If you don’t like looking through emails while you’re on vacation, this latest news from Google will make your day. Gmail will be showing an ‘out of office’ auto-reply to your co-workers, when you are not available at the office. Google says this feature is rolling out for G Suite users by September 16.
The heads up in Gmail appears in the form of a little yellow banner just above the Send button, along with the date of your return to the office. Similar heads up pops up in Hangouts, if someone tries to disturb you or asks to make all the adjustments to the layout, for example.
Google introduced the same feature into Google Calendar last year. It allows you to decline all meeting requests automatically if you are using this out of office auto-reply facility. You should mark yourself as out of office on your Calendar, so that colleagues will get a heads up before they email you.
You don’t have to worry that anyone can find out your travel plans and dates. Only G Suite users will have access to this information, because they have been granted access to your Calendar.
You can disable this feature in the ‘Access permission’ section for all Google apps at one time, if you don’t like the concept or the way this banner appears.
The advantages of an ‘out of office’ auto-reply from Gmail you will get:
- you will not disturb co-workers while they are on vacation;
- you will know when your co-workers are set to return;
- no need to feel awkward if you forgot that your co-worker was telling about an upcoming trip.