Time Management
Set & Share Your Google Calendar Status

Set & Share Your Google Calendar Status

September 15, 2023

Set & Share Your Google Calendar Status
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Set & Share Your Google Calendar Status

In the land of remote and hybrid work, communicating your availability to your colleagues is of utmost importance. In a physical office, you typically can see when your coworkers are in meetings, or they might stop by and let you know about their upcoming vacation before they head out of the office. 

In the remote world, we must rely on our tools and technology to help us communicate our availability and whereabouts. Fortunately, Google Calendar offers a status display that can do the talking for you, so you don’t have to think twice. 

In this post, you’ll learn: 

  • What the Google Calendar user status display is 
  • How to turn the status display on or off 
  • How to share your Google Calendar status with others (and where Clockwise can take this further!) 

Set Google Calendar user status display

The Google Calendar user status display is a fantastic feature for those on Business Plus, Enterprise, or Education Plus editions. When you or your organization turn this feature on, a user’s Calendar status displays across other Google Workspace communication and collaboration tools like Gmail, Chat, and Docs. 

One significant benefit of this option is that team members can quickly identify when someone is out of the office and may not get back to them immediately without pulling up their Google Calendar. In addition to the “Out of office” option, admins can select or deselect the “In a meeting” and “In focus time” displays for organizations that want to show different types of Calendar statuses.

Here’s a quick reminder on how to set up these types of events so your Google Calendar can pull an accurate status: 

1. Head to your Google Calendar. 

2. Click an empty timeslot on your calendar to create an event. 

3. Select the type of event below the title. Choose “Event” (for meetings), “Out of office,” or “Focus time.” 

4. Add your event details. 

5. Save!

Before learning to turn the automatic Calendar status display on or off below, consider what makes sense for your organization and teams. You should ensure your key stakeholders align before turning this setting on or off before you start.

How to turn on or off automatic Google Calendar status display 

Turning the automatic Calendar status display on or off requires a few simple clicks and selections. There are two crucial factors to double-check first: 

1. Make sure your organization is on the Business Plus, Enterprise, or Education Plus edition

2. Sign in to the Google Admin console using an administrator account (you won’t be able to change this setting unless you are an admin!) 

Now, follow the steps below:

1. In the Google Admin console, click on the “Menu.”

2. Navigate to “Apps > “Google Workspace” > “Calendar.”

3. On the Calendar page, select “Sharing settings.”

4. Select “Display of Calendar Status in Google Workspace.” 

5. You can apply this setting to everyone. Or, if your organization uses child organizational units to apply different permissions to groups or departments, you can select which child organizational units to apply the setting to. 

6. Select which statuses you want to show within Google Workspace based on a user’s Calendar status. The options are “Out of office,” “In a meeting,” and “In focus time.” Note that these options may vary based on your specific domain.

7. Save your settings, and voilà!

How to share your Google Calendar status with others 

When you head out on PTO for a much-needed and well-deserved vacation, the last thing you want is a colleague pinging you (or, worse yet, texting or calling you) to ask you to respond to an email. And when you are knee-deep in Focus Time, an interruption can derail your entire workday. 

Remember that our coworkers don’t know what we don’t tell them, but the good news is that your Google Calendar can help communicate your whereabouts. Here’s how the Google Calendar status display feature works across Google Suite products when turned on.

Sharing in Gmail

When you create an “Out of office” event on your Google Calendar, Google will easily share your status with others through your Gmail account. All you have to do is create the event on your Calendar, and anyone who emails you will get your out-of-office status so long as it spends the entire day or extends beyond your regular working hours.

It’s important to note that this feature only works if the sender has permission to view your calendar. So, for external contacts that don’t have permission to view your calendar, you’ll still want to turn your out-of-office reply in Gmail. 

Sharing in Chat

Google Chat shows when someone is out of the office and displays the “In a meeting” and “In focus time” statuses based on an individual’s Google Calendar when you turn these settings on. This is an automatic and easy way for your teammates to know when you are busy and may not get back to them right away that you don’t have to think much about. 

Sharing in Slack

Similar to Chat, if your organization uses Slack, you can share your Google Calendar status with others automatically by using the Google Calendar for Slack app. To use this app, one person needs to install it in the Slack workspace, and then members can connect their calendars to Slack.

Clockwise and Slack

google calendar slack sync

The Google Calendar app automatically sets your Slack status to “In a meeting” or “Out of Office” based on your calendar events. When the title of an event contains OOO, Slack will use the “Out of Office” status. Slack uses the “In a meeting” status when an event has other invitees. 

While these statuses are helpful, the Clockwise for Slack integration can elevate your status sharing even further. Clockwise syncs with your Google Calendar, and you can connect Clockwise with Slack to auto-sync your status. With our integration, you have significantly more status options available. For starters, Clockwise lets you choose between three levels of syncing for your statuses: off, with event titles, and without event titles.

We use emojis and descriptive text to help you communicate your availability to others. The different status options are outlined below:

  • 🗓 – In a "meeting category" Meeting (via Clockwise)  (For example: 🗓 In an external meeting (via Clockwise))
  • 💡 – Focus Time (via Clockwise) *
  • ⛔️ – Out of Office (via Clockwise)
  • The current phase of the moon [🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑🌒🌓🌔] – Before Working Hours or Outside of Working Hours (via Clockwise)
  • Blank – no description, shows when you're in fragmented time, in a meeting that Clockwise has categorized as not a true meeting (a hold, travel time, etc.), and on weekends.

* This includes Focus Time events you've scheduled manually using Google's Focus Time event type (paid accounts only)

You can’t go wrong with our Clockwise for Slack integration! 

Additional resources

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes on a productivity and career-related topics for Insider, Clockwise, G2 and other publications.

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