out of office

Outlook: Set an automatic out-of-office message with Power automate

Credits

FEMKE CORNELISSEN

This article has been translated from the original Dutch version published by Femke Cornelissen in to English, with an explicit and upfront consent of Femke (find her on LinkedIn).

Original article in Dutch

You can find the original article here: https://femkecornelissen.com/2022/02/23/afwezigheid-automatisch-instellen-via-power-automate/.

Except from the original Dutch content, also some Dutch screenshots have been replaced with an English version. And some extra notes are added for clarity.

Additional information

Power Automate is part of M365 license. More information here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/power-automate-licensing/types

Set an automatic out-of-office message with Power automate

You got a day off and you forgot to turn on your out-of-office (OOF) assistant in Outlook. Pretty recognizable, right?

With the out-of-office message, people who send you an email see that you are absent. But in addition, this is of course also reflected in Microsoft Teams. When you try to contact someone, there is a notification or you can recognize it by the presence icon of the profile picture in the chat.

It’s quite interesting that this process is quite easy to automate with Power Automate. When I’m OOF is set in my calendar, the next step (in this case, turn on absence) must be performed.

Shall we walk through it together?

Steps

You go to https://flow.microsoft.com/ where you land in (M365) Power Automate.

Then click the create button.

Opt for an automated cloud flow.  We’re going to make sure when something is on your calendar, something happens.

Create > Automated cloud flow

Choose a flow name (like for example “Automatic out of office”)

Define flow name

At the trigger, choose “When an upcoming event is starting soon (V3)” and then click Create.

Select: When an upcoming event is starting soon (V3)

When the flow is created, make sure your calendar is selected.

Select your calendar

Then click new step.

Choose “Condition” or find the option conditions and then select it.

Condition Selection

For example, the condition can be the triggers that indicate that you are free or unreachable.

[Note, this can be a certain word in the subject, or an event type. Femke’s example is using a marker word in the subject. ]

Set condition type and options

Then you have the following two options:

  • With YES you indication which actions must be executed.
  • At NO, nothing happens (in our case)
Yes/No condition options

We’re going to add an action to the “If yes” clause.

You choose the action “Set up automatc replies (V2)

Automatic replies

[Make sure to set the start and end date of your appointment, as this will set the OOF start and end time too…]

You can copy the following data, but of course make it a personal text.

[Note: a white line, or break line must be set in HTML tag <br>]

You can click save in the top right corner and you’re done!

Now you never have to turn on your absence again, but this happens automatically. Handy, right?

Credits & original article: https://femkecornelissen.com/2022/02/23/afwezigheid-automatisch-instellen-via-power-automate/ by FEMKE CORNELISSEN