Support Time-Off Guidelines

The handbook provides general guidelines regarding our unlimited PTO policy for both planned and unplanned time off. It essentially states: “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.” Due to both the customer-facing aspect of our work and the unplannable nature of support work, it is important that PTO is being taken in a way that is healthy for the team and our customers while still honoring the intention of this policy.

As such, to amend the company-wide guidelines for PTO, the following additional guidance is required when taking time off moving forward:

  • Communication: It is important that planned time off is submitted early enough for your manager to assess its impact to the team and mitigate it. As best practice, when planning multiple days off, at least one week of advanced notice and planning is desired. Even if you know in advance you are taking a single day off, it’s still desired to give your teammates as much advance notice as possible. With unplanned time off, communication (with your manager and the team) is even more important especially if it impacts your ability to deliver on your commitments.

  • Frequency: While we encourage folks to use their discretion in taking time off, we also implore that good judgment is exercised in doing so. Ensuring that time off is scheduled in a way that does not adversely impact the wider team and our customers exemplifies our “high agency” and “win together” values. A few practices that do not would be:

    1. Requesting extended time off last minute which inhibits the ability to properly plan for coverage.
    2. Regularly taking time off on Mondays or Fridays to achieve a ‘long weekend’ or a ‘4-day workweek’.

    While far from exhaustive, these examples are provided to underline the fact that the team and the customer experience should be taken into consideration as we strive to achieve personal wellbeing and rest.

  • Commitments and coverage: We are each responsible for ensuring that our work is in a good place for the period that we are out, be it casework or other team projects. You should prepare an OOO coverage plan prior to your time off. This is really important for all customer-facing teams. You should consider customer needs and urgency and identify tickets that should be transferred to teammates to take forward in your absence. Regardless of case transfer, you should designate a backup SE (first have a direct conversation with the individual and then add them to the OOO plan for transparency) for each ticket within customer timezone in the event that something arises during your time off and requires assistance. You should add your backup as a follower of the ticket so they receive any notifications. Once your plan is in place, share with your manager so they have access to it if anything comes up in your absence. As best practice, it’s great to notify the customer that you’ll be out and mention your backup teammate who’ll help them in your stead.

  • Capacity: As best practice, we want to ideally try and have no more than one team member from each time zone that we cover (EMEA, Early US, Late US or APAC) out for personal leave at any given time (not including holidays). This ensures that we always have adequate capacity to receive new cases. We can confirm who’s out at any given time by looking at the CS Gcal.

  • Manager consultation: Folks are encouraged to consult their manager if they require additional guidance or clarification as they schedule PTO.

Appendix: Current CS team distribution

Coverage BlocksSEs
EMEA ( -)Mariam, Michael, Stompy
Early US ( - )Alex, Jason,
Late US ( - )Gabe, Warren, Morgan
APAC ( - )Rakesh