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Preventing Summer Stall: How to Prepare for Users' Vacations


July 30, 2014

2 minute read

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With many users taking time off during the summer months, it’s challenging to keep up with everyone’s schedule and who is still in the office to field emails and manage projects while others are away. Especially for customer-facing teams, it’s essential to let contacts know that you’re out and will be slow responding to messages, and who to get in touch with instead if something urgent arises.

While there are a tools available via Gmail settings that users can apply in anticipation of a trip, most users neglect their inbox completely in order to unplug. To ensure that business doesn’t slow while users are away, there are a few actions you can take through BetterCloud to prepare your users’ inboxes in advance.

Set an Auto Reply

In the case that a user forgets to set a vacation responder and intends to go off the grid for a few days or more, consider doing so on their behalf. Within BetterCloud, navigate to Tools > Email Tools > Auto Reply, then follow the 3-step workflow.

Set the date range, subject, and body of the message, and determine if the message will only go to colleagues and internal users, or everyone who emails the user. Consider including a link to your support site, a phone number or colleague’s email address so that senders know their options for getting in touch with someone else. Continue through the steps to choose the user or users who the auto reply will apply to, then review and finalize.

Delegate a User’s Inbox

If a user will be away for longer than a day or two and receives time-sensitive messages–such as the customer support team or an email address used for general inquiries–you can delegate their inbox to another user to give temporary access. This way, a colleague can read and reply to emails and contacts won’t notice decreased response times.

Navigate to Tools > Email Tools > Delegation, then, Create Delegation. Enter the name of the user who will be accessing a second inbox and the user who is away, then Add Pairing and Apply Now. Accessing the secondary inbox is as simple as toggling into a different account directly from your primary Gmail inbox.

Grant Access to Drive Files

With projects still moving forward while part of the team is away, occasionally others will need access to documents and other assets that they aren’t shared on. To prevent unnecessary hold ups until the owner of the document returns, use Drive Explorer to search for specific documents, add or modify collaborators, or even change the owner.

To do so, navigate to Google Apps > Drive > Drive Explorer. From there, use filters to search for a document by owner or title, or for more broad results, file type or last updated date. Select the document or document from the filtered results, then Edit Permissions > Add Collaborator.

So, while your users take time off during the warmer months to rest and recharge, you’re equipped with the tools to keep colleagues and contacts informed and minimize the chances of returning to an inbox full of frustrated emails and projects in limbo.