Paid time off (PTO) policy

At Sourcegraph, every teammate has agency over how they create a balance between work and rest, so that we can stay productive and innovative over the long term.

This balance looks different from person to person and may be reliant on a number of factors, including a teammate’s preferred working style, location, and family obligations. For that reason, we empower our teammates to have agency over their working times, the vacations they take, the time they need to recharge or recover from being sick, and the number of hours they can put in over any week without losing focus or motivation.

Here are some basic guidelines to help our teammates navigate their paid time off for rest, paid time off for reasons other than rest, and working hours.

  • Important: please record all of your PTO (including public holidays) in Roots as far in advance as possible to notify your manager. If you have any questions about recording PTO in Roots, please contact people-ops@sourcegraph.com or drop your question in #ask-people-team in Slack.

Here at Sourcegraph, we have a flexible paid time off (PTO) policy. As a general rule of thumb, we encourage our teammates to take a minimum of 30 days total paid time off for rest in a calendar year. There is no set limit of the amount of PTO you can take, because our policy is built upon mutual trust. What we ultimately care about are your results… not how long you work, when you work, or where you work.

Paid time off refers to any of the below leave scenarios:

  • Vacation: we want you to take time off for fun. When taking PTO, the intention is for you to disconnect and get rest so that you can be your best self in work and in life.
  • Wellbeing: we trust you to practice agency over your wellbeing. If you are sick or need time away from work to regulate your mental and/or physical wellbeing, we encourage you to take time.
  • Life: we understand that sometimes “life happens” and you’ll need time off to do things that are not necessarily restful. This could include caring for a family member, bereavement, jury duty, voting, immigration or legal appointments, taking a pet to the vet, moving homes, and more.
  • Religious and/or public holiday: you’re entitled to all the holidays celebrated in your country of residence and/or by your religious denomination, and it is assumed you will be taking paid time off on these days.
  • Education: we have a generous annual education stipend and encourage Teammates to take time to further their professional development.

As always, please ensure you comply with your resident country’s legislated time off entitlements, if applicable.

PTO ground rules:

While you don’t need to ask for formal PTO approval for short-term time off, we do have some expectations and ground rules that we expect Teammates to follow:

  • Inform your Manager:
    • As a rule of thumb, you should inform your Manager a minimum of 5 business days before your upcoming leave, if practicable. All PTO must be documented in PTO by Roots at this time, and you can alert your Manager with a calendar invite, a Slack message, or both. Where advanced notice is not reasonably possible, you should inform your manager as soon as possible.
    • If you are paid through Remote.com, you also need to submit your PTO request directly in the Remote.com system.
  • Ensure the business is supported & get coverage:
    • Unless you have an emergency, taking time off should never be at the expense of your teammates or the business. This means that you must ensure that your work is supported by your team before you take leave. At the end of the day, teammates are still responsible for their goals/objectives. You need to either (1) make sure there’s a plan for accomplishing them, or (2) have a direct discussion with your manager about changes to goals and make a joint decision. It’s your responsibility to figure out how to make that all work.
    • If leaving town for more than 5 business days, Teammates are encouraged to utilize the PTO by ROOTS Assign Roles feature - it allows a person to add multiple people to delegate their responsibilities to and each person has to approve taking this responsibility (step by step instructions are listed below). To Assign Roles while you’re out of office, navigate to the PTO by Roots app within Slack and follow these steps:
        1. Click ‘+ Create OOO’ if you have not yet added your upcoming PTO into Roots.
        1. Click ‘…’ next to your upcoming OOO dates and select ‘Assign Roles’. Note: Your upcoming OOO dates will be visible on the Home tab of the Roots app when ‘Your Events’ is the selected dashboard.
        1. Select whether you are delegating responsibilities to a specific coworker or to an entire channel.
        1. Update the Assignee field with the correct coworker or channel name
        1. Enter in the Roles/Responsibilities the coworker or channel will be covering while you’re OOO. Additional details and any other helpful information can be added into the Role Description field.
        1. Click ‘Submit’
    • Any PTO that exceeds 15 business days within a 30 day period requires additional approval/permission, as this type of prolonged absence could have significant impact on the business and your team. To obtain approval, please send a Slack message to your Manager and People Partner.
  • Respect your team and the business needs:
    • Please be sure to be extra communicative with your Manager and team during popular or official holidays so that we can ensure we don’t negatively impact the business. In these situations, we need to ensure we have the necessary coverage and prevent situations where we have most/all of the Team out at the same time. This is particularly important for departments that have specific working windows or where the team’s presence is critical to accomplishing key business results.
    • For situations such as global holidays, team events, or other cases where the whole team might be unavailable, we recommend the following:
      • For on-call/support: during times when the entire team is OOO, we encourage teams to designate teammates who are “on-call” and monitoring Slack.
      • For travel to team events: there is a need for business continuity, so we encourage one person to travel a day earlier and one person leave a day later for all team events to ensure one person on-call while the rest are in travel.
  • Emergencies and unexpected needs for time off:
    • In case of emergency, we understand that some of these ground rules (such as around advanced notice and establishing OOO plans) may be infeasible. The expectation in case of an unexpected and urgent need for time off is to communicate with your manager and/or your People Partner when possible and as reasonably necessary. This ensures clear expectations are set and enables your manager to triage coverage issues that come up while you’re out.

