Workplace chat and collaboration company Slack has quietly updated its status feature to include an expiration date, so you can set certain statuses like commuting, meetings, and vacation to expire after a distinct amount of time. Restarting Slack on mobile or desktop should pull up the new feature for all users, and it looks like the company updated its help center page for statuses yesterday to include information about the new change.
Now, when you pull up the status screen, you’ll get the same default statuses with pre-filled expiration times, including one hour for “in a meeting,” 30 minutes for “commuting,” and an unspecified length of time for “vacationing,” which is a nice touch. If you’d like more granular control, you can write in your own status or click one of the default ones and click the downward-facing arrow to pull up greater lengths of time, including “today” and “this week,” and a custom one for picking your own date and time for the status to clear.
It’s a subtle change, but a welcome one. It makes Slack statuses, which first arrived back in April of last year, even more useful for communicating your whereabouts and daily activities to your coworkers without having to clog up channels with unnecessary and manually written notices. Now, when you’re working remotely for a few days, heading to an appointment, or in an irregularly long meeting, you can let Slack do more of the work for you without having to obsess over clearing it yourself. And for those who worry about accidentally leaving up a “out to lunch” status for three hours, this feature should help keep you in check.