Coordinating Vacation Time? Here’s How We Do it (Distributed Office)

February 19, 2019 |   3 minute read
Coordinating Vacation Time? Here’s How We Do it (Distributed Office)

We are passionate about our distributed office team - and when you’re working apart, keeping track of schedules is hard. So we wanted to share the way we do it.

Part of our mantra for work-life balance is to allow lots of vacation time, but we need to know when everyone is going on vacation to avoid everyone in the office on vacation at the same time. Luckily there’s a simple solution to keep track of who’s on holiday, and when. We’ll show you how to set up a shared google calendar so everyone in the office can coordinate their holidays with ease. The best part is, as long as you have a gmail account - it’s free!

Setting Up A Shared Vacations Calendar (for the Employer)

  1. Go to Google Calendar:

  2. Click on the plus button (see screenshot), and New calendar.

  3. Call it whatever you prefer - but for this tutorial we’re calling it Company Vacation Calendar. We suggest sure you change the timezone (otherwise any appointments won’t translate well). Then Create Calendar.

Adding People to the Shared Calendar

  1. Now we need to edit the settings and invite people to our new Company Vacation Calendar. So in the sidebar, under “Settings for my calendars”, click on the new calendar you’ve created.

  2. You’ll get a lot of different settings, but scroll down till you see the option to “Share with specific people”, and then click “Add People” (see screenshot).

  3. Change the Permission settings to “Make changes to events”. Otherwise your employees can’t add events to the calendar.

  4. Now you can add your employees using emails and they can start adding their vacations to the calendar!

  5. Your employees should get an email notification, and the shared calendar should appear in their own Google Calendar.

Final Settings

  1. Some final settings you’ll want to change: under “General Notifications”, turn on Email notifications for: New events; Changed events; Canceled events; Event responses.



Adding An Event/Vacation (for Employees)

So for employees adding events to the shared calendar, here’s the suggested settings.

For a self contained title should include:

  1. Your name - state your name so everyone knows who’s going on holiday (it’s not bragging, it’s just letting them know you won’t be available).

  2. Holiday/Event - just state you’ll be away on holiday.

  3. Dates - when you’ll be going, and when you’ll be back

Delete Notifications - we don’t need a 30 minute reminder before your holiday starts.

Change the calendar - This is a crucial step!!! If you don’t change the calendar to the shared company one, it won’t add your holiday to the group calendar and no one else will know you’re going away. We recommend employers send a confirmation email when they see a new event added to prevent any communication breakdowns.

Add a description with any details. You can reiterate dates and times here because they can get altered by different time zones or daylight savings. null

Here’s an example of a completed one:



And this is how it shows up on the shared calendar:



 So there you have it. A free and easy way to for everyone to coordinate their holidays.

Get More Workflow Tips for Your Distributed Office

Google calendar isn’t the only way you can improve your workflow. We’ve also written about how you can use other Google tools to maximize your website optimization.

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