Delegate work when you're out of office

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  • 1. Share your out-of-office details

    Choose your communication tool depending on who you're corresponding with (for example, send an email to your boss or a quick message to teammates).

    1. Open Gmail.
    2. On the left, click   Compose .
    3. (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize   or Exit full screen   .
    4. Add recipients and a subject.
    5. Enter your message.

      Email you start writing but don't send are automatically saved in Drafts on the left.

    6. (Optional) Add attachments, such as Drive files drive or photos image.
    7. Click Send.

    Tip: To cancel sending an email, at the bottom of the window, click Undo. This option appears briefly, but you can change how long it lasts. See Undo sending your mail.

    Send a direct message to someone:

    1. Open Chat.
    2. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
    3. Enter a name or email address or select a contact from the suggestions.
    4. Enter your direct message and click Send  .

    Send a direct message to a group:

    1. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots > Group Message.
    2. Enter names or email addresses or select contacts from the suggestions.
    3. After you add your contacts, click Message.
    4. Enter your DM and click Send  .
    5. (Optional) To hide a group DM, on the left, point to the direct message and click More more_vert > Hide conversation remove_circle_outline.

  • 2. Add out-of-office dates to your calendar

    If you’re out of the office, update your Google Calendar so co-workers know you’re away from work.

    1. In your calendar grid, click the first day that you're away from work.
    2. Click Out of office and select a time period.
    3. (Optional) To explain you're away from work, enter a message in the Decline message section.
    4. In the Visibility section, choose an option:
      • Public
      • Default visibility
      • Private
    5. Click Save. Any new and existing meetings during this time will be automatically declined.

  • 3. Cancel or reschedule meetings

    You also need to make sure you decline or reschedule any meetings. You can send a note to your guests to explain your absence or reschedule a meeting.

    Decline a meeting and send a note to guests:

    1. In Calendar, single-click the event in your calendar grid to preview it.
    2. In the Going? section, next to Maybe click the Down arrow keyboard_arrow_down > Add note.
    3. Enter your note.
    4. (Optional) To select an RSVP response, in the RSVP field, click the Down arrow keyboard_arrow_down and select an option.
    5. Click Send.

    Reschedule a meeting:

    1. In Calendar, single-click the event in your calendar grid.
    2. Go to the Going? section and click the Down arrow keyboard_arrow_down > Propose a new time.
    3. In the Your proposal section, select a different time or day and add a message.
    4. Click Send proposal.

    Note: If the event organizer has given you access to modify an event, you can reschedule it directly without proposing a new time.

  • 4. Set up a vacation responder

    In Gmail, set up an automated reply to incoming messages so co-workers know you’re unavailable.

    Turn your vacation responder on or off:

    1. In Gmail in the top right, click Settings settings > Settings.
    2. Scroll down to Vacation responder and select Vacation responder on or Vacation responder off.
    3. If you turned on the vacation responder, enter the dates you're away and add a message. Then, select who should get a response.
    4. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

  • 1. Create a transition document

    Create a transition document in Google Docs or Google Drive—explain you’re out of the office, list the contacts who are taking over your work, and any relevant project files.

    Choose an option:

    • In Docs, scroll down and click Create new document add.
    • In Drive, click New > Google Docs > Blank document or From a template.

  • 2. Search for co-workers

    If you’re handing over a project and you need to find other people in your organization, such as reviewers or managers, you can search for people in Google Cloud Search.

    1. Open Cloud Search and in the search box, enter the person’s name.
    2. At the top of the person’s profile card, select Start a conversation hangout or Email email.
    3. Click Reports to to see the profile card of the person’s manager.
    4. On mobile, tap the phone number to call them.
    5. (Optional) You can also do a search using everyday words, such as jane’s phone number. You get an answer card with the phone number for your colleague named Jane. If more than one person has the name, click the Looking for a different name? link.

    Note: You can see additional contact and manager information if your admin has added these profile details to user accounts.

    Find and contact people
  • 3. Assign tasks and share files with co-workers

    Assign tasks in the project plan:

    1. Open Sheets and select the text you'd like to comment on.
    2. Click Comment comment > Add comment add_comment.
    3. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. That person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
    4. Enter your comment in the box.
    5. Click Comment.

    Share a file or folder with specific people:

    You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

    1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share person_add.
    2. Under People, enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with.

      Note: If you can't add people outside of your company or organization, contact your G Suite administrator.

    3. Click Edit edit and choose the access level:
        • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
        • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
        • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.

      Everyone you share with receives an email with a link to the file or folder.

    4. (Optional) To add a note to the email, enter your note. To skip sending an email, uncheck the Notify people box.
    5. Click Send.

    Share a link to a file or folder:

    You can send other people a link to a file or folder so that anyone with the link can open it. When you share a link, your name appears as the owner.

    You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

    1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share person_add.
    2. At the top right, click Get shareable link.
    3. Click Anyone at your organization with the link can view and choose an access level:
      • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
      • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
      • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.
    4. Click Copy link.
    5. Click Done.
    6. Paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

    Share files and set access levels and visibility
  • 4. Explain who’s taking on your work

    Send an email to your team to explain who's taking on your project, and include a transition doc and any emergency contacts.

    1. Open Gmail.
    2. On the left, click   Compose .
    3. (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize   or Exit full screen   .
    4. Add recipients and a subject.
    5. Enter your message.

      Email you start writing but don't send are automatically saved in Drafts on the left.

    6. (Optional) Add attachments, such as Drive files drive or photos image.
    7. Click Send.

    Tip: To cancel sending an email, at the bottom of the window, click Undo. This option appears briefly, but you can change how long it lasts. See Undo sending your mail.

  • 1. Check in on work while you’re away

    While you’re away, you might need to check in occasionally by email or a direct message (DM) to see how projects are progressing.

    1. Open Gmail.
    2. On the left, click   Compose .
    3. (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize   or Exit full screen   .
    4. Add recipients and a subject.
    5. Enter your message.

      Email you start writing but don't send are automatically saved in Drafts on the left.

    6. (Optional) Add attachments, such as Drive files drive or photos image.
    7. Click Send.

    Tip: To cancel sending an email, at the bottom of the window, click Undo. This option appears briefly, but you can change how long it lasts. See Undo sending your mail.

    Send a direct message to someone:

    1. Open Chat.
    2. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
    3. Enter a name or email address or select a contact from the suggestions.
    4. Enter your direct message and click Send  .

    Send a direct message to a group:

    1. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots > Group Message.
    2. Enter names or email addresses or select contacts from the suggestions.
    3. After you add your contacts, click Message.
    4. Enter your DM and click Send  .
    5. (Optional) To hide a group DM, on the left, point to the direct message and click More more_vert > Hide conversation remove_circle_outline.