How to set the perfect out-of-office email

By July 30, 2020For Talent

Are you setting an out of office email any time soon?

Is there anything more satisfying and exciting that officially setting your out-of-office email, and heading off on annual leave? Probably not, to be honest. 

As the world slowly starts returning to the new normal, many of us are considering vacations once more. Staycations, and trips to green list approved countries are booking up fast, which is so great to see. 

In all the excitement, it can be a bit of a pain to have to think about one thing in particular – the out-of-office email. Not something that takes long, but can be the last thing you want to do at 5pm on the day you’re heading off. 

So, we’re here to help, with a few tips that will help you write the perfect out-of-office response….

out-of-office email

Make it short and sweet.

Most of the time, when a person receives an out of office email, they’ll quickly scan it. So don’t feel the need to include too much in it. Keep it short, and to the point, including all relevant information to your time off. 

Be friendly, but professional. 

You never know who will be at the receiving end of your email, so make sure you keep it friendly, and professional. Ensure it would be appropriate for anyone to read, no matter their industry, or job level. 

out-of-office email

Say why you’re off. 

This kind of depends on you, but I would always tend to include my reason for being out of the office within my email. Why? Well, sometimes, even if you are away from your desk, people might still try to contact you. I f you specify that you are on holiday, rather than at a work-related conference for example, you’re more likely to be left in peace. 

Include your dates.

It’s recommended that you include your dates in your out of office email, so that the person contacting you is aware of how long you are gone for. If their query is urgent, they may choose to reach out to someone else. However, if they see you will be back at your desk in a week, they may decide to hold off until your return. 

out-of-office email

Give an alternative contact.

Provide the names, phone numbers and email addresses of a person in the office who can be contacted in your absence. If you handle multiple areas, specify each person’s area of expertise so colleagues and clients know exactly where to go for assistance.

So with all of the above, here’s a template of an ideal out-of-office email:

“Thanks for your email. I’ll be out of the office August 26-28. If you need assistance while I’m away, please contact Jane Jones at [email and phone number] for marketing questions, or Bob Brown at [email and phone number] for accounting questions.”

out-of-office email

Now, enjoy your holiday! 

Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

More posts by Rebecca O'Keeffe

Leave a Reply