- What is an out of office message?
- Why is an out of office message important?
- How to write an out of office message
- Out of office message templates
- Out of offices message examples
When you are not in the office for more than a day, telling people who contact you that you might not be checking or responding to your emails right away will help them complete work in your absence. Setting up an out of office message can help you communicate this information. This article will describe how to write an out of office message and provide examples of effective message formats.
What is an out of office message?
An out of office message is an automatic response to work communications when you are away from the office. Using your email or messaging service, you can set up an automatic response to anyone who is trying to contact you. An out of office message should tell the sender:
- That you are not in the office
- The dates you will be gone
- Who they can contact while you are away
- When to expect a response from you
Why is an out of office message important?
Out of office messages are important because they let people know you are away from your regular work duties. These messages help businesses and projects run smoothly when a member of their team is away. They let people know you received their message and will respond by a certain date. This helps prevent confusion and frustration if someone is trying to communicate with you by email but not getting an answer.
Out of office messages can also make your workload easier when you return to the office. Colleagues and clients who know you are on vacation or at a conference might be less likely to fill your inbox with messages. If someone does need immediate help on a project, they can know who to contact in your absence to make sure it gets handled on time.
How to write an out of office message
Follow these steps to write an out of office message:
1. First, include the precise dates that you will be out of the office
Rather than a number of days or vague phrasing like “this week,” giving exact dates helps prevent confusion and lets senders know when they can expect a response from you.
2. Secondly, add why you are not in the office
If people know you are on vacation or maternity leave, for instance, they are more likely to wait for your return to follow up. If you are at a work conference, however, they might still expect you to check your email or provide updates.
3. Lastly, refer the sender to an alternative contact to reach out to
List the full name, phone number and email of an assistant or a coworker who can respond to messages and meet deadlines in your absence. If more than one person is handling your duties, list each one and the reason for contacting them. In some cases, you may consider providing a way to reach you in case of an emergency.
Additional resources: You might include a link to one of your webpages or a download if it provides information that can be useful to people while you are away.
Out of office message templates
Out of office messages can be as concise or detailed as you need but should follow a standard structure. Here are two templates you can use to create your own message.
I am out of the office from [date range]. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [name, title and contact information].
Thank you for your message. I will be out of the office starting [start date] and returning [return date]. While I am [reason for absence], I will have limited email access.
If you need immediate assistance with [project or department], please contact [name and contact information]. For assistance with [project or department], please contact [name and contact information].
I case of emergency, you can reach me at [emergency contact number].
Out of office message examples
Out of office messages differ depending on whether you are sending them within or outside the company. The language you use and the information you provide can also depend on the workplace environment. Here are three out of office message examples that illustrate these differences.
Example 1: Internal out of office message
I will be out of the office from May 1-6. I will be checking email periodically, but for urgent assistance please contact Pat Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or 555-432-6100. In case of emergency, you can reach me on my cell at 555-789-6100
Example 2: External out of office message
Thank you for your message. I am out of the office from May 1-6 with limited email access. If you need immediate assistance, please contact my assistant editor, Alex Jordan, at email@example.com or 555-432-6100. Otherwise, I will respond to messages upon my return.
Example 3: Detailed out of office message
Thanks for your message! I am brushing up on my social networking savvy and analytics knowledge at a digital media conference in Vancouver from May 1-6. I will have limited email access, so if you need immediate assistance, please reach out to our marketing assistant, Kennedy Tran, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 555-432-6100. In the meantime, if you need access to our media kit, you can find it here.
Use these templates and examples to create an out of office message that fits your job, company culture and client base. Your goal should be to provide a clear and informative message so senders know when to expect a response and work can run smoothly while you are away.