With holidays coming up on the calendar and long wedding weekends to attend, there will be a few times in the coming weeks where you'll (happily) need to turn on that ‘out of office’ message. Take time away from that inbox and enjoy those days away from your desk. As tempting as it will be to peek in your email account from time to time, don’t do it! Having the perfect ‘out of office’ message will help make unplugging a little easier.
Here are some must-haves for your out of office message!
Mind the Vacay Timeline
When crafting your notification email, you need to make sure to include the dates you will not be available. Include the full date range and if you have the availability to and add an extra day to the end of your vacation timeline to allow a realistic schedule for your contact to know when you will get back to them. For example, if you will be at the beach from July 12-16, craft your message to say that you will be out of the office from July 12-17. Now you can turn off that out of office message on the 17th when you get back to the office, but you may not really be able to get back to everyone in your first day back.
Point of Contact
If you are a member of a team or company department, include an alternative point of contact. In some cases, it may be appropriate to include what each member of the department may be contacted for. Be sure to share their first and last name along with their email address. For example, “For finance-related matters, please contact Penny Lane (Penny.Lane@ponderlily.com) and for all other inquiries, please contact Dave Guy (Davesemail@ponderlily.com). While most times, people will be okay with waiting for you to get back to your desk, it's always a good idea to leave them with a point of reference who may be able to offer assistance. Be sure to brief your very own Penny and Dave before you leave.
Alternatively, if you are unable to provide an alternative contact, for example, you may work for yourself, no worries. However, it will be your responsibility to provide your clients with a heads up that you will be unreachable. It is recommended to inform applicable clients 2-4 weeks before you will be out of the office. No need to ghost the people you work with each week! Be professional and let them know ahead of time.
Add in Some Personality
Be different from the cookie cutter out of office messages people may encounter regularly. Of course, you don’t have to get too fancy with it, but you can switch things up and incorporate some ‘you’ in there!
Check out our examples to get you inspired!
Example 1“Hey there,
Thank you so much for reaching out! Just wanted to slide into your emails real quick to let you know that until July 22nd I'll be unplugged to spend time by the beach!
But don't worry because your email has been received and a personalized reply will be coming your way soon!
If you would like to go ahead and set up a call with me for when I get back - check out my scheduling link here!”
Thanks for your message. I am currently out of the office until July 22nd. No worries though because I will be back in action after I get some family time in this week.
If you need to chat with someone before I get back, reach out to Rachel Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can help you out!
Thanks so much!”
If you are afraid that you will be too tempted to check that inbox while you are away from your desk, delete your email mobile app off of your phone. Seriously, delete it if you don’t need to be checking emails and enjoy your time away from work. If you must check your email while you are away, bring your laptop or sign in on your web browser on your phone. Try to limit it to 2 times or less while you are on vacation. Disconnecting for a bit will allow you to serve your team and clients better when you get back.
You work hard; let yourself enjoy time away!