Windows Thread, Restrict staff from closing outlook in Technical; Morning all,
I have been asked by a member of our school's SLT to restrict staff from closing their outlook ...
12th March 2011, 08:23 AM #1
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Restrict staff from closing outlook
I have been asked by a member of our school's SLT to restrict staff from closing their outlook when they are logged on - staff are only to minimise outlook.
Is this possible within XP & 7? Do you folks think this is abit big brother?
12th March 2011, 08:35 AM #2
It is rather big brother, i suppose you could put a script / batch file on PCs to run every few minutes and open Outlook. This however would go awry if it tried to open two instances and ended up having a fit, as it is possible for it to get messed up. So you'd need something a little more elegant that checked for an already running process of outlook.exe first.
Is communication really that big of a problem? If it's minimised they can still log off and reboot, and claim they didn't have time to read their mails.
12th March 2011, 08:51 AM #3
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Yea, it's my thoughts extactly.
Apparently there are quite a few members of staff not checking their emails frequently enough...
The options presented to me are;
Force outlook to stay open but can only be minimised or research a suitable instant messenger.
Thanks for the reply!
12th March 2011, 09:43 AM #4
Monitor the outlook process and come up with a "top 10 logged in without outlook" users each week, and then they can get a ticking off for being in the naughty email club. Should teach people soon enough to keep it open and doesn't rely on too much of a nasty kludge?
12th March 2011, 09:47 AM #5
Move to Microsoft's free Live@edu and you get Windows Live Messenger as part of the package along with the other cloud based stuff: email, document storage, calendars...
12th March 2011, 09:47 AM #6
I think you need to explain to the SLT that what they are asking isn't the solution to the problem. The problem is the staff, not the computer system.
They need to be told, that they must check their emails, at least once per lesson, it doesn't take long to cast an eye over the inbox at the end of every lesson. Stop paper messages, and then if they miss something important they get in trouble.
If the inbox is full of rubbish, then that's a separate issue to be dealt with. Here we have a policy that all Whole School emails are approved by a Head Teacher to stop the random spamming.
I can't see messenger as an effective solution unless it's a physical one, i.e. a Y7 kid wearing his postman pat uniform
If the right services are enabled you can net send a popup to the screen, i've even seen a decent app that gives you a nice interface for this. It will just interrupt the lesson though.
I don't understand why they are actually closing Outlook, most people keep too many things open, i suspect they are just using it as an excuse to ignore email.
Perhaps you can teach the right people to ask for read receipts and see when people are actually reading them, though you'd have to go in with each user and tell them to automatically respond to the messages, that or force it by GPO.
Last edited by vikpaw; 12th March 2011 at 07:54 PM.
Thanks to vikpaw from:
Edwardjr (12th March 2011)
12th March 2011, 12:21 PM #7
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Originally Posted by vikpaw
Hit the nail on the head there. I don't mind setting outlook to open at logon but configuring it such a way that a member of staff cannot close it will be a tad excessive, too big brother.
Read receipts are a good idea however I've seen quite a few staff blindly click on / close pop ups and alert boxes - especially when I'm using AB Tutor control and send the teacher who i'm helping a message, they will just close the box without reading... frustrating much...?
I think I'll go back to SLT with this in mind, this isn't just something a quick IT fix will solve.
Thanks for all your replies.
12th March 2011, 07:57 PM #8
Read Receipts will give SLT the ammo as they will know who hasnt read the emails.
Otherwise, you could time a pop-up so it appears at the beginning of a lesson - and will stay until they cancel it - can you make it non-movable so they cant just put it out of the way. That way you will know that they have read the reminder - whether or not they act on it
12th March 2011, 07:57 PM #9
If you're got exchange, and possibly just with the outlook client, you can set it to remember your choice when asked about sending read receipts. Now if you can force that by policy, then they wont get the pop up anymore. Failing that you have to do it for them once and tick the box.
If they're anything like the users here they wont read the message like you said, so wont have made a choice either way. Just like the bulk of staff here who still have the IE8 setup page as their homepage, as they never go through the basic setup wizard not even to just accept default settings! Argh.
13th March 2011, 08:28 AM #10
They annoy me because they're used by some people on every message, not just ones which matter, so as a matter of principle I always click the "No" button when asked if I want to send a read receipt!
Originally Posted by witch
Ultimately, this is a people issue - I can't imagine that the bulk of staff are regularly not getting messages because they close Outlook while they're logged on - so individuals need to be dealt with.
Of course, if the problem is that management are assuming that any email will be read within 15 minutes of it being sent (maybe reasonable for office based staff; not sensible for others!) and think that the failure to read is because Outlook is closed then they need to change the way they work!
13th March 2011, 10:03 AM #11
Solution 2: if they want always on access to the staff wherever and whenever they should be providing them all smartphones, data plans and connecting them to exchange. Knock up a proposal for (number of staff)*(Windows Phone 7 device + Data contract) and add a little bit on the end about reasonable expectations of staff.
13th March 2011, 10:23 AM #12
One thing you have to ensure you do is disable the outlook automatic pop-up with a summary of emails if you are going to make them constantly have outlook open and confidential emails are sent around. We had a problem here with a member of staff having outlook open and the summary and subject of an email popped up and they accidentally clicked on it on the iwb and then displayed a confidential email to the whole class on the Interactive whiteboard. just leave the email icon in the system tray.
17th March 2011, 02:33 PM #13
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I am also having an issue with staff closing out look. On the bright side it looks like we will be able to lay some of them off. I can only hope that this will happen. They are doing their job when they are closing out look.
If their is a registry hack, or other means to do this that would be great and would solve alot of issues for the staff who do not seem able to comprehend their job or follow instructions.
17th March 2011, 02:36 PM #14
There is never a bright side with laying people off!
Originally Posted by Ogmodon
But the best bet would be a script which runs to check if it is open and if not then open it.
17th March 2011, 02:41 PM #15
This is a failure of management to manage the staff it's not an IT support issue
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