If you have Office Communicator, there are several statuses you can choose from to let people on your friends list know whether you're available. You can set your status as "Available," "Away" or "Busy." If you don't use your computer for a period of time (anywhere from a minute to an hour depending on your settings), your status shows up as Inactive. While Office Communicator has no setting you can choose to keep your status active at all times, you can keep Communicator active for up to an hour if you change the settings.
Open Office Communicator, click the arrow next to the "Status" button and mouse over "Tools."
Click "Options" from the Tools drop-down menu. You can change the length of time it takes for your Communicator status to show up as "Inactive" here.
Click "Personal" from the menu to the left of the Options window and look to the "Status" section.
Double-click the number in the box next to "Inactive" and type "60" so your Communicator will remain active for 60 minutes. This is the longest amount of time you can be away from your computer before your Communicator status shows up as Inactive.
You don't have be actively using your computer to keep Communicator active. For example, if you are reading at your desk and you don't want Communicator to change to "Inactive," simply move your mouse or press a key on the keyboard to keep Communicator active.
If you use Office Communicator at work and you set your status to "Active" even if you're not at your desk, your boss or coworkers may think you've neglected to respond to their urgent message.