Tip o’ the Week #181 – “Working Elsewhere” status

This week’s tip comes courtesy of Phil Cross, who discovered it one day whilst trying to tell his colleagues where he was going to be.  In Outlook, as you know, you can set the “Show As” status of an appointment or a meeting (and ToW readers of long standing may recall the difference – an appointment is in your calendar only, whereas a meeting is when other people are also invited).

clip_image002The new “Working Elsewhere” status adds a welcome dose of granularity: what if you’re working at home, you’re available, but you want to make it clear that you’re not sitting at an office desk? “Out of Office” might not cut it, as that could signal that you’re OOF and therefore unavailable…

You could, of course, combine the appointment status with an appropriate Lync status too – you can tell people where you are/what you’re up to through your Location and even your “What’s clip_image004happening today?” status.

There’s a new status in Lync too – “Off Work”. For all those times when you’re online – using your laptop at the weekend or on a day off, for example, but when you want people to know you’re not actually available to work. Just remember to set it back when you return, or else you’ll just look like a skiver.

Finally, a reminder for everyone planning a summer holiday and who would like to make sure their boss/colleagues/occasional collaborators know that they’re not going to be in the clip_image005office. Don’t send people a meeting request to remind them you’re on holiday, without setting the status to be Free, the Reminder to be switched off, and the Request Responses to be blank.
[Sorry for the shouting, but so many times I’ve tried to book someone for a meeting only to find their free/busy status is obliterated by some other numpty politely informing that they’re away].


This topic was covered 2½ years ago in Tip o’ the Week #4

Comments (6)

  1. LUke says:

    Does this affect your availability for being booked for meetings or being part of a Skype hunt group?

    1. EwanD says:

      No, I don’t think it does. Working Elsewhere hasn’t really been adopted fully as a status, though – there were some sync issues with mobile devices and the like. It might be advisable to use your Skype/Lync status to tell people where you are rather than mark your calendar status…

      1. Brandon says:

        There is a known issue with calendar invites that are created using “Working Elsewhere”, that users will report synchronization errors showing up in their mailbox Sync Failure – Sync Issues folder. Here is a link to an article that explains this issue in more detail.


  2. Chris says:

    I’ve found that when you mark “working elsewhere” it takes that time and shows it as free on the calendar. makes people think you are free, but in fact in a meeting or working elsewhere

  3. Michael says:

    Is this a new feature in office 2016? There is no ability to add this free/busy option of “Working Elsewhere” to older versions, is that correct?

  4. Glenn Turner says:

    Any resolution yet to what appears to be a bug: users in different storage groups can’t see the Working Elsewhere status, and this time is marked as free instead?

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