How to Manage a Time Off Request

October 22, 2019

Managing time-off requests is transparent and easy with healthcare scheduling software. Establish clear guidelines and use cloud-based scheduling software.

How to Manage a Time Off RequestSometimes, a little time away from the office is just what one needs, to relax, regroup, or just catch their breath while enjoying some fresh new scenery around them. Other times, putting in a time-off request is necessary, such as when an unforeseen illness or family emergency arises.

As mentioned above, there are two main instances where employees typically request time away from work, such as a true vacation time (paid or non-paid), where an employee needs an extended amount of days off, versus (non-paid) time off from a scheduled work shift that will be made up later.

Let’s explore this a little further:

Non-Paid Example 1: “I’d really love to attend my son’s first school performance, so can I work Tuesday afternoon instead of Wednesday?”

Non-Paid Example 2: An employee is ill and cannot make it to their regularly scheduled shift but can work another day instead.

As an employer, it’s inevitable that someone is going to request time off, or ask for a change or modification in the schedule, so it’s best to be prepared. By establishing a clearly defined process on how to fairly handle and manage employee time off requests, you’ll keep everyone on the same page.

Set Guidelines

Establishing a set of clearly defined rules when it comes to an employee time off request policy is a management must. Otherwise, you could face the possibility of dealing with employees who will consistently push the limits when it comes to requesting excessive time off and last-minute schedule changes. When this happens, it’s unfair to other employees who follow the rules when it comes to requesting those long awaited and much deserved vacation days. This may lead to bitterness or resentment among employees.

On the other hand, some employees may be shy or hesitant to request time off because they are unfamiliar with the boundaries and worry their request will be denied, so they never request time off, leading to employee frustration and burnout.

These all too common employee pitfalls can be reduced or eliminated by having a set policy in motion, which clearly defines the guidelines when it comes to requesting time off from work.

When creating your rules and guidelines, make sure to also address these important time off related issues as well:

  • When can they request time off?
  • How do they request time off?
  • How often can they request time off?
  • How far in advance do time off requests need to be made?
  • What will you do when two people request time off at the same time?


With Schedule360, you can configure the time-off request process to meet the unique needs of your staff. Annual vacation requesting guidelines can be set ahead of time, so everyone understands the process and all of the information is organized and easily accessible to schedulers. Vacations can be selected by staff through a series of “rounds” via Schedule360. Staff then participate in as many rounds as they have vacation weeks allowed. For example, if someone is allotted 3 weeks of vacation, they will participate in 3 rounds.

In each round, staff select 1 full week of requested vacation time (Monday to Sunday). After each round, schedulers can pause the ability for staff to request vacation time to approve submitted requests based on seniority.

Simplify the Problem and Solution

One way to decrease chaos and confusion related to time off mayhem is by utilizing employee scheduling software.

This simple software solution offers managers the ability to:

  • Standardize your time off request form.
  • Allow employees the ability to swap shifts.
  • Transparency in the way you communicate scheduling needs and changes.

In addition, Schedule360, makes it super easy to:

  • Request time off.
  • Provide 24/7 access for employees to view schedules and keep track of schedule changes and shift swaps.
  • Keep important scheduling information right at employees’ fingertips.
  • Allow schedulers to view those who need hours, and those close to OT.
  • Optimize shifts based on credentials.
  • Quickly fill open shifts as a result of call-offs.
  • Send out urgent messages regarding last minute shift needs and filtering it to only reach those available and qualified.

Schedule360 knows scheduling and the nuances associated with effective schedule management. Whether your organization is large or small, Schedule360 provides a cost-effective solution to efficiently manage your scheduling process. With Schedule 360 employee scheduling software, everything you need is securely organized in one place, making previously difficult tasks, like handling multiple time-off requests, a thing of the past. We’ve helped numerous organizations streamline and simplify their scheduling processes.

Our experience will give you confidence in our ability to transform the way you create your schedules and manage your workforce. Schedule a customized demo today to see firsthand the value our scheduling software provides. It won’t be long before you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.