Today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on Out of Office messages for your email.

I love them. They tell people when I’m on holidays, on a course for a couple of days…but I’ve often wondered if my standard message is good enough.

My usual out of office message has been quite short and to the point:

Thanks for your email.

I’m [on leave/on a course/doing something very important] and will action your email upon my return on Monday. Please contact reception for urgent matters on [phone number]”

I read other people’s out of office messages to get ideas on what I do or don’t like about them. Some are short and some are honest. In this day and age, it’s becoming expected of many of us to be accessing our work emails on our iPhones or home computers and I’ve realised that it’s becoming a necessity to spell. it. out. to people that I’m not checking my emails, even when I say I’m not in the office.

Before going on my most recent holiday, I took a couple of minutes to find good examples of out of office messages. There are plenty of bad examples, but this example from the Microsoft Outlook templates site was the one that I liked the most:

Using this example, my standard out of message is now

Thanks for your email, I’m currently [on leave/out of the office] with no access to email.

I will return 9.00am on Monday 13th and action your email then.

If you need assistance before Monday, please contact reception on [email address] or [phone number].

Kind regards, Laura

And hopefully my message is being more helpful when I’m not around.

Do you use an out of office message?

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