You can set your email to automatically reply so that people know you're out of the office. Google refers to this as a vacation response, and while it is enabled Gmail will send an automatic reply to any non-spam senders who email you.
How to set an automatic vacation response in Gmail
- Click the gear icon in the upper right of the Gmail window and choose Settings.
- On the General tab, scroll down to the Vacation responder: section and select Vacation responder on.
- Enter a date to start the responder and an optional date to end it.
- Enter the subject and content of your message in the appropriate fields. You can optionally select to Only send a response to people in my Contacts or Only send a response to people in [your domain] (Google Apps users only).
- Click Save Changes.
At this point a banner will appear across the top of your Gmail page confirming that your vacation response is enabled.
How to edit your automatic vacation response
- The banner mentioned above will remain on the page, just click Vacation Settings to edit your response.
How to end an automatic vacation response
- Click End now in the banner at any time to stop sending the automatic response.