“We believe in time off. It promotes mental health and wellbeing,” says Gary Bury, co-founder of Timetastic, an app for planning, tracking and approving staff leave. “We’re focused on doing one thing and doing it well.”
Founded in 2014, Timetastic supports 7,500 small businesses and is run by six full-time employees. Everyone has always worked from home, mainly in Greater Manchester and Lancashire. “Since the pandemic, it’s mostly been business as usual for us,” says Gary. Timetastic is a Starling business customer.
Creating a simple, user-friendly leave planner
Gary, 47, and his co-founder Matt Roberts, 44, came up with the idea for Timetastic while working together at a text message delivery company. Gary worked as an accountant and Matt as a software engineer. “Both of us were struggling with paperwork and excel spreadsheets and multiple layers of approval for holidays. We thought that there had to be a better way.”
Together, they developed an online leave planner, which became Timetastic. “The app is a virtual wall chart that all employees can see and use to book holidays. Each employee gets their own calendar and they can see how much holiday they’ve taken and how much they’ve got left.”
Through the app, employees can make holiday requests. Managers can approve and also set limits on how many people can go on holiday at the same time within one department. They can also set up an integration with messaging platform Slack and receive a daily summary of who is off that day. Approved leave can be fed into a personal Google or Microsoft calendar and public holidays are automatically highlighted. Starling customers can connect to Slack through the Starling Business Marketplace.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve worked on and released a Pro version of Timetastic, which includes a burnout board,” says Gary. The burnout board factors in sick days and holidays taken, future time off and gaps between holidays. “If someone is overworking and not taking enough holiday, this will be visible to their manager.”
Digital banking for business
Gary came across Starling back in 2019, while looking into Timetastic becoming a B-corporation, a certified business that balances purpose and profit. Timetastic was approved as a B-Corporation in May 2021. He says. “When I read about Starling’s ethics, I was blown away.”
He downloaded the app straight away and applied for a business account. “The signup process was just wonderful. It was the little things like the way details were pulled through from Companies House, he says.
“The mobile app is amazing - I do all of our payments through it. I set up payee, tap, pay them, and that feeds in straight through to FreeAgent. The integration is beautiful - it’s instant, which is just brilliant.” Starling customers can connect to the accounting software FreeAgent through the Starling Business Marketplace.
Developing a different holiday policy
Timetastic is a company that walks its talk when it comes to holiday allowance for its own staff. “You need to be well-rested to be productive, which is why we focus on output, not how much time you spend at your desk,” says Gary.
“We have a minimum allowance of 25 days, rather than a maximum allowance. You have to take five days off each quarter and a two week holiday at some point during the year, plus all your public holidays. And if you want a few more days for a family gathering or birthday, that’s absolutely fine.” All time off is paid.
Timetastic also gives staff members impromptu days off. Gary says, “People come back revived, happy, and more creative.”