Blocking Time in your Outlook Calendar When You are Not Working

Making sure my coworkers know when I am and will be available is very important to me. In addition to using the Status message in Teams, I also block off time in my Outlook calendar so people and scheduling tools do not try and book me during a time I do not work.

Here’s how I set it up:

  1. Open Outlook on the web. Right-click on the block of time you’ve entered in your calendar where you are not working.
  2. Select “Show as” from the menu.
  3. Select “Away” from the list of options.

“Away” is a better option to use than “Busy” because it stands out with a purple/pink border on the left side of the calendar entry.

Tools like Scheduling Assistant and FindTime know that time set to Away means you are not available to be booked during that block of time.

Note: If you are trying to do this on your Android phone using the Outlook app, the “Away” option in the “Show as” list is still named “Out of office” (as of June 5th, 2020). Hopefully Microsoft changes this to align with the wording in Outlook on the web soon!

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