Check a contact's presence and IM them

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Watch this video to learn about presence indicators and how to IM someone using Skype for Business.

Is it time for a coffee break? (Correct answer: Yes!)

Check to see if your coffee break buddy is free.

  1. In the main Skype for Business window, scroll through your list of contacts and locate your coffee buddy. (If they aren't in your contacts list yet, click the Previous button on this page to go back to the last module, Add a contact.)

  2. Take a look at their round profile picture. If there's a green dot in the lower right of their picture, then they are most likely at their computer and quite possibly free to join you for coffee.

IM them to ask if they'd like to take a coffee break.

  1. Hover over their picture to access the quick menu.

  2. Click the IM button. IM button

  3. In the IM window, type "Hey, have time for some coffee?"

Note: Don't drink coffee? Substitute a beverage of your choice.

Common presence indicators

There are lots of possible presence indicators. Here are some of the ones you'll probably see the most:

Presence indicators chart

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In Skype for Business, you can see if your co-workers are available, or change your own status.

The three most common status indicators are green, red, and yellow, which mean Available, Busy, and Away.

Skype for Business changes these indicators based on your activity and Outlook calendar.

Because Bonnie's available, you can send her an instant message.

When you hover over her picture, these buttons appear.

Click the first one to start the IM.

You can often see more information over here, next to their name.

It looks like Kari is in a conference call, and Rob is out all day.

Two other indicators are Do Not Disturb and Offline.

Skype for Business automatically sets your presence to Do Not Disturb when you're presenting, so your presentation won't be interrupted by an IM or phone call.

If you sign out of Skype for Business, you'll appear as Offline.

You can set your presence manually by clicking this down arrow.

This is helpful when you're busy, want to appear away, or don't want to be disturbed.

Click here to add or show others your location.

Or click under the title bar to enter a personal thought, or more information about your status.

A purple dot may appear next to a contact's name, indicating that they're Out of Office.

But you can still IM them, and they'll receive the message as a missed conversation in email, or see it when they're online and available again.

Skype for Business presence indicators let everyone know when you're available to connect.

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