“Now that’s a good assistant. Doesn’t mention that he might be tipping back a Corona right now…just that he’s out of office and not available at this time.”
The other day, a colleague and I sat down for a call with our speaker phone queued up, ready to check in when the assistant on the other line informed us our contact was out of the office. In a clear, conscious and prepared tone, she explained he could not be reached and how she was handling his calls. This may not seem like much, but we’ve all been there where a quick call turns into a panicky, office-wide man-hunt with people pointing out where they were last seen or what their daily calendar entails.
Sometimes, the time best saved is that of your clients. Their ability to reach you in a professional manner helps reflect your respect of their time.
Time Matters has an internal tool that can support a firm’s communication style with the click of a button. The In/Out list is available under the View menu in modern versions of Time Matters or with the shortcut of Alt+Shift+L for those fans of hotfix keys.
Users can flip their status to reflect when they will return and a text box to provide additional details. Firm members may have a preference when at lunch such as ‘explain I’m out of the office and to try my cell’ or if on a long-term vacation their preference may be less detailed.
Time Matters administrators can grant users the ability to edit other users’ status in the security preferences as well. Attorneys may prefer a support staff to know which hearing they are attending and also when they’ll be back to make a court filing deadline. The Time Matters In/Out Status is one I recommend to new clients to implement for both client communication and also for internal firm management.