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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.

Updated over a week ago

Wondering how capacity works in Productive? This article covers 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 period. Throughout this article, we'll use one month as an example.

It all begins with the cost rate

The cost rate plays a pivotal role in determining a person's capacity. During setup, you have the flexibility to choose the default working days and the daily capacity in hours for each employee.

In the following example, Lucy Wu is set to work from Monday to Friday, with a daily capacity of 8 hours. If there are 20 working days in a month, this leaves Lucy Wu 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 Lucy Wu's total monthly capacity by 8 hours per day.

Pro Tip: Holiday Calendars

When setting up a new holiday calendar or editing an existing one, you have the option to activate or deactivate the automatic holiday generator by clicking on the toggle button at the bottom.

Enabling this option generates monthly holidays based on the selected country's calendar. If holidays are removed, they will be reinstated during the next auto-generate cycle.

Disabling the switch keeps the calendar empty for manual holiday addition.

Note that disabling the switch on an existing calendar retains previously added holidays without generating new ones.

Teammates with Different Bank Holidays

Holiday calendars can also be customized on an individual basis, allowing you to assign a different calendar for each person within your organization if needed.

This feature proves particularly useful when managing teams or colleagues working across different countries.

Use Case

Let's say you have a teammate who is remotely working in the UK but is officially employed in the US branch of the company.
That means you need to configure their holiday calendar to align with UK holidays and non-working days.

1) You can assign them a UK holiday calendar when you invite them to the account while setting up their cost rate.

2) If you skipped this initially, no worries! Locate the person's profile in CRM > Contacts and proceed to the Cost rates tab.

Clicking on the + Cost rate button or editing an existing cost rate (...) will open a window where you'll find a dropdown menu labelled Holiday calendar.

From there, you'll be able to select a holiday calendar and assign it to the person.

Please note that only admins have the authority to assign a new holiday calendar to their team members. If a specific holiday calendar is not assigned to a person, the default calendar will be applied.


A person's capacity is calculated as the total number of working hours in a month, excluding weekends and holidays (non-working days).

However, it's important to note that having the calculated monthly capacity doesn't necessarily mean that the person will be available to work at 100%. Another crucial metric to consider is their availability.

Availability is influenced by various forms of time off, including vacation, sick leave or any other custom time off that can be created independently.

Use Case: Availability

Let's look at another example, that of Frank The Dog. Frank requested 5 full days off in January.

Note that Frank's capacity is 176 hours for January (8 hours a day, Monday-Friday minus the bank holidays and weekends, as set in Frank's cost rates).

Requesting 5 days off will reflect a change in Frank's availability as seen in Resourcing and the Capacity and Availability report (Reports > From scratch > Capacity and Availability).

In other words, Frank's capacity will stay the same, while his availability will decrease by 40 hours, settling at 136 instead of 176 (do note that Frank hasn't been booked for any other services in January).

In Productive, all utilization metrics are calculated using availability rather than capacity. This is a more accurate measure as it represents the actual number of hours an individual has worked, regardless of their capacity within a specific time frame.

Paid vs. Unpaid time off

It's key to recognize that time off can fall into either the Paid or Unpaid category. In the example below, we're setting up a time-off category with the option for it to be either Paid or Unpaid (Settings > Time off).

It's important to be aware of the two categories' significant distinction. Consider, for instance, the scenario of Frank taking a 5-day vacation.

#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 period (e.g. 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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