Our office (pretty large - about 200 people) has recently started part-time telecommuting. It's only one day/week now, but it's already raised some questions about availability, so I wanted to see how the users here, some of whom I'm sure telecommute to a corporate job, how they set their out of office status.
Outlook has four statuses, and here's what I (and most others?) take them to mean:
- Free: I'm available for meetings
- Busy: I'm in a meeting or otherwise occupied, and unavailable
- Tentative: Shy away from scheduling over, but I'm available if needed
- Out of office: I'm on vacation and unavailable. However, I don't travel for work - do people tend to use this status to mean they're remote, but available for a phone call/bridge?
As we begin to telecommute, I'll be available by phone for meetings, but not in person - any meeting can have a conference bridge, but some meetings just need to be in person. I'd like to send the right message about my status - people can schedule meetings with me on my telecommute days, but they should expect me to be on a conference bridge when they do.
What status do people use? Does "Out of Office" correctly reflect that you're working from home, even though I perceive this to mean that somebody is on vacation? Maybe I'm the only one confused here, but as a company that's never before done telecommuting of any kind, I'm in the dark about standard practices.
Thanks for the insight! Though this isn't a technical question directly, I'm hoping it's still applicable to the group and constructive - if it's not, please close it and accept my apology.