Introducing Out of Office Periods

 In Change Management, Incident Management, New Feature, Problem Management, Project Management

Out of Office PeriodWhen people are planning to be unavailable to work on assignments, they are now able to specify this in 4me.  They can do this by opening their profile in 4me Self Service, in the 4me App, or in the full UI.  There they will find the new ‘Out of Office’ section.

Out of Office section in the full ui

When specialists go to the Settings console and open the ‘Out of Office Periods’ section, they can register multiple out of office periods if they already know that they are going to be unavailable multiple times in the future.

Out of Office Periods section with multiple out of office periods

In 4me Self Service and the 4me App each person can only maintain a single out of office period.

Out of office period in 4me Self Service

Once the start of the out of office period is less than 3 days away, anyone who is assigning work to the person who will soon become unavailable will see a warning after selecting this person in the Member field.

Warning member will soon be out of office

As long as the out of office period has not yet started, the out of office indicator is presented in orange.  As soon as the start of the out of office period is reached, the out of office indicator turns red.

Warning member is out of office

This indicator is also visible when the assignment is opened in View mode.

Out of office indicator in assignment section in View mode

Person preview with out of office informationThe previews of person records also present the out of office information so that it is clear why the out of office indicator is presented.

If an approval delegate was selected in an out of office period, then any approval task that gets assigned to the unavailable person during his/her absence is automatically forwarded to the approval delegate.  This should ensure that changes and projects continue to move forward during an approver’s absence.

When someone’s out of office is active, and this person accesses 4me, a yellow bar is presented at the top of the screen to remind the person to switch off his or her out of office.  The ‘End now…’ link can be used to open the out of office period so that it can be cleared.

Your out of office is still active warning

The advantage of linking a time allocation to an out of office period is that this automatically generates the necessary time entries.

Timesheet with time entry from out of office period

This has the additional benefit that these time entries show up in the resource planning overviews that are available in the ‘Resource Planning’ section of the Analytics console.

Resource planning overview with out of office period visible

People can only relate a time allocation to their out of office periods if they work for an organization that is linked to one or more time allocations that do not need to be related to a service or a customer organization.  After a time allocation has been selected in an out of office period, and this time allocation allows or requires a description, then the Reason field can be used to enter a short text.

Also, for this to work, the Default for time allocations field of the timesheet settings of the organization needs to have a value.

People who work for organizations that do not use time allocations can still make use of 4me’s Out of Office functionality.  For them, the Reason field will always be available when they register an out of office period.

People who have the Account Administrator or Directory Administrator role have special access to the ‘Out of Office Periods’ section of the Settings console. There they can create and update the out of office periods on behalf of the people who are registered in their 4me account.

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