Microsoft says you need a break — its new Outlook feature makes it easy to take one

Outlook on Android
Outlook on Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Outlook now lets you set organization-wide scheduling defaults to ensure people have time for breaks.
  • You can also set rules individually to make sure you have gaps in your schedule.
  • You can set your defaults depending on the length of meetings as well as if you'd like a break before or after an event.

Microsoft Outlook now has an option to set scheduling rules that ensure people have time for breaks throughout the day. With Outlook, people can individually set scheduling defaults that automatically shorten meetings. Starting today, Outlook supports setting organization-wide scheduling defaults that shorten meetings and create space for breaks across an entire company.

Microsoft's latest Work Trend Index research (opens in new tab) discusses the importance of having breaks between work. It's easy to jump from meeting to meeting and task to task in a work environment. It's even easier to go to back-to-back meetings when working remotely since even meetings with different teams are just a click away. The ability to set organization-wide scheduling defaults should help make sure that people have gaps in their schedules.

Microsoft explains the new functionality in a recent post (opens in new tab). As an example, you can set to have breaks at the beginning or end of meetings. You can also select how long you want those breaks to be. Rules are customizable as well. For example, you could have five-minute breaks before each 30-minute meeting and 15-minute breaks after 1-hour meetings.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft has a support page (opens in new tab) to help you set up and customize your scheduling rules.

According to the support page, you only have the option to make events start or end early on Outlook on the web or the Windows Outlook client.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • This is a great feature. I've tried for years to only set 50 min meetings but am never actually do it for whatever reason. This will be a good constant reminder to do just that. Love it.
  • Can we schedule organization-wide breaks for one particular user's outbox?