We take time off work. That’s cool—it’s part of our working lives—yet in a busy company, it’s never quite apparent who’s in or who’s out. Add a few remote workers to the mix and holy cow, the only time you’ll realise that someone isn’t at work is when you actually need them.
You know the scenario.
The client needs a few urgent changes done to the website that Bob has been working on. You reply to them, saying no problem and fire the changes over to Bob — no wait — where the heck is Bob? Oh, Bob is off this week on a skiing trip. Didn’t anyone tell you?
Project management is easy whenever workers’ lives don’t mess up our carefully crafted and beautiful little Gantt charts, right?
It’s not the end of the world or anything unless the client really can’t wait, and Bob is the only person who can make the changes — that’s for another post! But damn, it’s one pain when you planned out a few of your projects on the assumption that nobody was going to be on holidays — it’s freaking only February after all! 😠
A Shared Calendar on its Own Won’t do the Job
Yeah, I hear you telling me to set up a shared calendar — but sorry, that won’t do the job entirely. Sure, it might help plan projects and resources a little better, but I don’t look at a calendar every time I send a message or create a to-do for a colleague, and whilst I’m all for transparency, I’m not comfortable sharing the staff calendar with all our clients so they know I’m off for an operation in August! Now you know!
What if I could just see at a glance who is off today? That’s exactly what we’ve added to the Tameday dashboard and it works remarkably well. It just provides everyone with enough information to frame their communications for the day ahead. By knowing in advance that Emmet if off today, I can quickly discard things related to his work and concentrate on other things.
Context Helps to Make Informed Decisions
Even on a weekly basis, it’s useful to have a little understanding about who’s going to be available for work that week and who isn’t. Every Monday morning, Tameday sends staff users an email outlining who is going to be on leave from work in during the coming week. Of course that can change daily but a little heads up about those people who have booked time off is incredibly useful to know when planning the work ahead.
When I send a message to a colleague, it would be nice to see if they’re out of the office before I start to write it up. I could still send that message, but I may choose to direct it to someone else instead.
If I’m about to create a to-do for Bob to ask him to make those website changes, it would be nice to know he’s not available. I can then get someone else to do it or make the decision to post the to-do for Bob anyway, as it can wait until he’s back.
All great, but things start to hit the fan when the client wants something done! What are you going to do then?
Give the Client Context Too
If a client is about to request new design concepts for this Friday and you can quickly tell them that their preferred senior designer isn’t available, they may decide to hold off until she’s back.
Urgent very rarely means urgent. People unknowingly use the term as an insurance policy, to get their request pushed to the top of your list and done in a reasonable time.
Suddenly, those urgent design concepts for Friday become design concepts for the right designer, when they’re back in the office.
Got a Solution for This?
Funny you should ask, we do. It’s called Tameday and it’s an online project management and team collaboration solution that aims to take away as many pain points from your workday as possible — like knowing who’s at work and who isn’t. It’s suitable for small businesses of all types and has all the tools you need to manage projects, chat and communicate with colleagues and clients, and more.