Office holiday management is an important function of any business with many people opting to use spreadsheets to plan their holidays. This is fine for some purposes, but the spreadsheet method is outdated and even counterproductive in today’s modern world. It can cause confusion and frustration when the same vacation gets planned twice, or essential details get missed out entirely. 

There are many different ways to manage holiday leave at work, but one method that is becoming increasingly popular within the UK office is using a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are more manageable to visually scan than other methods of management, which can make them an attractive choice for busy employees. They also show precisely how many days you have left available or how many you have already booked off, making it easy to see when the next holiday period begins.

While this methodology works well for some people who are confident with Excel spreadsheets, there are several reasons why it might not be your best choice:

Spreadsheets are inflexible and can’t handle the complexities of holiday planning

A spreadsheet provides no extra functionality besides updating numbers quickly and easily. If you decide to use a spreadsheet, you will need to manually add information about each holiday day taken or any changes in your plans. Also, different-sized businesses have additional requirements for their holidays. 

For example, some companies send their employees on work-related training courses while on leave, and others don’t. You can use a spreadsheet for this kind of planning, but you will need multiple versions depending on the business needs of each client.

They’re difficult to share with other people, leading to duplication of effort and missed opportunities

As spreadsheets are just numbers, nothing stops two or more people from making changes simultaneously, meaning that you could lose someone if they assume that the other person has finished editing.

They don’t provide a clear overview of all the tasks that need to be done, which can cause confusion and frustration

People often look at spreadsheets for planning holidays, weeks or months in advance, so it is essential to view the information in a way that is easy to understand. If you are not very good with spreadsheets, have many different clients who each use their spreadsheet format or have many complex rules about leave to follow, it can get confusing when looking back through your records.

They don’t consider changes in plans or unexpected events, which can ruin your holiday

There isn’t enough room on a spreadsheet for every eventuality, but sometimes things change between requesting leave and taking it. If you need to change the holiday date or be ill before or during your holiday, this will not be reflected on your spreadsheet.

They’re not very visually appealing, so they can be hard to read and understand

When you create a spreadsheet for office holiday management, everyone who needs to use it must understand how to read it. There’s nothing worse than spending hours updating information just for someone else to look at it and think that you’ve made a mistake because they don’t know what the numbers mean.

There Are Better Options Out There

All the problems listed above can be solved using dedicated holiday management apps. These apps are specifically designed for managing holidays and organising all sorts of things like reporting, avoiding clashes on bookings, automatic calculation of allowance for users etc.

They’re simple to use —all you have to do is pick what leave types you want to be included, then start logging the leave booked by your users. The app will organise your list into months based on the start date.

The benefits of a office holiday management software product

  1. Flexibility – you can easily change the settings to suit your individual business needs for each client and modify them again later on if they change
  2. Collaboration – sharing information with other managers is easy, and no one will accidentally lose or overwrite any changes that have been made by anyone else
  3. Customisable reports – instead of scanning through many different spreadsheets that all look slightly different, you can configure your holiday planner to give you the kind of report that your business requires
  4. Reduce errors – using our online tool ensures fewer human errors when entering information. When done manually, there are more possibilities of errors since they are taken care of calculations and ensure that everything is displayed in the correct format on each report
  5. Security – you can save your records without worrying about lots of different people having access to them at once; we take care of updating information whenever it is requested by one person only
  6. Convenience – you will be able to plan everyone’s holiday quickly, efficiently, and with minimal fuss; all you need to do is input the start and end dates for each person on your team, depending on their annual leave entitlements

Final takeaway 

The reason for many of these advantages is that an HRMS system utilises powerful databases specifically designed for storing/managing team member records and other information such as job profiles, qualifications etc. 

With businesses constantly growing, the need for sharing/exchanging information across multiple departments is becoming more commonplace. This means that companies need systems that facilitate fast and efficient cross-departmental communication between employees. 

For instance, systems that enable multiple users to access the same database or are frequently absent from work instantly identify those staff members who may require additional support or training.