How To Track Employee Vacation Time? Best Ways Revealed

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Tracking employee vacations is important for the smooth functioning of your business and to ensure that your employees are fairly compensated for their time off. In this article, I will show you how to track employee vacation time. But before going on with how to track employee time off, let’s see why it is crucial to track employee vacation in the first place.

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Quick Summary 
Tracking employee vacation time is important for compliance with labor laws, resource management, encouraging employees to take time off, and record-keeping. While paper documents, emails, and spreadsheets can be used to track vacation time for free, they may be inefficient or prone to errors. Using specialized tracking software such as an employee vacation tracker app can be more efficient and accurate, especially for larger businesses. You can also make use of spyware if you want to keep track of employee vacation time secretly.

Why Is It Crucial To Track Employee Vacation Time?

Tracking employee vacations can be crucial for various reasons. Some of the most important reasons are as follows.

To follow the Law: Most countries have laws that require companies to track and pay out vacation time to employees. In such cases, monitoring vacations are necessary to ensure that the organization is complying with the law.

Resource management: Another reason why tracking employee vacation is crucial is that it can help managers and HRs plan and schedule work assignments. So that there is a sufficient workforce to meet the business needs.

To encourage employees: Allowing employees to take time off can help improve their morale, reduce burnout and increase productivity. By tracking their employee’s vacations, an employer can make sure that the employees are taking the time they need to recharge and come back to work feeling refreshed and productive.

For the sake of record-keeping: Monitoring employee vacation time can also serve as a record-keeping tool. It’s good to have a record of when employees have taken time off. It will help a great time in the future if there are questions or disputes about vacation time ever.

How To Track Employee Vacation?

Employers around the world use various ways to keep track of employee vacation time. In my opinion, the best ways to track employee vacation days are as follows.

1.  The Traditional Way

track employee vacation time

Traditional methods to track vacation time off are post-it notes, calendars, whiteboards, or notebooks. However, these methods can be inefficient and prone to errors, especially if you have a big organization with hundreds of employees working for you.

These methods can also be inconvenient, as paper documents can only be accessed when they are nearby, and they can be damaged or lost. While these methods may still be used by some employers, they are generally not the most efficient or reliable way to track PTO (Paid Time Off). They may be suitable for small businesses or for individuals who are naturally organized.

However, there are more modern, digital options available that can make tracking vacations easier and more accurate. Although it may be an easy way to track employee vacation, it is not the most effective one.

2. Email


Email can be a more reliable way to track employee time off compared to traditional methods such as paper documents. However, it can also become confusing and difficult to manage, especially for large teams.

Email threads may contain a record of PTO requests, dates, and other details, but they can be hard to reference and keep track of, particularly if there are multiple employees and multiple threads involved.

3. Excel/ Google Sheets

track employee vacation in excel

Most companies also use spreadsheets to track employee vacation time in Excel, Outlook, and  Google Sheets. It can be a good solution for you if you have small to medium-sized businesses. A spreadsheet allows you to create a calendar with information on multiple employees. However, as the number of employees grows, spreadsheets can become more challenging to manage and may not be able to accommodate non-traditional arrangements or a mix of different types of workers.

Moreover, manual processes like spreadsheets are prone to errors in payroll and time-off tracking. Therefore, it may be beneficial to consider investing in specialized tracking software, especially as the size and complexity of your business increase.

4. Employee Vacation Tracker Apps

employee vacation tracker apps

While the methods for tracking employee time off mentioned earlier are free to use, they do require a significant amount of time and effort to maintain. This can be burdensome for HR, office administrators, and managers, as they involve calculating balances and accruals and responding to requests. If your company has hundreds of employees then it’s even more difficult to keep track of their vacation using the traditional ways.

Hence, it is better that you invest in an employee vacation tracker app that makes it easy to keep track of employee vacation on autopilot.

However, when searching for HR software, it’s important to consider what requirements will best meet the needs of your business. There are many options available, so having a clear idea of your requirements will make the search process easier.

Some of the famous vacation trackers apps to track employee’s time off are as follows:

When I Work: This app allows employees to request time off, swap shifts, and view their schedules. Moreover, it allows managers to approve or deny requests and view employee availability.

Deputy: The Deputy app is another vacation tracker software that allows employees to request and track time off. And allows managers to approve or deny requests, view employee time off balances, and schedule replacements if necessary.

TimeOff: Similar to the other two apps mentioned above, this app allows employees to request and track time off. And at the same time allows HRs or managers to view employee time off balances, schedule replacements,  approve and deny vacation requests and much more.

5. Spyware

All, the methods shared above are legal ways to track employee vacation days. However, they can’t allow you to monitor the activities they are doing during their holidays.

For example, when they request a paid vacation, it is possible that they might be lying that they are going on vacation but in reality, they are going nowhere. Also, it is possible that they might be working on some other project out of the office and that’s why they need a vacation.

To find out the truth, you can secretly install a spy app on their personal phone or computer so that whatever they do or wherever they go you can know about it. You can make use of KidsGuard Pro for cell phones and MoniVisor for computers. Both Spyware come from the same brand i.e. ClevGuard and both work exceptionally well.

With KidsGuard Pro for Android, you can track their location, see their social media posts, and listen to their phone calls. While using MoniVisor you can monitor their emails, see their browsing history, and much more.

Overall, spyware is the best option to find out if an employee is misusing their paid vacation rights. However, it’s not legal to spy on employees off duty. If you are found spying on them then you may have to face legal consequences. So take your decision very carefully.

How To Keep Track Of Employee Vacation Time? Final Verdict

To conclude I would like to say that, tracking employee vacation is crucial for the proper functioning of your business. I have shown you various methods using which you can track employee time off. These methods include email, spreadsheets, employee vacation tracker apps, and spyware.

The best method for tracking employee vacation depends on the size and complexity of your business, as well as your specific needs. Regardless of which vacation tracking method you choose, it is important to establish clear policies for requesting and approving vacation time.

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What Is The Best Way To Track Employee Vacation Days?

The best way to determine a method for employee vacation tracking depends on the size and complexity of your business. If you have a small business then you can track vacation time on paper or through spreadsheets. However, if you have a large organization then you may take the help of an employee vacation tracker app

Are Employee Vacation Tracker Apps Worth It?

Yes, vacation tracking software can be a really helpful tool for tracking employee vacation.

Is It Legal To Monitor Employee Outside Of Work?

No, it is not legal to monitor or spy on your employee outside of work.

About the Author

Ankit Prasad, an engineer driven by a passion for digital safety, founded SpyDrill to simplify cybersecurity. With a modest approach, Ankit shares insights on parental control and monitoring apps and effective protection measures. His aim is to empower users with practical knowledge, bridging the gap between technology and everyday understanding. An advocate for digital literacy, Ankit's commitment to demystifying cyber threats underscores his dedication to creating a safer online environment for all.

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