I recently had a member of my organization go on maternity leave, and, because of the way that babies work, she wasn’t able to set an out of office response or a forward.

Thankfully, with Exchange Admin Center, it’s pretty easy to do both.

Setting a User’s Out of Office Response

The first thing is to essentially impersonate a user as the Office Admin:

  1. Navigate to Exchange Admin Center on office.com (you have to be an Administrator to do this, obviously)
  2. Click your Name/Icon in the very upper right-hand corner and choose “Another user…”
  3. Choose the user in your organization that you need to update from the popup window that follows
  4. On the right sidebar of the window that opens for that user, you should see “shortcuts to other things you can do”
    1. In that list is “Set up an automatic reply message”

That’s it. Once you’ve chosen to Set up an automatic reply message, you can format the message however you want (one for internal users and one for external users)

Forwarding a User’s emails

  1. Log into Office 365 Admin Center
  2. Choose Users -> Active Users
  3. Find the User whose email you want to forward and click their name
  4. In the sidebar that opens, expand “Mail Settings” and click “Edit” next to Email Forwarding
  5. Flip forwarding to On and enter the email address where the messages forward
    1. You can optionally choose to keep a copy of the email in the inbox for the original user

Pretty straightforward, but not something I do all that frequently, so I know I’ll forget by the next time I have to do it 🙂