The holiday season is here, which means gift buying, party planning, festive feasting, and many out-of-office email signatures.

Because taking a break doesn't just mean turning off your computer. In today's hyper-connected world, we're expected to keep in touch – even if that means letting colleagues and clients know when you won't be in touch.

Your mind may be on vacation already, but it's worth taking a few moments before you leave to set up your holiday out of office message, block off that time in your calendar and check the settings in your messaging app.

Tick all those boxes, and you can happily leave your Google Workspace knowing that you won't return to the office only to be greeted by a deluge of unanswered mail and missed appointments.

A step by step guide to configuring your Google workspace

You'll need to be signed in to your Google Workspace before tweaking any of the settings, and bear in mind that the below changes happen instantly – so it's best to do them just before you leave the office rather than a few days beforehand.

Gmail out of office

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the cog-shaped icon to select 'see all settings' to access your settings.
  3. Scroll down under the default 'general' tab to the last section, entitled 'vacation responder.' Here you can toggle it on, select your dates, write a response and choose whether to automatically send your out of office message to users within your organization or all your contacts.
  4. Don't forget to save your settings before leaving!

How to add your vacation to Google Calendar

  1. Open your Google Calendar and click the 'create' button as if you were adding a meeting or other event.
  2. Select the 'out of office' tab and input the dates and times you'll be unavailable.
  3. It's also a good idea to give your vacation a title – 'holiday break,' 'family leave' or simply 'vacation' – so that others understand precisely why you've limited availability.
  4.  Under that same tab, you can choose whether this will automatically decline all meetings, including pre-existing ones, or just new meetings that other users try to book within that vacation period.
  5. Hit the save button to secure your changes.

Walling off those dates in Google's Calendar app means that anyone trying to book a meeting will automatically receive a 'declined because I am out of the office' message, but you can easily customize this within the 'out of office' tab for a more personal response or to include your vacation contact details.

Selecting vacation status in Google Chat

  1. Make sure you're signed in to your Gmail, then click the status button on the top right, using the drop-down menu to select 'add a status.'
  2. This gives you the option of picking from a more tailored menu, including 'commuting,' 'out sick,' or 'vacationing.' You can also add your own title to make it more specific, such as 'vacationing for Christmas'.
  3. Select 'vacation,' and you'll see an option to clear this status after a certain length of time. If you're out for more than a week, you'll need to enter a custom field with a specific date and time. Click' set', and your status will automatically switch over from 'vacation' to 'active' at that time.
  4. To save your changes and leave the status window, simply click 'done' when you're ready.

To find out more about how UpCurve Cloud, a Google Cloud Premier Partner, can help transform your business by implementing Google Workspace and other critical workplace tools, get in touch with us today.

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