Out-of-office messages are widely overlooked. However, these notifications speak volumes about an employee’s sense of professionalism.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s part of your company’s policy or not. Letting your coworkers and clients know that you’re not in the office is a matter of common decency. So, if you’re planning on taking leave from work, it’s recommended to craft and activate a perfect out-of-office message on your business email address.
Read on for a definitive guide into how to craft stellar out-of-office messages for your autoresponder. The article shall also list 40 effective out-of-office notification ideas to use the next time you go on leave.
Importance of Out-of-office Messages
Out-of-office messages are highly important if you know you won’t be able to respond to your official emails for a given duration of time. The purpose of these messages is to notify your coworkers, clients, and customers of your unavailability and explain to them why your response may be delayed.
This is particularly important if working in industries or departments which deal directly with customers, such as sales and marketing, public relations, and consultancy.
The following are common reasons you may need to set up and activate an out-of-office message.
• Taking your annual work leave
• Taking a personal day off
• Taking sick leave
• Going on an important appointment, such as a dentist’s appointment
• Going on vacation
• Going on professional assignments, such as business conferences, company workshops, teambuilding trips, etc.
• Going on maternity or paternity leave
Out-of-office messages also serve another critical purpose – giving your callers alternative ways to get the goods, services, or information they’re looking for while you’re away.
Tips for Writing an Effective Out-of-Office Message
An out-of-office message should be clear, simple, and unambiguous. The caller shouldn’t struggle trying to decipher the underlying meaning of the message. Otherwise, they may end up sending you multiple emails and jamming your inbox.
Not only should out-of-office messages be clear. They should also be brief and to the point. Avoid giving lengthy explanations why you had to go away. All you need to do is indicate your absence and how long you intend to be gone while also specifying alternative contacts where you callers may find help.
Unless you’re only anticipating calls from friends and family members, it’s imperative to set up out-of-office messages that carry a tone of formality. That means avoiding slang words, fancy abbreviations, and unnecessary euphemisms.
This is a no-brainer. Out-of-office notifications should have a touch of politeness. Avoid swearing words or any statements that may come across as offensive.
Details to Include In an Out-of-Office Message
A perfect out-of-office message should start by indicating why you’re gone. Are you out on vacation or are attending a business conference? Are you having an appointment with your dentist or are simply taking a couple of days off?
Mentioning the reasons for your absence will help those trying to reach out to you determine whether they should wait till you return or contact you using alternative channels. However, avoid going into lengthy details of why you had to be away.
An out-of-office message should also mention how long you plan to be away. That could range from one day to one year. Just ensure you’re specific to avoid receiving multiple emails.
The following are other essential details you might want to include in an out-of-office message;
• The specific date you plan to get back
• The contact information of who to reach in your absence
• A sign-off (optional)
40 Out-of-Office Messages
Common Out-of-Office Message
Thank you for your message. I am out of the office until (mm/dd) and will have limited email access while I am away. If you need immediate assistance, please contact our advertising representative, Jules Carter, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-555-1059, ext. 4. Otherwise, I will respond to your email when I return.
2. Hi everyone!
Thanks for reaching out! I’m currently in (ENTER LOCATION) celebrating my sister’s wedding and will be taking a break from email while I’m supporting her on her big day. I’ll respond to all my messages as soon as I’m back in the office on Aug. 11. If you need help before then, please email my assistant, Jerry Fielding, at email@example.com.
Have a great day!
Social Media Coordinator
3. Hi there,
I’m out of the office until (mm/dd) and will respond to emails when I return. If you need to access the blueprints for the Apex Architecture project, I’ve placed copies on the server in the Current Project folder. If you need something urgent, please contact Stephanie.
I will be on vacation from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd) with little to no email access. If you need assistance with your taxes while I’m away, please contact my associate, Jean White, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-555-0193. For auditing matters, please contact our senior auditor, Max Kim, at email@example.com. If you need copies of financial documents, please call my assistant, Corey Lopez, at 881-555-3012.
Otherwise, I will respond to your message promptly when I return.
Stuart Capp, CPA
5. Thanks for your email. I’ll be out of the office from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd). If you need assistance while I’m away, please contact Jane Jones at [email and phone number] for marketing questions, or Bob Miller at [email and phone number] for accounting questions.
6. Thank you for your email. I am out of the office at this time, and I am not checking email. I will not return until (mm/dd). If this is an urgent matter, please contact James Johnson at [email and phone number]. Otherwise, I will respond to your email as soon as possible after my return.
Thanks for your message. I am out of the office attending the annual Association of Engineering Professionals conference in (ENTER LOCATION). I’ll be checking email periodically, but if you need immediate assistance, please contact my assistant, Loren Anders, at Loren@email.com or 934-555-1940.
If you’re in Denver this week, too, I’d love to connect! Stop by booth 618, or contact me on my cell at 934-555-1059.
I am away on vacation from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd) and plan to disconnect from email during that time. If your message can wait, I will respond as soon as I return. For urgent matters, please contact HR Coordinator Carl Weedin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 946-555-6319.
Human Resources Manager
I’m currently out of the office as I take some days off to roam and explore (ENTER LOCATION).
During this time, I will have limited access to emails, but I’ll read and respond to your message when I return to the office on (date).
