What is Absence Management Software?

Absence Management Software is a tool that helps organizations manage and track employee time offs including sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, bereavement leave, and more. It is also referred to as employee absence tracking software. 

Employee Absence Management System is also used to identify the different time off trends in the organization, locate absenteeism trends, if any, and uproot the cause at the earliest. The tool helps in maintaining a company where employees do not feel drained or underutilized, which are some major reasons for absenteeism. It helps maintain a happy working environment. 

In short, the employee absence management system helps in:

  • Framing the organization’s time off policy
  • Manages absence requests and approvals
  • Tracking absenteeism trends and patterns
  • Maintaining compliance across multiple geographies in accordance with laws
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Common Features in Absence Management Software

Absence Management Software handles your time off, that is your company’s leave management through which it gives insights into your absenteeism patterns. So, some core features you should look out for in Absence Management Software are: 

1. Ability to set up multiple Time off Policies 

As a growing or well-established company you would not stay in one time off policy for a long time. If you have a global audience for your company, you will have teams working for different time zones, which means you need different time off policies to suit each region your employees work for. So, go for absence management software that lets you create multiple time off policies and map your employees to each of them. 

2. Employee self-service

The whole point of having absence management software is to allow your employees to manage their time offs and vacations. They should be able to request different types of time offs, monitor the status of the requests, and keep track of their PTO balances just by logging into the system. 

3. Time off Approval Workflow

Recording all the time off applications, approvals, and rejections in a sheet or different software? Trying to merge data with your absence management system to figure out absenteeism trends? Please, stop. Get absence management software that inbuilt time off management.. That is, your employees can apply for time off using it and the concerned individuals can approve or decline it, while the software records it all. 

4. Holiday Calendars and Workweek

It goes without saying that your absence management software needs Holiday calendars and workweeks inbuilt, especially if you have multiple time off policies. Which means you would need multiple regional holiday calendars. There are tools in the market that come inbuilt with 21+ holiday calendars of different countries across the globe, making the job easier for everyone involved. 

5. Team Calendar and Availability

The major reason you are going to invest in an absence management system is that it can tell everyone in the team what is happening on the time off front in your company. So, one feature that is a must-have is Team Calendar where everyone can see who is in and out for the day and make work plans accordingly. This will also give HR personnel or the manager a quick bird's-eye view of the team’s overall performance in terms of absenteeism or overworking. 

6. Reporting and Analytics

The most essential feature you should look out for in your absence management software is Reporting and Analytics. This gives you the ability to analyze the time off trends recorded and take action as required. Tools with inbuilt analytics also come with inbuilt charts, parameters, and fields that make analyzing and reporting as easy as just dragging and dropping widgets. 

7. Integrations

Absence management softwares can be implemented as a standalone product or as part of a comprehensive HR management suite. Hence, the absence management systems should be able to integrate with other core HR systems like payroll, performance management, etc. Integrations with Outlook and Google Calendars also go a long way in increasing visibility within the organization. 

8. Mobile application

An absence management system that comes with a mobile application is a huge bonus. It allows employees to apply for leaves from anywhere at any time. Similarly, managers can also approve or reject these requests on the go.

Benefits of using Absence Management Software

Absence Management Software can help you maintain your absenteeism pattern, is that it? Definitely not. Using Absence Management Software in your organization has more benefits. Here is a list to convince anyone to implement one in their company immediately. 

Helps you put Employees First

Absence Management Software can help identify what’s bothering your employees. Why are they not taking off at all, or why are they taking off every Tuesday. You figure out any underlying issue and fix it by making your employees happy.

Increases Retention Rates

Happy employees mean loyal employees who stay with the company longer. Absent Management Software helps you keep your employees happy. Which means they will stay in the company longer and maybe also promote it and create a good employer image. 

Opens up and Improves Communication

When you are looking to resolve a critical issue like Absenteeism, it opens up a new line of communication and transparency among employees and employer leading to a better culture. 

