How to keep outlook status green

Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024 by

In today’s fast-paced work environment, communication is key. And for many professionals, Microsoft Outlook is the go-to tool for managing emails, calendars, and tasks. But did you know that Outlook also has a feature that allows you to set your status to let others know if you’re available, busy, or away? This feature can be incredibly useful in keeping your team informed and streamlining communication. In this article, we’ll explore how to keep your Outlook status green and why it’s important for your productivity and collaboration.

What is Outlook Status?

Outlook status is a feature that allows you to set your availability status to let others know if you’re available, busy, or away. This status is visible to your colleagues when they view your name in their contact list or when they schedule a meeting with you. It’s a simple and effective way to communicate your availability and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

How to Set Your Outlook Status

Setting your Outlook status is a quick and easy process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook and click on the “File” tab in the top left corner.
  2. In the “Info” section, click on the “Set Status” dropdown menu.
  3. Select the status you want to set: Available, Busy, Away, or Do Not Disturb.
  4. If you select “Custom”, you can add a personal message to your status.
  5. Your status will automatically update based on your activity in Outlook, but you can also manually change it by clicking on the “Set Status” dropdown menu again.

Why is it Important to Keep Your Outlook Status Green?

Keeping your Outlook status green can have a significant impact on your productivity and collaboration. Here are some reasons why it’s important to maintain a green status:

Avoid Interruptions

When your status is set to “Available” or “Busy”, your colleagues will know that you’re actively working and may not be available for a chat or a meeting. This can help you avoid unnecessary interruptions and stay focused on your tasks.

Improve Communication

By setting your status, you’re providing your colleagues with valuable information about your availability. This can help them plan their day and schedule meetings more efficiently. For example, if your status is set to “Busy”, they may choose to schedule a meeting with you at a later time when you’re more likely to be available.

Encourage Collaboration

When everyone on your team is using Outlook status, it can encourage collaboration and improve team communication. By knowing each other’s availability, team members can plan meetings and collaborate more effectively.

Set Boundaries

In today’s digital world, it can be challenging to disconnect from work. By setting your status to “Do Not Disturb” after work hours or during your lunch break, you can set boundaries and avoid being bombarded with work-related messages.

Tips for Keeping Your Outlook Status Green

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your Outlook status green, here are some tips to help you maintain it:

Update Your Status Regularly

Your status will automatically update based on your activity in Outlook, but it’s essential to manually update it when necessary. For example, if you’re stepping away from your desk for an extended period, make sure to set your status to “Away” to avoid any confusion.

Use the “Custom” Status Option

The “Custom” status option allows you to add a personal message to your status. This can be helpful when you’re in a meeting or working on a specific task. For example, you can set your status to “Busy – In a Meeting” or “Busy – Working on a Deadline” to provide more context to your colleagues.

Sync Your Calendar

If you use Outlook for your calendar, make sure to sync it with your status. This will ensure that your status is automatically updated when you have a meeting scheduled. It can also help you avoid scheduling conflicts and double bookings.

Communicate with Your Team

To make the most out of Outlook status, it’s essential to communicate with your team. Let them know that you’re using this feature and encourage them to do the same. This will help create a culture of transparency and improve team communication.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While keeping your Outlook status green is generally straightforward, there may be some issues that you encounter. Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

Status Not Updating Automatically

If your status is not updating automatically, make sure that your calendar is synced with your status. You can also try restarting Outlook or your computer.

Status Not Visible to Others

If your status is not visible to others, make sure that you have enabled the “Show user’s status next to name” option in your Outlook settings. You can find this option by going to File > Options > People.

Status Not Changing When You’re Away

If your status is not changing to “Away” when you’re inactive, make sure that your computer is not set to sleep or hibernate after a certain period. You can adjust these settings in your computer’s power options.

Real-World Examples of Using Outlook Status

Outlook status can be incredibly useful in various work scenarios, including remote work. Here are some real-world examples of how professionals use Outlook status:

Remote Work

When working remotely, it can be challenging to communicate your availability to your team. By setting your status to “Available” or “Busy”, you can let your colleagues know when you’re working and when you’re not. This can help avoid any confusion and improve team communication.

In-Person Meetings

When you’re in an in-person meeting, you may not be able to respond to emails or chat messages. By setting your status to “Busy – In a Meeting”, you can let your colleagues know that you’re unavailable and will respond to their messages later.

Lunch Breaks

Taking a lunch break is essential for your productivity and well-being. By setting your status to “Do Not Disturb”, you can avoid being interrupted during your lunch break and enjoy some uninterrupted time.


Outlook status is a simple yet powerful feature that can help you communicate your availability and improve team collaboration. By keeping your status green, you can avoid interruptions, set boundaries, and encourage effective communication. So next time you’re working in Outlook, make sure to set your status and enjoy a more productive and collaborative workday.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.