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Capacity vs. Availability - What You Need To Know
Capacity vs. Availability - What You Need To Know
Learn the difference between capacity and availability. Find out how cost rate, holidays and time off affect both of these numbers.
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Written by Kresimir
Updated this week

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Wondering how capacity works in Productive? This article will tell you everything you need to know.

When looking at capacity for a single person, this is the total number of hours they could potentially work within a time period. We will use one month as an example throughout the article. 

It all starts with the cost rate

The cost rate directly affects the capacity of a person. When setting it up, you get to choose the default working days and the daily capacity in hours for each employee.

In the example below, Peyton Place should work Monday through Friday, 8 hours per day.

If there are 20 working days in a month, this leaves Peyton Place with a monthly capacity of 160 hours. 

National holidays

You can find the list of national holidays in Settings > Holidays.

We will automatically pull in national holidays for your country based on the locale of your Productive account. 

All of these holidays are non-working days. Depending on how many holidays there are in a month, the capacity will be reduced accordingly.

Each of these holidays (unique days, overlapping holidays do not stack) reduces Peyton Place's total monthly capacity by 8 hours per day.

When creating a new holiday calendar or when editing an existing one, you can enable or disable the automatic holiday generator. Just click on the toggle button at the bottom.

Enabling this switch, holidays from the calendar of the selected country will be generated on a monthly basis. If you delete some holidays from the list, they will be added in the next holiday autogenerate cycle.

Disabling the switch, the holiday calendar will be empty and you can add holidays manually. By disabling this switch on the existing calendar, before-created holidays will stay, but it will not generate new ones.

Holiday calendars can also be assigned on a per-person level, ie. you can assign a different calendar for each person from your organization (employee). This comes in useful when you have teams/teammates that work for you from a different country.

For example, if you have a teammate remotely working in Canada but is employed in the US branch of the company, you can set their holiday calendar to observe Canadian holidays (and non-working days).

This can be done directly from the Cost rate settings on your employee's profile.

Note: Only admins can assign a holiday calendar! If the holiday calendar is not assigned to a person, a default calendar will apply.


So, Peyton Place's capacity is the total number of working hours in a month, excluding weekends and holidays (non-working days). 

However, this does not necessarily mean that Peyton Place will be available to work 100% of his remaining monthly capacity. The other metric we need to consider here is his availability

The available time is affected by time off, such as:

  • Vacation 

  • Sick leave

  • Other custom time off you can create on your own

We will now simulate Frank going on vacation for 5 days. 

This is what his vacation looks like in the schedule. 

As soon as we do this, you will notice a change in the time report. The capacity will remain the same, but the availability will reduce by 40 hours, becoming 128 instead of 168. 

The most important thing to remember is that all of the utilization metrics are calculated using availability, rather than capacity. This is more accurate because availability represents the actual number of hours somebody has spent working, regardless of their capacity in a certain time period.

Paid vs. Unpaid time off

It's important to understand that time off can be either Paid or Unpaid. Take a look at the image below. This is an example where we have set up a Vacation which can be either Paid or Unpaid. 

There's a big difference which you need to be mindful of. 

Let's use the example of Frank going on vacation for 5 days. 

#1 Paid time off

  • Availability will be reduced by 40 hours

  • These 40 hours will generate a cost for the agency

  • The cost is calculated by applying Frank's cost rate per hour during that time period

  • The cost generated will be $50.00 x 40 h = $2000.00

#2 Unpaid time off

  • Availability will be reduced by 40 hours

  • These 40 hours will not generate any cost for the agency due to the time off being unpaid

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