Gmail can stop co-workers from emailing when you're on vacation
Though nobody likes to be bombarded by work emails while sipping cocktails on a beach vacation, we all know that things like that can happen. Colleagues may not realize you're not in and send out emails, messages asking questions, reports, et al. Now, realizing this problem, Google is rolling out a feature that would inform them about your absence before they write. Here's how.
Gmail already uses Calendar schedules to issue 'out of office' auto-replies when you're not available. But now, the search giant is bringing the same capability as a heads-up functionality. It would use your Calendar schedule to warn people emailing or messaging you that you're not available. This way, it could remind them about your plans, ultimately stopping them from writing and sending an email.
The heads-up warning would appear in a yellow-colored banner mentioning that you're out of the office and when you're set to return. The banner would appear in both Gmail's email composer as well as Hangouts Chats. Plus, if needed, users can also disable the feature by heading over to "Access permissions" in Calendar settings and turning off "Show calendar info in other Google apps."
As the feature clearly shows travel plans, Google has clarified that only people having access to your Calendar will see the 'out of office' warning. This means only your colleagues, contacts will see the warning, not other parties, like spammers and fraudsters who may want to know your schedule to trick or con you in some way.
Having said that, you should note that Gmail heads-up will be available for people using Gmail as part of the paid G Suite service. The company has said it will be enabled automatically for users on or before September 16, 2019. You won't have to update any app to start taking advantage of the new capability.