How to configure Google Workspace for a vacation

How to change the settings in Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Chat before your head off on that vacation.

Before you close the lid on your laptop and enjoy the holiday season there are three Google Workspace applications that you’re going to want to configure. In this article we’ll help you decide how you can configure Google Gmail, Calendar, and Google Chat depending on how you want each of them to handle incoming emails, invitations and messages while you’re relaxing with friends and family.

You can decide to configure your Google Gmail out of office / vacation responder or Google Calendar out-of-office event at any time as they are time based actions. However, we would suggest that you’ll need set your Google Chat status to “On holidays” just before you log off, as this status update is immediate.

How to configure a Google Gmail out of office / vacation responder

  1. Via your browser go to Gmail –
  2. Select Settings, then See All Settings.
  3. On the General tab, scroll all the way to the bottom to the section called Out-of-Office AutoReply or Vacation responder, depending on whether your in the US or UK.
  4. Select the first and last dates you want your out of office autoreply to be active.
  5. You may want to add an email Subject, this added the subject line to the subject of the email Google is autoreplying to.
  6. Enter the Message you want Google to send while you’re away.
Out of Office 2

We would also highly recommend that you select Only send a response to people in my contacts and Only send a response to people in {{your organization}}. As you should only be informing the people you trust that you are away.

How to configure a Google Gmail out of office / vacation responder with Patronum

Now, you could distribute this article to all your users and ask them to manually set up their own Gmail out of office autoreply, or you could simply use a Patronum Policy and set a company wide out of office autoreply.

  1. Select Policies from the Patronum interface.
  2. Create a new policies, or modify an existing one.
  3. From the Workflow tab define the user cohort you are interested in managing.
  4. Now from the Settings tab, nativate to the Vacation section.
  5. Just like we did above, select the first and last dates you want your autoreply to be active.
  6. Add the Subject and enter the Message for all your users.
Google Workspace

Once the policy runs all the desired users vacation responder will be automatically updated for them. Configuring an

Schedule a Google Calendar out of office event 

As mentioned, in addition to the standard email out of office autoreply / vacation responder it is also possible to set your calendar so that nobody books meetings with you with you’re away. You can set this up way in advance of your holiday as it will only come into affect when you’re actually away.

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. Select the + Create button to create a new event.
  3. Select the Out of Office event type. This is important as this changes the type of event and will allow Google to autoreply to calendar invitiation.
  4. Add title, such as., “Christmas Vacation“.
  5. Configure the times and dates of your vacation, or change to an All day event by selecting the day with the event.
  6. By default, Google will now automatically decline all existing and new events on your calendar for the period of your vacation.
  7. You may want to modify the out of office message to someting more specific, maybe indicating then you’ll be back in the office. 
Google Workspace

Scheduling a Google Calendar out of office event with Patronum 

Unfortunately due to current limitations within the Google Calendar API it is not possible to create Out of office events programmatically. If you’re like to see tools like Patronum to be able to automatically set Google Calendar vacation responders please vote for the following Google Calendar API feature.

Change your Google Chat status to On holidays / Vacationing

  1. From the Google Gmail or Google Chat –
  2. Select the Status drop-down, in the upper right hand corner, and select ✏️Add a Status from the list of options.
  3. Select 🌴 On holidays or Vacationing, depending on your language.
  4. Select the Clear status after drop-down and enter the date when you will be back at work.
Google Chat Out of Office

Change your Google Chat status to On holidays / Vacationing with Patronum

Sadly, once again Google does not provide any API support for setting up Google Chat programmatically. Please see the following Google Chat API feature request and vote it up.

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