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Google Calendar to allow separated working hours for flexible work timings

Workspace users will also get another feature that will roll out starting next week - allowing them to “repeat” out of office entries and then decline any meetings during that time.

Workspace users will also get another feature - repeating  OOO entries.
Workspace users will also get another feature - repeating  OOO entries. (Google)

With working from home during the pandemic becoming part of our “new normal”, many people have begun to feel experience burnout and fatigue as work timings and holidays get more elastic and flexible. Google is now introducing an improvement to its Calendar service, to allow for “segmented” working hours, the company said in a blog post on Monday.

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Google had already added in support for what it called “Working hours” a couple of years ago, which allowed employees to set their working hours to demarcate when they would be off-shift or just unavailable after work hours so any meetings scheduled out of office hours would show them as unavailable. However, the company is now adding support for adding a multiple durations to a particular day or to all days of the week.

How the new Segmented Working Hours will work
How the new Segmented Working Hours will work (Google Workspace Blog)

So for example, you could specify your working hours from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm and from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm and your colleagues would be able to see your “split” working hours and plan any coordination efforts accordingly. Google says these reworked working hours will only be accessible from the web interface for Google Calendar and are available for google Workspace users.

Workspace users will also get another feature that will roll out starting next week - allowing them to “repeat” out of office (OOO) entries and then decline any meetings during that time, so the organisers of that event will be able to see that you are out of the office and unable to join that meeting. Organisers will get multiple notifications for recurring meetings, according to Google’s release notes.

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“As many people have experienced changes to their working environments in the past year, their work schedules have also changed—and are now often mixed with personal commitments and other obligations. We hope that with the addition of repeating out of office entries and segmentable working hours, you can better organize your time and communicate availability to your colleagues,” the company said in its blog post announcing the feature.

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