General - Best Practices - Technology Statuses while Out of Office
This KB document lays out a few common practices in Outlook and Teams to ensure that colleagues are aware of your availability, as well as links to DoIT's KB for additional technical information.
Out of Office/Automatic Reply
- Best practice is to use Automatic Replies functionality when unavailable for a business day or more at a time, while setting status whenever possible.
- Ensure that the reply gives the following information (examples below):
- The fact that the reply is automated.
- Timeframe of unavailability/delay in response.
- Who to contact in your absence, if appropriate.
- The automatic reply in Outlook will also show up for users who are attempting to interact with you via Teams.
- The automatic reply message will appear when they hover over your avatar in Teams.
- Teams also recognizes calendar holds set in Outlook, but a status can also be set manually.
- Set a hold for the day/time you will be away (for a full day, 8am-5pm is preferable as availability is not set properly when using full day events)
- Make those colleagues affected by your absence aware of your time away via email.
- Decline meetings that occur within your time away.
- Automatic Replies (DoIT KB): https://kb.wisc.edu/internal/32606
- Calendar Best Practices (DoIT KB): https://kb.wisc.edu/internal/31305 ← Does not include information about blocking availability.
- Status updates (DoIT KB): https://kb.wisc.edu/internal/92180
Example Automatic Replies
- I am out of the office through [date] and will not be checking email. Note that this is an automated message.
- This is an automated response. I am out of the office through [date] but will periodically be checking email. If you need immediate attention, please contact [alternate].