How to Write the Perfect Out of Office Email

The Ponderlily Wall Calendar is perfect for planning and organising your year at a glance

Use the Ponderlily Wall Calendar to plan your year.

As a small business owner and someone who works full time, I receive my fair share of emails - I have recently developed the habit of checking my email three times a day.

While this habit keeps me on top of my to-do list, staying in my inbox too long can also stress me out, and keeping the work mindset switched on 24/7 isn’t conducive to me doing my best, focused work.

Anyone in the business world can relate to setting boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘home’ - you have to find your perfect balance to be both reliable and realistic, while also keeping your sanity.

For me, I like to use ‘out of office’ messages when I am going out of town or plan to just take some time away for the weekend. Setting up an out of office reply eases my mind, knowing that I am not missing anyone and I can delete the app off my phone for some much needed RnR.

Here are some key decisions to consider when setting up your out of office email:

Create Your Timeline

If you know you’re going to be away for the week, block the days off and make sure to include when you will be back in your email. Maybe you want to disconnect on the weekends or everyday after 6 - include that as well!

Creating an out of office does not just have to be for long-term vacations or trips out of the country, although of course it’s important to do so for those.

Additionally, give yourself some extra time when including dates in your email - that way you are able to get back to everyone in a timely manner, once you are back in the office.

Give an Alternative Contact

Rarely will you have someone contact you via email for serious emergencies, however, if a client has an issue that cannot wait until your return, include someone else that they can reach out to for help.

When drafting this, be specific - if you work for a larger company and there are different departments, it might be beneficial to include several people in different departments - that way they can get in touch with the right person.

If you run a small business and there is no one else to send them to, you could leave your phone number as a contact - but only if you feel comfortable doing so.

Make It Your Own

Be different from the cookie-cutter out of office messages that 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 the email.

Friends help friends write out of office messages, so check out our examples to get you inspired! 


“Hey there,

Thank you so much for reaching out! I 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 personalised 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 - she can help you out!

Thanks so much!”

Let Yourself Get Away

You put all this time into drafting the best out of office message - now get out of the office!

Relax, don’t check your email and don’t stress about who might be trying to contact you. This is your time to sit back and let yourself recharge so you can come back a better version of yourself!

By the way, if it’s a trip that is taking you out of office, check out our free Travel Essentials printout to help plan out your packing and get yourself organised!

Keep in Touch

Sign up for our newsletter and connect with us on social media to get the latest from Ponderlily.

Ponderlily will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.