With more employees working remotely over the past year, adoption and usage of online collaboration software (opens in new tab) such as Google Workspace (opens in new tab) has skyrocketed as these tools allow teams to work together no matter where in the world they are.
However, work-life balance (opens in new tab) has been severely disrupted as a result of the transition to working from home (opens in new tab). For this reason, companies such as Microsoft have introduced features such as Teams' virtual commute (opens in new tab) to help employees separate their work from their home life.
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Now Google is following suit with a new feature in Google Docs (opens in new tab) that will make it easier for collaborators to know whether their co-workers are available.
Out of office information
When replying to or mentioning another person in a comment, Google Docs users will now see their out of office (OOO) information.
If someone mentions a single user in a new comment or thread, they will see the OOO banner as well as information on when they plan to return to the office. In multi-person threads though, users will see condensed out of office information though they can select the info icon to view more information on each specific person.
According to a new post (opens in new tab) on the Google Workspace Updates blog, neither admins nor end users will need to take any action to begin using this feature in Google Docs.
For those who want to start using this feature, all you have to do is create an out of office event in Google Calendar (opens in new tab) and then share your calendar with co-workers by clicking on the three dots menu and heading to the “Settings and sharing” menu.
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