How to Write an Out of Office Message

Examples of How to Craft the Perfect Automatic Reply When You’re Out of the Office

by Kayla Ezinga

It’s about that time of year when everyone is itching for a vacation — whether that is some sunshine, a road trip through the mountains, or just sitting in your favorite coffee shop for a few days. One thing that is important to remember when tying up your loose ends before you clock out is to set an out of office message for your coworkers and any other important people who might contact you while you’re out. 

If you don’t know, an out of office message is an auto-reply email that responds to emails that you receive when it is turned on. This can be a super helpful tool to use so that candidates, coworkers, and clients alike don’t think that you’re ghosting them!

This doesn’t have to be overly complicated! Think of it as a voicemail message for your email. There are a few things that should be included, and the rest can be your own pizzaz. 

In your out of office message, you should include three major things: 

  1. The dates that you will be gone.
    This will help people contacting you know when the general time you will be available again is.
     
  2. A reason for you being gone.
    oftentimes, people will respect your personal time out of the office if they know that you are taking personal or vacation time.
     
  3. Someone else that the person contacting you can reach out to instead if the matter is urgent
    Providing names and email addresses of a secondary contact can be extremely helpful so that you are not flooded with work when you return. If there are multiple people as secondary contacts, it would be helpful to include what area each contact can be used for.

 

These things are important to include to reduce the amount of confusion. Because only a few sentences going over these three things is needed, an out of office message can be short and sweet. You should be able to complete this task in less than 10 minutes.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is a work message, so you’ll want to keep things professional as you never know who might be emailing you in your absence. You will also want to avoid making promises that you are not sure will be kept. If you write in your message that you will respond as soon as you get back, the person contacting you might have an expectation that you are unable to meet. You will also want to be cautious if you gave a secondary contact for urgent matters. Your secondary contact might have other business they need to take care of before they help the people looking for you. 

There are a few important things to remember when writing an out of office message:

The first thing is that less is more. These messages can be left for any type of extended leave, so you don’t need to give away your personal information, specifically if it has to do with medical details. Overall, having too many details Can make it difficult for whoever is trying to contact you to actually get the information they are looking for.

Another thing to remember is to proofread your message before setting it. Some grammar mistakes happen, but you should try to make the best professional impression that you can. 

 

Here are a few examples to get you going on your out of office message:

“Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office until June 5. If you need immediate assistance, feel free to contact Jane Smith at [email address] for marketing inquiries or Claire Brown at [email address] for sales questions.”

“Thanks for your message. I will be on vacation from January 6 to January 16. If you need immediate assistance, feel free to call the office phone number at [phone number]. I will return your message when I am back in the office.”

“Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I am away from the office until May 10. I will return your message when I am back in the office, but if you need assistance before then, feel free to contact Mark Smith at [email or phone number]. I will contact you when I am back in the office. Sorry for any inconvenience.”