Google Calendar has received a new ‘Out of office’ entry type and an option to customise working hours to help you better balance between your work and personal time. The latest additions come more than a month after Google announced its Digital Wellbeing initiative at I/O 2018 to let users intrinsically curb device addiction. In the future, the search giant is in plans to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to enable the Calendar app to change the entry type automatically by taking the object and title entered into account.
When creating an event on the Web version of Google Calendar, you can now select the ‘Out of office’ entry type that sits next to Event, Reminder, and Appointment slots types. This makes it easier to show on your work calendar that you’re not in the office on a particular date. Once you create an event with Out of office entry, the entire day will be highlighted differently. Also, during the days that have been marked as ‘out of office’, Google Calendar will automatically decline all the requested meetings and respond with a customisable message. You can additionally customise the visibility of the title of your ‘out of office’ object.
As we mentioned, in addition to the existing development, Google Calendar is set to receive an AI treatment to automatically change the entry type to Out of office. “Going forward, Google Calendar will try to intelligently detect, based on the title entered, when you’re creating an out of office object and change the type automatically,” the Google Calendar team writes in a blog post. Having said that, you’ll be provided with the option to manually change the automatically selected entry type if you’d like to use a different type.
Alongside the updates to help you mark your absence on your work calendar, Google Calendar has also added the ability to restrict your working hours. This means once you’ve set your working hours to one interval for all days of the week, you won’t receive any meeting requests outside of those hours. People who try to schedule meetings with you beyond your working hours will receive a message that you’re not available at that time.
“Based on your timezone and past scheduling patterns, Google Calendar can now infer your working hours. You may see a prompt asking you to set them, and you can further customise them as needed,” the Google Calendar team said while elaborating on the working hour development.
The Out of office entry type and working hours feature will debut for all G Suite users in the next few days.