As a business owner and as 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 stresses me out and keeps 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 needing the distinction 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 either going out of town or plan to take some time away just for the weekend. It 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 out of town for the week, block those 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! This does not just have to be for long-term vacations or trips out of the country although it’s important to do so for those as well. 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 through email for serious emergencies, however if a client has an issue that can’t wait until your return, include someone 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 your own company and there is no one else to send them to, and you feel comfortable doing so, you could leave your phone number as a worst case scenario contact.
Make it your own
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!
Friends help friends write out of office messages, so check out our examples to get you inspired!
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!”
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 organized!