How to access work emails with Outlook: PC and mobile

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 28 March 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're working from home or have recently made this transition, it's important that you can access your work emails. This allows you to work effectively and maintain contact with others despite working remotely. Knowing how to access your work emails through an application like Outlook is therefore important if you're considering remote work. In this article, we explain what Outlook is, discuss how to access work emails with Outlook on both computers and other devices and answer some frequently asked questions.

What is Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is a commonly used calendar and email application. It's often pre-installed on a device that runs the Windows operating system. It also helps you to manage your personal information, take notes, manage tasks, organise your calendar, manage your contacts and even browse the web. You can also access Outlook online through a web browser if you don't have it installed on your machine. Outlook's layout is typically going to be familiar if you've used other email services.

On the left side, there's a series of filters that allow you to see your inbox, sent items, archive and more. You can also use Outlook to access and manage multiple email addresses, which you can also find on the far left of the interface. This means you can register both your personal and work emails here. In a parallel panel, you can see the email list from the category you've chosen. To the centre and right of the interface is the area where you can compose and read email messages.

Related: Professional email greetings and salutations you can use

How to access work emails with Outlook on a computer

If you want to access your work emails with Outlook on a computer, consider following the steps below:

1. Contact your IT department

Before you attempt to sign in, it's almost always a good idea to contact your company's IT department or whoever is responsible for arranging remote access. The primary reason is to make sure that your company allows you to access your email from outside of the office. If you've worked remotely from the start, then contacting the IT department is also important for setting up a work email account. They can also give you instructions for how to access it, what its limitations are and any company policies regarding this.

The next thing to find out from the IT department is whether the company uses Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange Online. This can change how you access your emails, especially if you're using a machine at home. Your IT department also provides you with an email address and password for accessing your work email.

Related: What does the IT department do and what are IT roles?

2. Sign in with a web browser

In addition to an email address and password, your IT department also shares a URL. They're going to do this if they want you to simply use a web browser for access. This is a link that takes you to the login page for your organisation. Click on this link or copy and paste it into the search bar in your browser and press enter. Once you reach the login page, you can enter the email address and password that you received from the IT department. After you've done this, you can click on the 'Sign in' button.

3. Sign in with Office 365

If your organisation wants you to use Office 365, the login process is slightly different. This involves downloading the Office 365 suite, which includes several applications including Outlook, Word, Teams and OneDrive. You can simply search 'Office 365' in a search engine or ask your IT department for a download link. Once you've downloaded the suite, Outlook and several other applications become available on your machine. Open the Outlook application and enter the email address and password you received from the IT department.

If you already have Outlook on your machine for other emails, you can simply add your work address to the list on the left. Click on 'File' in the top-left of the screen and then click on 'Add account'. You can then enter the same login details and add your work account to your accessible emails.

Related: 6 Microsoft Office skills to include on a CV (with tips)

4. Sign in with Microsoft Exchange

If your company uses Microsoft Exchange Online, then it has its own webpage and URL for signing in to work emails. You can request this from the IT department, and it's a good idea to save it as a bookmark. You can then use the email address and password you received from the IT department to log in to your work email address from this URL.

How to access work emails on a smartphone

If you want to use a smartphone or a similar device like a tablet, the process is slightly different. Below are the instructions for how to access work emails remotely on a smartphone, both for Android and iOS:

1. Contact your IT department

Just as with a computer, it's important to first check with your IT department. This means you can make sure that they permit this kind of access. They can also give you more in-depth instructions or help with issue resolution if you encounter any problems. The IT department also provides you with an email address and password, which are going to be necessary for access.

2. Open settings to add an account

On both Android and iOS devices, there's a settings menu. On an Android phone, under the settings menu, there's 'Accounts'. Tap this and then select the option called 'Add account'. Once you've done this, you can select the appropriate option, either 'Exchange' or 'Office 365 for Business'. If you're not sure which one to use, ask your IT department. In an iOS device, after 'Settings', you select the 'Mail' section. Within this, there's an option to 'Add account'. Select the appropriate option, such as 'Exchange'.

3. Enter your login details

Once you reach the 'Add account' menu on either your Android or iOS device, you can enter your login details. These are the email address and password that you received from the IT department. Once successful, in an Android phone, you can sync data and access your work email from your phone's email app. Alternatively, you can also download the Outlook Android application and use this instead. If you use an iOS device, there's also a Microsoft Outlook application on the app store that you can use.

Related: Q&A: what is remote work?

Frequently asked questions about Outlook

Below are some frequently asked questions about Outlook and accessing your work email remotely, together with their respective answers:

What's the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online?

Microsoft Office 365 is a software suite of applications that includes Outlook, in addition to other well-known applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams. It's a cloud-based system that can also include Microsoft Exchange Online. As the name suggests, Exchange Online is an online tool that's based in the cloud. Your employer can opt for different plans that include storage limits and other services, including the company's own login URL. They can acquire this service on their own or as part of the Office 365 suite, depending on their needs and resources.

Are there alternatives to Outlook?

Yes. Microsoft Outlook is a very common option for work emails, especially because it integrates Teams, but there are others that you might encounter. Some organisations might use Gmail, as it too has integration with a videoconferencing solution called Meets. Other options you might encounter include GMX, Yahoo and iCloud. It's a good idea to ask your IT department for more details regarding this and how to log in and use your work email properly.

Do I require a Windows device?

No. You can access Microsoft Outlook from any device that can run a web browser. You can also find dedicated apps for Android, iOS, ipadOS, Windows, Linux and macOS.

Do I have to pay to use Office 365 for work?

No, your employer typically pays any associated fees. Subscriptions to these services connect to the account itself, not the person using it. Therefore, your IT department gives you an account that they've created that already has access to the necessary features. Remember that if you're not subscribed to Office 365 for your personal account, then you can only access its features and applications through your work email. If you're unsure of your company's policy regarding the non-work uses of these applications, it's a good idea to consult your IT department or supervisor.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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