Tips for Crafting the Perfect Out of Office Response

Tips for Crafting the Perfect Out of Office Response

“Thank you for your email. I am currently getting photo-bombed by an Alpaca at Machu Picchu and will be back next Monday.”

Crafting your out of office response is the official start of your vacation! It lets your colleagues know that you are off the grid and alerts them to when you'll be back. It also allows you to kick back and enjoy your break knowing that your inbox won't be flooding with unnecessary emails. So start things off on a high note with an email that not only informs, but also fits your unique personality.

Start With the Subject of Your Out of Office Response

Your email subject line should be simple and to the point. While your subject can have a bit of oomph, make sure your reader knows it’s an “out of office” response just from the subject line. Not everyone reads their responses right away, so it’ll be an automatic prompt for your recipient to take any necessary additional in case this is a timely matter.

The Basics: What You Need to Include in Your Out of Office Response

As with every dedicated email, there are a few points that you absolutely must hit. 

Duration. Be sure to provide the exact date of your return.

Back-up contacts. This could be your supervisor or your second in command.

Emergency contact number. If your position requires being on-call, provide a number to be used. Note that this number should only be used in case of emergency or if your back-up contact is not appropriate for the matter hand.

Are you accessible? If you are somewhat accessible (and willing to reply to emails), state so. This is especially important in the case of work trips, where you are still working, but may have limited access to Internet.

 Nomad Lane Out of Office Emails

Know Your Audience

Some email providers (such as Microsoft Outlook) will give you the option of setting up two out of office replies; one for internal communications, and one for external communication. If this is the case, the internal communication is your time to shine!

If your organization is a smaller one, have a little fun with your internal communication response. Avoid messages that may inspire jealousy, but feel free to have fun with your language. Instead of saying “I am on vacation,” why not describe a fun activity you might be doing. “I am currently snorkeling while slathered in sunblock and am unable to answer your email” – paint a picture and let your personality shine to your work colleagues.  

For external communication, make sure to keep your brand (both personal brand and company’s brand) in mind. If you work for a company known for having a bit of an edge, you may be able to push the boundaries of your out of office response more. For more traditional companies and roles, keep the response professional and to the point.

Signing Off: Say Goodbye

“Thanks,” “best,” “regards,” – been there done that! Are you in France? Why not sign off with an au revoir (goodbye). Or perhaps a dankeschön (many thanks) while traveling through Germany – if you left the rest of your message rather dry up until this point, spice it up with your closing salutation.

Now go and enjoy your vacation and try not to check your email too much! And if you need a luggage tag for your trip, check out our guide.  

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