away from desk

Also found in: Acronyms.

away from (one's) desk

Not at one's desk at a particular time. This phrase is typically said in an office environment on another person's behalf (as by a receptionist or assistant). I'm sorry, Mr. Medina is away from his desk right now. Can I take a message?
See also: away, desk

*away from one's desk

Fig. not available for a telephone conversation; not available to be seen or spoken to. (Sometimes said by the person who answers a telephone in an office. It means that the person whom the caller wants is not immediately available due to personal or business reasons. *Typically: be ~; Step ~.) I'm sorry, but Ann is away from her desk just now. Can you come back later? Tom has stepped away from his desk, but if you leave your number, he will call you right back.
See also: away, desk
References in periodicals archive ?
Noise can also be transferred away from desks by providing informal meeting and break-out areas.
there is a shift away from desks towards other forms of office employee accommodation, especially toward systems combining work-tops and storage
Liam Griffin often said that Mick is in the wrong job in Wexford - he (Kinsella) loves coaching and he has much more to offer hurling away from desks and boardrooms," Murphy insisted.
This dramatically cuts call costs, by allowing employees to take calls on a headset or mobile phone when away from desks.
Wireless computing is finding broad acceptance in businesses, hospitals, universities and factories where workers spend much of their workday away from desks, but within a building or campus.