Google has announced a new “Out of Office” feature for its Calendar service, allowing users to set customizable work hours which will let others know when they’re available.
Google Calendar will automatically decline meetings that occur during this time period. You can customize both the decline message as well as the visibility of the title of your out of office object.
A specific decline message can be set. Additionally, Google says Calendar will “try to intelligently detect” when an out of office object is created and change the type automatically, depending on the title entered. Users can opt out of this feature if they so choose.
When creating an event on the web, simply select the “Out of office” Calendar entry type. The Out of office object will have a different look on the Calendar grid, signalling to others that you’re unavailable.
Google is also looking to make it easier to customize work hours in Calendar. Previously, users could only set working hours to one interval for all days of the week, but now, they’ll be able to customize hours for individual days. Further, Calendar will infer the user’s working hours based on past scheduling patterns. The feature has begun rolling out and will be available to all users within the next few days.