In the meantime, you can get in touch with (name) at (email address] if you need assistance sooner than that.
Our offices will be closed for the week of from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd). I will respond to your message when I’m back at my desk Monday, (mm/dd). If you have an emergency, however, you can reach me on my cell at 829-555-1958.
11. I’m out of office for the holiday, and won’t be checking email while I’m out. Wishing you the [merriest/happiest holiday], and I’ll read and respond to your email when I return to the office on [date].
Thanks for your message. I will be away from my desk at an appointment from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, (mm/dd). I’ll have limited email access, so if you need something urgent, please contact Stacey Moden at email@example.com or 938-555-2819. If your email can wait, I will respond as soon as I’m back in the office.
13. Hi there,
Thank you for your message. I am away from the office leading a workshop from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd). I will be checking email throughout the day and will try to respond to messages promptly (please flag urgent messages as high importance). However, if you need immediate assistance, please contact Johnny Woo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 465-555-1098.
Thank you for your patience,
I am out of the office with no email access and will not be able to respond to your message until I return on (mm/dd). Please reach out to Sonny Jons at email@example.com or 823-555-3827, and he’ll take care of anything you need until then.
I will be away on maternity leave from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd). Our talented lead graphic designer, Patrick Heiner, will be managing my accounts during this time. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 958-555-8265.
Thank you for your message. I am out of the office on medical leave from (mm/dd) to (mm/dd). I will be checking email periodically, but please contact Amy Dunn (email@example.com, 395-555-9981) for all your consulting needs during this time.
Thank you for your understanding,
Out-of-Office Messages for Marketing and Lead Generation
Thank you for your email. I am out of the office with limited email access until (mm/dd). If you need assistance before I return, please contact Marley Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 932-555-6756.
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Digital Health Editor
18. Hi there,
Thanks for reaching out! I’m away from the office and will respond to emails when I return on Nov. 15. To stay up to date with all the exciting developments at Red Letter while I’m gone, follow us on all the major social media platforms. For immediate assistance, you can contact my colleague, Jen Price, at email@example.com.
Have a great day,
You just missed me. I am out of the office until (mm/dd). If your question can wait, great. I’ll reply when I get back. If not, contact (name) at (email) or (phone) and they’ll take good care of you. Meanwhile, feel free to peruse our FAQ section of (website) to see if your question can’t be answered there.
I’m out of the office until (mm/dd) with limited access to email. But don’t worry! I’ve left you with some helpful article to read and share in the meantime. I look forward to connecting with you when I return.
[list of articles, blog posts, etc.]
Thanks for your email. You can expect a response when I return on (mm/dd). Please contact [name] at [email] or [phone] for anything urgent. While you’re waiting, here’s something I made for you: [blogpost, eBook, brochure, checklist, etc.]
I hope [name of thing] makes your day a little easier.
This is an automated reply because I am currently out of the office until (mm/dd). Did you email me to know more about (product/sale/service/etc.). If you did, take a look at this [eBook/brochure/infographic/etc.]. I’ll be sure to answer any questions you may have about it upon my return.
I’m out of the office with no access to email until (mm/dd). If your request is urgent, you can contact (email) for assistance. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible when I return. While you wait, subscribe to our fantastic newsletter (link). Get actionable tips once per week geared toward helping you grow your business.
Thanks for your email. I am out of the office right now and will not return until (mm/dd). Fortunately for you, our resources never take time off and we’ve got this awesome [eBook/brochure/infographic/etc.] that I think you would enjoy. I’ll reply to you as soon as I get back into the office.
Funny Out-of-Office Messages
Thank you for contacting me. I’ll get back to you when I return to civilization.
If found, contact someone other than me.
27. Hi, I’ll be back on (mm/dd). Please contact (name) at (email) or (phone) if you really, really, really think it’s urgent. Otherwise, I’ll respond when I get back.
I’ll be out of the office until (mm/dd). I will probably see your message because I don’t know how to relax. I will likely respond if I feel that I need to help in any way.
If you don’t feel like adding to my workload, please contact (name) at (email) or (phone) in the meantime.
Thank you for your email! I am on vacation until (mm/dd). Vacations are not for checking email, so I won’t be doing that. During my absence, please contact (name) at (email) or (phone) because she’s checking email. Not me. Really, I’m not checking email.
Thank you for your email. I’m currently out of the office on leave until (mm/dd). For urgent matters, (name/email) will help you. She doesn’t have a cape, but she is basically Superwoman.
I’ll email you back once I’ve defrosted.
I’m thinking about what you’ve just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.
The bad news is that I’m out of office. The good news is that I’m out of office.
34. I am away from the office right now. Unfortunately, I will be back tomorrow.
35. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.
36. I am out of the office from (mm/dd to mm/dd) and will not be checking my email. It’s likely your note will be swallowed in a sea of inbox banality, never to be seen again. If you require a response, please re-send your email after (mm/dd).
37. I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return — but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.
38. If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.
39. If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to email@example.com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
40. On vacation. Hoping to win the lottery and never return.
The significance of out-of-office messages cannot be overemphasized. Whether you’re planning to be away for a day or a year, and for whatever reason, always remember to craft and activate your out-of-office autoresponder.
And if you ever find yourself struggling to come up with powerful OOO messages, you can always turn to this post for inspiration.