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Managing Holidays and Time off Requests with free Excel template 2021

Managing time off requests in a company by using excel templates is one of the most common practices in every HR department. In this article we are going to show you how to create a free excel template from scratch for managing holidays and time off in your business.


Download the free time off excel template

How to manage holiday requests from the employees

To use Excel templates as time off management tools is still one of the most common ways to deal with holidays, sick leaves and other time off requests in a lot of companies. With a mid-high level of Excel skills, it’s possible to create a useful template that can help you count how many days each employee will be out of the office. However, it’s not the most efficient tool.

If you already use excel to manage requests of annual leave you will need to complement it with emails to communicate with the employees manually. One of the most time-consuming tasks for the person in charge of Human Resources is talking with each employee and recording their holiday requests into an excel file, and then having to check that there are no other people already on holidays during the same days. And finally having to calculate the total remaining days that this employee can take out.

So depending on your company’s size you will need tons of patience and it may be a good idea to check some tutorials to improve your excel skills.

Time off manager techniques for businesses

For the team in charge of Human Resources time off management, managing time off is one of the most time-consuming tasks of the year. Their ability to organise the entire company calendar will help workers enjoy their holidays and keep a normal workflow at the same time, without any decrease of productivity for the whole business.

As the human team grows, this task becomes more complicated and negotiations with each employee can affect an entire department. In addition to the Excel file, there are other free absence management systems that can help you simplify and automate this process, such as Factorial’s free holiday management software.

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With the time off software, employees can request holidays through Factorial without the need to exchange cumbersome e-mail chains. The person in charge of Human Resources can easily accept or deny all these requests and see in real time if there is any overlap with another employee’s holidays or sick leave. You can even access it directly from your browser without downloading any program or plugin. We are open 24 hours, 365 days a year!

Creating a holiday excel template – step by step

If you still want to create your own Excel template, we will explain how to proceed step by step. First, you will need to install the Microsoft Excel or derivatives program on your computer. Remember that it is a paid program and unless your company provides you with the corresponding license, you can only use it for a limited time. Another option would be using the Google spreadsheets tool.

  • Create a new Excel file and name it so it’s easy to remember. Something like Time off Requests [Company Name] 2021 would be enough.
  • Start by immobilizing 4 columns on the left side of the screen.
  • After this, merge the cells in the first row. Here we will write the current year (2021).
  • On the second row, make divisions of 28/29, 30 and 31 days for each month. January, February, March… well, until December.
  • On the third row you can create a formula that counts the previous number + 1 so that the number automatically appears.

If you followed the steps correctly, you should have something like this:

Factorial HR time off template overview

Now return to the left part of the screen, to the section that we immobilised at the beginning and add all the information that appears in this other screenshot. Team, Employee name, Total available holidays days, and remaining days.

Factorial HR time off template vacation days

This first version of the excel template can help you keep track of each employee. If you want to have even more control of the tool, you can always add formulas to improve it.

Managing Time in Lieu with Time off Requests Forms

With a simple PTO tracking spreadsheet or employee holiday accrual template you can get by, but what about when things become more complicated. Managing time in lieu isn’t the easiest. Essentially, lieu time is paid time off from work. Rather than an employee receiving pay for overtime hours, an employee would receive additional paid time off.

The challenge with managing time in lieu with a leave planner excel or employee time off tracking form is that things can get very messy, very fast. The complications of how to keep track of employee time off that are granted from lieu, can be simplified in a digital holiday tracking calendar. You can easily add extra holidays for specific employees and keep track of how many days they have used and have left directly in the company holiday schedule template calendar.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re ready to save time, you can stick with an employee leave management system excel to manage time off and lieu requests, but we wouldn’t recommend it as the more hassle-free option.

✅Why not download our free holiday and absences template!

Factorial’s time off management software

If excel is not your thing, you can use the Factorial’s free time off management software. Forget about formulas, e-mails and counting days. By using Factorial you can easily accept or deny each employee’s time off request, check how many days this employee has already requested or check if the request overlaps with other absences. Automatically, no need to update calendars. You just have to decide and we will do everything else.

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Step up your company’s digital transformation with the help of Factorial HR – Try it for free.

This post is also available in: English US, Italiano, Portugal

Swedish Country Manager and Copywriter @Factorial

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