Importance flags in Outlook 2000

I use Outlook 2000 both at work and at home. Every now and then I will receive an email in Outlook that is flagged with a red exclamation point. I see these mostly at work, but every now and then I will receive an email marked as such at home (my work and personal email are completely separate and are on different accounts). My question is, does flagging an email with a higher level of importance make any difference as far as sending/receiving is concerned? Is it just there to catch your attention, or does it actually affect the way the email is handled by mail servers? Does it make any difference whether the email is sent via an internal network, such as what we have at work, or via the Internet?