The Support Team follows GitLab's paid time off policy. And we balance that with the need to deliver support to our customers every day. This page is intended to provide all Support Team Members with an understanding of what we need to do to achieve that balance, making it possible for all to take time off as needed and desired while we as a team continue to deliver amazing support and service to our customers.
There's a special point that needs to be emphasized, and that is that time off for any team member only serves its purpose if that person truly takes the time off. Nobody should feel pressure or the need to check Slack, email, or anything else associated with work during their time off. Especially when you are taking time to be on holiday or to be with family or friends, please, in the timeless words of the snow queen, Elsa, "let it go."
When you are approaching a planned absence from work, it is your responsibility to take reasonable actions to prepare the team and your customers for your absence. By making these preparations, you will also be making it easier for yourself to disconnect from work and make your time off effective.
A little thoughtfulness on everybody's part will go a long way toward making it possible for everyone to take their desired days off. As you look to plan your time off, please:
There are a few things you will need to do just once, before you take any time off.
Be sure you have access to the Support - Time Off team calendar.
You should have been granted access when you joined Support. But
if you don't have it, please ask for help in the
on Slack and someone will share the calendar with you.
Configure PTO Ninja to link to both your personal calendar and the 'Support - Time Off' calendar
+sign next to 'Apps' at the bottom of the left sidebar
For planned absences of half a day or more, you will need to take various steps to communicate your absence, to reschedule planned events, to ensure continued service to customers, and to arrange coverage for your assignments such as being on call. The exact steps vary somewhat depending on the relative length of your absence.
Use PTO Ninja to schedule the time
PTO Ninja uses your calendar links to block off time in your Google Calendar, which has the cascading effect that Calendly will also show you as busy. As a result:
Check with your customers
For any tickets that will still be open and active during your absence, and that might require an update during that time, ask the customer whether they would prefer to pause the ticket till your return or have someone else step in to work with them. If they want to pause, put the ticket on hold.
Groom your queue
For each ticket that won't be on hold, create an internal comment summarizing the status and plan. Specifically, be sure to include:
Notify the team of your upcoming absence
Add an item in the SWIR document the Friday before your absence to announce your time off.
Find homes for your remaining tickets
On your last day, please inform your users that your tickets will be reassigned due to your upcoming absence. Then, find someone willing to take over each ticket, and if possible review the tickets with them before reassigning. If you can't find someone to take a ticket, you can 'unassign' by assigning it to a 'group' (e.g. 'Support EMEA', 'Support APAC', 'Support AMER'). If the user has specified a preferred region, select the corresponding group. Otherwise, select any group - the ticket will still be visible for all Support Engineers. Be sure in this situation to follow the Groom your queue process described above so that the next engineer can come up to speed very quickly.
In addition to the companywide tips in Communicating Your Time Off, take a look at these tips to increase your ability to disconnect from work, truly make the most of your time off, and make it easier to return to work:
Please consider adding an agenda item after you get back to let the rest of the team know what you've been up to!