Performance issues as a result of PTO: if at any point your manager determines that your absence is negatively impacting your team (including but not limited to, they are unable to achieve their own business goals because they are focused on supporting your out-of-office plan) or negatively impacting the business (including but not limited to, our customers or business health is suffering due to your time off), your Manager and the People Team will schedule a meeting to discuss next steps as this directly links to a performance issue.

Recording PTO

Please record all of your PTO (including public holidays) in Roots as far in advance as possible to notify your manager (ideally 5+ business days). Visit this page to read more about Roots and how it works. If you have any questions about recording PTO in Roots, please contact people-ops@sourcegraph.com or drop your question in #ask-people-team in Slack.

We want to capture your time off in Roots so we can stay compliant with countries where we’re required to track paid time off, but more importantly, so we can measure if our paid time off offering is effective at the company level and across all teams and departments.

If you need extended time that will impact your ability to deliver your work or may affect your teammates, please seek guidance from your People Partner and Manager so we can understand how to support you.

Using Roots - step-by-step breakdown

  1. Go to your Slack app and scroll down to “Apps” on the left-hand side
  2. Click on “PTO by Roots” (this will take you to your homepage, where you’ll see any upcoming PTO events and buttons to create a new PTO event and option to chat with support)
  3. Click “Create OOO” and you will be prompted with a new screen with fields to fill out
  4. Select your type of leave (vacation, wellbeing, life, religious holiday, public holiday, parental, medical)
  5. Enter a name for your PTO event if you choose (this is optional)
  6. Select the dates you will be out for that particular PTO event
  7. You will receive a message from Roots prompting you to designate teammates to cover you while you’re away, click “Let’s do it!” (Note: you can create multiple assignments)
  8. Select “coworker” or “channel” based on who you would like to cover you while you’re away
  9. Select the teammate or channel in the dropdown that you’d need to cover for you
  10. Write down a description of the role or responsibilities and add an optional description (this will be shared with the assigned teammates and used your auto-reply message if someone tags you while you’re away)
  11. You will also receive a message from Roots asking you if you would like Roots to automatically adjust your status while you’re away– please select “yes” to grant permissions to update your Slack and Google Calendar automatically while you’re away.
  12. Record your time off in GCalendar

Submitting paid time off (PTO)

Recording paid time off via Roots

We submit and record all PTO using Roots, which allows you to submit all PTO events directly in Slack.

Visit this page to read more about Roots and how it works.

Please see below for a step by step breakdown:

  1. Go to your Slack app and scroll down to “Apps” on the left-hand side
  2. Click on “PTO by Roots” (this will take you to your homepage, where you’ll see any upcoming PTO events and buttons to create a new PTO event and option to chat with support)
  3. Click “Create OOO” and you will be prompted with a new screen with fields to fill out
  4. Select your type of leave (vacation, wellbeing, life, religious holiday, public holiday, parental, medical)
  5. Enter a name for your PTO event if you choose (this is optional)
  6. Select the dates you will be out for that particular PTO event
  7. You will receive a message from Roots prompting you to designate teammates to cover you while you’re away, click “Let’s do it!” (Note: you can create multiple assignments)
  8. Select “coworker” or “channel” based on who you would like to cover you while you’re away
  9. Select the teammate or channel in the dropdown that you’d need to cover for you
  10. Write down a description of the role or responsibilities and add an optional description (this will be shared with the assigned teammates and used your auto-reply message if someone tags you while you’re away)
  11. You will also receive a message from Roots asking you if you would like Roots to automatically adjust your status while you’re away– please select “yes” to grant permissions to update your Slack and Google Calendar automatically while you’re away.
  12. Record your time off in GCalendar

Adding PTO to your calendar

Roots creates an event for you in your calendar that lasts through the time you’ve requested. We encourage you to invite your team and people you are collaborating with to the event.

Keep in mind the event that Roots creates is not an OOO type event. This means that meetings you’ve accepted or that you are invited to won’t be rejected automatically. This means you have to go to Google Calendar and create an OOO event for the length of the time you will be out.

Adding an OOO alert in Gmail

It is good practice to have an automated email response set for when you are out of office. You can do this by going to your email inbox, clicking on Settings –> See all settings –> General –> Vacation responder.

You can turn it on and off, select the range of days, change the email subject and add the content of the email. You can read more about vacation responder here.