with used days limits of each absence type below.

An employee can enter start and end dates in the form on the right but it is more convenient just to click on days in the calendar. After dates are selected absence type must be chosen. Then the table below is being updated and it shows how many days of given absence type are already used. Absence request is sent for approval by clicking a Request an absence button. When the button is hit then the blue selected days change their color into yellow. It means that the request is waiting for approval from the employee’s manager. Pressing the button causes also sending an email about absence request to the employee and the manager.

Approving the Absence

When the manager receives the email notification he or she can visit a page for approving absence request either by clicking a link in the email or via menu in OffiServ: Vacations->Absence requests for approval.

On the bottom of this page there are several buttons and among them there are two: Approve absence request and Reject. After hitting one of the buttons an email is sent to the employee about the decision. If absence request is rejected then it disappears from employee calendar otherwise it changes the color from yellow to green.

Canceling the Absence Request

In any time the employee can cancel his/her absence request. First the absence request must be selected in the calendar. It can be just submitted request or already approved one. When it is selected then a new panel appears on the right (instead of the previous one). It shows the selected absence request information and also Cancel button. Hitting the cancel button causes canceling the request and sending an email to the manager.

Summary

Vacation Planning feature in OffiServ allows configuring absence types with custom day limits and submitting, rejecting and canceling absence requests. We believe that it make planning your vacations in your organization more efficient, comfortable and pleasant. If you have any thoughts, remarks or questions on the feature then please do not hesitate  to drop a comment!

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