Set up Out-of-Office in Google Calendar

How to set up Out-of-Office in Google Calendar and Gmail

Heading out of office? Studies show that taking a vacation can significantly improve your well-being and contribute to a more sustainable workplace culture. However, stepping away from work can sometimes feel daunting, especially when it comes to managing your calendar and email communications. Fear not! With the power of automation in Google Calendar and Gmail, setting up your out-of-office notifications has never been easier.

Read on to discover how to seamlessly integrate out-of-office settings into your Google Calendar and Gmail accounts, ensuring that you can fully disconnect and enjoy your time away without worrying about missed meetings or unanswered emails.

Setting Up Out-of-Office in Google Calendar

Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, Google Calendar offers straightforward options for marking your out-of-office time.

On a Computer

  • Access Google Calendar: Open your preferred web browser and navigate to Google Calendar.
  • Create an Event: Once in Google Calendar, locate the dates you’ll be out-of-office and click on them to create an event.
  • Customize Decline Settings: In the event creation window, customize your decline settings to automatically decline meeting invitations that overlap with your out-of-office time. You can choose from options such as automatically declining all meetings or only new meeting invitations.
  • Adjust Privacy Settings: Depending on your preferences, adjust the privacy settings of the event. You can choose to make the event public, private, or adopt the privacy settings of the calendar it’s on.

On Mobile Devices (Android & iOS)

  • Access Google Calendar App: Open the Google Calendar app on your mobile device.
  • Add Out-of-Office Event: Tap the plus icon located at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • Select “Out of office”: From the options provided, select “Out of office” to create the event.
  • Enter Dates: Enter the dates for your out-of-office event in the designated fields.
  • Customize Settings: Customize decline settings and privacy preferences directly from your mobile device according to your preferences.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively set up out-of-office notifications in Google Calendar, ensuring that your colleagues are aware of your availability during your absence. Whether you’re using a computer or mobile device, Google Calendar makes it easy to manage your schedule and communicate your out-of-office status.

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Setting Up Auto-Reply in Gmail

Ensure that your colleagues and contacts are aware of your absence by setting up an auto-reply in Gmail.

On a Computer

  • Navigate to Gmail Settings: Open Gmail in your web browser and click on the gear icon located in the top right corner. From the dropdown menu, select “See all settings.”
  • Enable Vacation Responder: In the settings menu, navigate to the “Vacation responder” section. Click on the toggle switch to turn on the vacation responder.
  • Specify Date Range and Message: Set the start and end dates for your auto-reply period. Then, compose your vacation message in the designated text box. You can customize the subject line and message content to inform recipients of your absence.
  • Choose Recipients: Decide whether you want only your contacts to receive the auto-response or if you want it to be sent to anyone who emails you during your absence.
  • Save Changes: Once you have configured your vacation responder settings, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Save Changes” button to apply your settings.

On Mobile Devices (Android & iOS)

  • Open Gmail App Settings: Launch the Gmail app on your mobile device and tap on the menu icon (typically three horizontal lines) located in the top left corner of the screen.
  • Access Vacation Responder: Scroll down to find and select “Settings” from the menu options. Then, tap on your email account to access the settings specific to that account.
  • Enable Vacation Responder: In your account settings, locate the “Vacation responder” option and tap on it to enable the feature.
  • Set Date Range and Message: Enter the start and end dates for your vacation responder period. Next, compose your auto-reply message in the provided text field. Ensure that your message clearly communicates your absence and provides alternative contact information if necessary.
  • Save Changes: After composing your vacation message, tap on the “Save” or “Done” button to save your settings. Your auto-reply will now be active, notifying anyone who emails you during your absence.

By following these steps, you can set up an auto-reply in Gmail to inform senders of your absence and ensure that they receive a prompt notification of your unavailability. Whether you’re using a computer or mobile device, Gmail’s vacation responder feature makes it easy to manage your email communications during periods of absence.

Syncing Out-of-Office Events with Shared Team Calendar and Slack Status

For seamless team coordination, consider syncing your out-of-office events with your team calendar and Slack status.

Utilizing Team Calendar

  • Integration: Explore options to integrate your personal calendar, such as Google Calendar, with your team’s shared calendar platform, such as Microsoft Outlook or a dedicated team scheduling tool.
  • Sync Out-of-Office Events: Once integrated, ensure that your out-of-office events are synced across all calendars. This allows your team members to easily view your availability and plan meetings accordingly.
  • Visibility Settings: Adjust the visibility settings of your out-of-office events to ensure that they are visible to relevant team members. This helps prevent scheduling conflicts and ensures that everyone is aware of your absence.

Updating Slack Status

  • Utilize Slack Integrations: If your team uses Slack for communication, leverage integrations or built-in features to automatically update your Slack status when you’re out-of-office.
  • Automate Status Updates: Explore Slack apps or bots that allow you to automate status updates based on your calendar events. This ensures that your Slack status accurately reflects your availability without manual intervention.
  • Communication: Communicate with your team members about the significance of Slack status updates during your absence. Encourage them to check your status before reaching out to you, promoting efficient communication within the team.


Setting up out-of-office notifications in Google Calendar and Gmail is a simple yet essential step in ensuring a smooth and stress-free vacation experience. By utilizing automation features, you can confidently disconnect from work knowing that your calendar and email communications are well-managed in your absence.

Remember, taking time off is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and promoting overall well-being. So, don’t hesitate to utilize these tools and prioritize your time away from the office. Your future self will thank you for it!

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