Staff Overhead Time

Time Estimates

The following started as initial estimates of the causes of overhead. They happened to result in the overhead we assume for time-tracked research support. So far, updates haven't had much effect on the total. While originally intended for only (time tracked) research support, there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to all work.

Being just rough average estimates, you can fill in your own values to determine your overhead more accurately. Follow the new value with an "enter" to cause totals to be recomputed. Force reload the page (usually shift reload) to reset to the defaults.

Days per year spent away from work

This is time spent away from the regular causes of overhead.

Vacation (we started with 20)
Statutory holidays
Illness (we started with 8)
Training (we started with 10, however 2.5 is closer to the CSCF average, so we'll compromise for now with 5, which is roughly what Policy 18 says about training).
Total: weeks/year.

Overhead hours per week

This is time that is usually impractical to track, or associate with specific work. At best we can only have a rough estimate of it.

Formal meetings with your manager.
Talking to your manager outside of formal meetings.
Any meeting or discussion with your colleagues.
Learning that can't be attributed to specific work.
Keeping up with mailing lists of interest and other information that isn't practical to associate with specific work.
Task switching and work record maintenance — notably a problem for Points of Contact, especially research support. We've yet to estimate how much time this tends to take, although initial estimates for research support suggest 2 hours per week (24 minutes/day).
Total: weeks/year ( hours/week).


Our time tracked research support is assumed to involve % overhead, which implies being available % of the time, i.e. hours/week. Our time estimates above imply % overhead, thus being available % of the time, i.e. hours/week.

So hours/week ( hours/day) is a reasonable long-term average for trackable work.

Only When Present

The hours/week estimate in the above can be misleadingly low, as it takes into account time away from work. Using just the "overhead hours per week" results in an estimate of being available % of the time, i.e. hours/week.

So hours/week ( hours/day) is a more reasonable goal for short term time tracking when at work.

Unavailable hours/term.
Available hours/term.