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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.

Best Practices

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.
  • Notes
    • 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.

Step-by-Step Procedure


Microsoft Teams

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].

Keywordsvacation personal time off pto leave calendar outlook teams slack   Doc ID107634
OwnerDylan R.GroupLibraries
Created2020-12-07 12:06:49Updated2024-06-03 16:27:48
SitesUW-Madison Libraries
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