Information is good. Everybody knows that. We cannot make informed decisions without good, reliable data. But sometimes data can also be used just to get to know ourselves better. It can also uncover problems we wouldn't be able to identify otherwise.
While I have been thinking about what a good topic for this post would be, we got a couple of customer requests regarding the possibilities of integrating Team Trax into other systems or getting data out of it. Team Trax is our team availability tracking application, which by the way we have been using for years now in-house. Currently it is available as an add-on for Jira, Atlassian's flagship issue and project tracking software - both on premise, and in the cloud.
Back to the topic though, those customer requests made me think about how we have a lot of data already in Team Trax and what we could do with it. There was also a discussion going on about how we could change our office now that we are about half the time in home office. When we started getting back to the office with the worst of the Pandemic over, we didn't have any specific policies about home office other than how many days we should be in the office per week.
I thought it would be interesting to see if letting things develop organically resulted in all the days of the week to be equal in terms of office presence vs. home office or not. I know, it's a safe bet to say that people would probably be more inclined to stay at home on Mondays and Fridays for "obvious" reasons. Let's see if this is the case. I was also interested to see the patterns the pandemic caused.
First, I checked the 2020, the first year of the pandemic.
This chart clearly shows when home office became relevant for us. There is however something strange in this chart. First, I presumed that the months would be “flatter”, but it seems that we still spent a lot of time in the office. It seems after the initial panic, we only began to use home office more after August, when the restrictions became more serious. After seeing this chart and went back to Team Trax and checked our registrations and found that most of us really wasn’t at home for full weeks, so this chart seems to be valid with regards to distribution among weekdays. While Friday seems to be favored in the latter half, Monday not so much. I think the least represented day here would be Tuesday. What’s wrong with Tuesday? I don’t know. Maybe because that’s when you really realize that the week has started, so it doesn’t matter anymore?
In 2021 home office became more common, but based on the chart, the days still vary. Friday is clearly the winner here, followed by Thursday. Could it be because it’s next to Friday?
Going into 2022, as more and more of us used home office more frequently, the office turned into a ghost town on Fridays. It was communicated that home office should be spread more evenly. Looking at the 2022 chart, we are getting there…
For companies providing continuous services, it is also very important to keep track of taken vacations and make sure that they are spread evenly across the whole year. We don't work like that, and if we see how chart looks for vacations, it becomes very evident:
Of course, these charts are interesting to see, but the real value Team Trax provides us, is the ability to organize our vacations or home office efficiently within teams or the whole organization. Without it, it would be very hard to equalize the number of people in the office throughout the week without setting their schedules in stone and losing the flexibility we currently have.