Helps in Boosting Productivity

When employees don’t feel demotivated or burned out, they work better, contribute better, think better, and hence the overall productivity of the company skyrockets.

More Profit

Happy employees = Happy Customer = Profits. The ultimate end of this chain of benefits is that the company grows well and profits which leads to business developments. It becomes a win-win-win scenario for the employee, customer, and the company. 

How to choose an absence management software?

An absence management software is predominantly used by:


Hence, you’ll have to select a software that caters to the needs of all three groups. Below are some key points that you should consider before zeroing in on a particular employee absence management software:

Freshteam Absence Management Software

Looking for affordable yet powerful Absence Management Software? Let me tell you why Freshteam

is the tool you are looking for.

Time off Policy

Freshteam helps you set up time off policies in less than 5 minutes with its amazing features + it lets you have multiple policies for multiple zones. 

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Easy Approval Flow

Employees can apply for time off from Freshteam and it will automatically notify the manager or concerned person, who can approve or decline it with reason. It will be notified to the employee and his team members. It is all one flow working in unison to achieve maximum efficiency. 

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In-depth Reports and Analytics

Freshteam is probably only one of the few Absence Management Software that comes with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities. You literally have to do nothing, the software itself comes with 6+ curated reports that will give you what you need to solve your challenges. 

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How to track employee absences?

There are 3 ways to manage employee absences:

1. Tracking absence on paper

2. Using spreadsheets

3. Managing absence with an absence management product

You can use punching machines and biometrics to record attendance, but those tools are not suited to managing absences. That’s because they can imply an employee's absence only if they fail to punch in for the day - not in advance.

Let's expand on the types of absence management trackers in the increasing order of efficiency:

1. Tracking absence on paper:

This method was popular before computers came along but some small businesses still use it today. Essentially, an employee who intends to take time off fills out a register with dates of unavailability.

This step is followed by oral communication to the rest of the team. This method of recording absence and communicating it manually works for super small businesses like 5 employee strong consultancies that do not have plans to scale.

It causes confusion as the number of employees increases and for today’s businesses, it’s not viable.

The next best option is…

2. Using spreadsheets:

Spreadsheets make it much easier to track absences - compared to doing that manually.

Spreadsheets let HR record absences efficiently and let them give selective access to employees to ensure data safety and time off tracking. However, it offers limited capability. 

For example, what if the HR or the employee fails to send a team-wide mail announcing their absence? The team stays in the dark till the day of absence and scrambles to manage workload.

Spreadsheets are not good absence management tools because they rely heavily on human intervention, and thus are prone to errors.

Today, the best way to manage absence is by…

3. Using a Staff Absence Management Product:

A quality absence management tool can not just record absences but also automate the approval workflow. They come with the employee self-service feature that lets your staff enter details pertinent to their absence and submit for your approval.

Managers receive the leave requests as soon as it's applied, and can approve/reject it at the click of a button. Employees are notified of the approval status immediately and can plan their holidays accordingly.

Once the absence is agreed upon, the employee can inform the team about their absence.

Such a streamlined process saves your time in checking the leave balance of an employee, if the absence requirement aligns with your time off policy, if the team knows about the absence, etc. You can invest that time in making key business decisions.


What is an online absence management software?

The system that lets you manage the employee time off and absence data on cloud - without having to store them on physical servers that are maintained by you or another vendor qualifies as an online absence management software.

This means, with an online absence tracker like Freshteam, you can input employee information without having to worry about where it’s stored, how safe it is, or how it’s retrieved. We take care of that for you at no extra cost.

Why do you need an absence management software?

An absence management system will contribute to making your team better aligned with each employee's absence. It will also help you track absence in alignment with your company’s policy. It will save you hours by automating approval workflows which you can invest in core business tasks.

Each employee has a key role to play in your team. This means the absence of one employee disrupts the balance. Other employees have to fill in and manage two tasks at a time. By tracking staff absence, you can manage team activities better and reduce the impact on productivity.

But if the whole team is aware of someone’s time off - well in advance, they can plan work better. A staff absence manager tracker will help you get that alignment.

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