In this age of remote work, many people are working at not only different hours of the day but also in different locations. Today, Microsoft has announced it is rolling out a new feature for Outlook, specifically for its calendar, that has been designed specifically for those remote workers.
In a post on the Microsoft 365 blog, it states:
Microsoft 365 apps and services now provide you with the opportunity to let others know when and where you are working. When they do the same with you, you can accommodate attendees’ locations when scheduling meetings in Outlook, and facilitate spontaneous collaboration in Teams when checking if someone is available to chat in-person.
You can go to Outlook on the web and then click on Settings, followed by View all Outlook settings, and then Calendar. There should be a new option called Work hours and location. You can use this feature to show which days, times, and locations you will be available for others. You can also see where other Outlook users will be and at what time in Outlook's Scheduling Assistant.
Be aware that there are still some known bugs in this new feature, including an error that happens if you create a schedule with a time slot that ends at midnight. Here are some of the other known errors:
- If you change your time zone, it will not update the time zone of these new, modern working hours. A fix is in development.
- Outlook web calculates the cumulative availability across all attendees and resolves this to a single red or green color to assist with easily finding a time that is free for all attendees (as seen in both the one-day vertical scheduling pane and the full-page horizontal scheduling assistant). Currently, the one-day scheduling pane is not checking modern working hours when resolving availability. A fix is in development.
- When opening and viewing a shared calendar directly from the calendar surface, work locations will not be shown. This is a large feature that is in progress but there is not yet an estimated timeline for release.
- It is not yet possible to create a schedule with alternating weeks, for those with 9/80 schedules. This is a feature that we will support, but not in the initial release.
Again, this new calendar feature is just rolling out now for Outlook on the web. However, it will be available for Outlook on Windows, iOS, Android, and Mac later this year. It will also be on Microsoft Teams desktop, web, and mobile starting in June.