While commenting on something in Google Docs, you’ve always been able to assign that comment or “task” if you will to anyone in your organization without restriction. Unfortunately, if that person is “OOO” or out of office, it would sit in their Gmail inbox until they returned. A new update to Google Docs comments will now clearly notify you if the person you’re @mentioning is out of office so that you can plan around it, choose someone else to assign it to, or at the very least, be aware of the fact that you’ll be bothering them on vacation.
The yellow banner that populates the comment card shows the mentioned individual’s name, and when they ought to be back in office based on their working hours and availability settings in Google Calendar.
If your workforce has not yet set their availability in Calendar, simply visit Google Calendar on the web, click the cogwheel settings icon at the top right of the screen, navigate to ‘Working Hours’ under the general tab on the left sidebar, click ‘Enable working hours’, and set them up from there. In order to benefit from the OOO comment banner, you’ll need to make sure that everyone does this.
Google Docs comment alerts for out of office individuals require no set up by admins or end users and should be rolling out over the next 14 days for Rapid Release domains. If you have a Scheduled Release domain, you can expect this to be accessible anywhere between February 15 and the beginning of March. How do you manage out of office workflows within your organization? I’d be interested in discussing in the comments!
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