Respectful emails

Too often, I get emails in the evening and on weekends when I’m relaxing, working on a project or even doing school work but in a focused way. Now, if it’s a student question, well, I’m okay with that (to be honest, almost all student questions are now Teams Chat — kids don’t use email!) but colleagues and administration should have better knowledge of boundaries. Fortunately, Outlook now prompts your awareness.

When you go to type a message, Outlook now queries your recipients’ work hours (How do I set my own work hours?) and pops up above the message that you may be interrupting their down time.

When you click the DELAY SEND link in the pop-up, a pane opens to the left to let you determine when the message gets delivered:

And now the text above the message indicates when the message will be delivered.

Folks should be cognizant of when they send emails (and Teams Chat for that matter) but it’s nice to see Outlook helping to remind them of being respectful of their readers. For sure, you used to be able to do this manually (and still can) but it’s automatically prompted now and far easier to get to when it’s in your face.

Now this is on Outlook Current Channel as of this week — too often, though, IT departments delay roll out of changes to Office programs, so you may have to talk to them to make sure you’re on the right channel (your updates can be delayed by up to a year by IT!)

How do I set my own work hours?

Open Outlook and go to the FILE menu and choose OPTIONS down at the bottom. Then, click on CALENDAR on the list on the left.

You can set the hours on a weekly basis. I’m a little disappointed there isn’t more granularity given our present circumstances — or even a smarter version that looks at your Outlook to gauge your work hours on a refreshed-daily basis, but this is a good start.

Cal Armstrong
Cal Armstrong
Articles: 223

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