An out of office message, or OOO message for short, is a crucial part of business communications. When you’re on vacation, out sick, or not in the office for any reason, you can set up an auto-response message that replies to each new email, letting them know that you’re not in. They are useful for communicating information and letting the recipient know how to get in touch with you.
We’ll look at what out of office messages are and some examples to help you create your auto-reply.
What is an Out of Office Message?
An out of office message is an auto-response that you can set up from your email client if you happen to be out of the office and have no chance to check your email account. For instance, you can set one up in advance because you bought a ticket to a conference on the cheapest day to fly and know you won’t be available that day.
You can have it running for a specific period of time and add exact dates so that auto-replies will only go out during those dates. The out of office message will automatically be sent to incoming messages on the dates you decide to run the automatic message.
When is an Out of Office Message Needed?
There are several reasons why an out of office message is needed for business communications. Most notably, it’s nice to let people know you won’t be available to respond during certain times and it is good email etiquette.
Out of office email can also tell potential clients how quickly they should expect a response from you, and provide them with instructions on how best to contact you in case of an emergency.
Here are a few top reasons why you would need an OOM:
- Business Trips: Out of office messages are needed when you’re away from the office on business trips. This lets people know that they won’t receive an immediate response and gives them an alternate point of contact, like a work colleague or supervisor.
- Vacations: Taking time off for vacation is important to recharge and relax, but letting people know you’re away is just as important. An out of office message can let people that you’re on holiday and when you’ll be back.
- Unavailable: If you have to take some time off due to illness or an emergency, an out of office message will keep your contacts informed about the situation and when you’ll be back.
- Client Meetings: Out of office messages are great for letting people know that you’re away on a client meeting and when to expect an update or response from you.
- Training Courses: If you’re attending a training course, let your contacts know, so they don’t think you’re ignoring them
Be sure to check out the video for ‘How to Set an Out of Office on Microsoft Teams’ after you’re through reading:
How to Come Up with an Amazing OOO Message
You want your out of office message to be personable and informative. Here are a few tips on how to make your out-of-office email stand out:
Step 1: Keep it Short and Sweet
An out-of-office message should be short, concise and get the point across. No one wants to read a lengthy message just to find out that you won’t respond immediately.
Step 2: Be Kind
You want your message to be polite and professional, so avoid using phrases like “out of the office until further notice,” as this can sound a bit dismissive.
Step 3: Make it Personal
If you’re away on vacation or an event, consider adding something personal about what you’ll be doing. This will help your message stand out and show that it’s coming from a real person, not an automated system.
Step 4: Give Clear Instructions
Make sure to provide clear instructions on how people can contact you in case of an emergency or if they need something urgently.
Step 5: Add a Bit of Humor
If you’re feeling creative, why not add a bit of humor to your message? This will help make it stand out from the pack and can even spark conversations with your contacts.
Also, don’t forget to add the following information to your autoresponder email message:
- Why you’re out of the office
- When you’ll be back, including the date range (starting date, return date, etc.) for when you are out of the office
- Other ways to reach you, such as a cell phone number if applicable. You could put something like ” If you need immediate assistance, please contact (your cell #)” in your autoresponder email messages.
- Other points of contact the recipient can reach in your absence in cases of immediate assistance, including another contact email address, phone number and/or business website.
What Not to Write in an Out of Office Message
- Avoid adding too many details to your out of office reply: It might be tempting to add a long explanation, such as you are in a lunch meeting, but it’s best to avoid putting n too much detail. Instead, keep your auto-office email message short and concise.
- Not including other contact information: If possible, there should always be another point of contact included in the message to know who to follow up with if needed.
- Broadcasting too many personal details: Putting excess information in emails makes it harder for readers to glean the information they need. Also, adding too many personal details for the world to see can be a security concern, especially if you let people know you will be away from places like your home office.
- Not getting permission to commit a colleague: If you need to commit a colleague in your absence, get their permission first before doing so.
- Adding that you will respond as soon as you are back in the office: Telling everyone that you will respond as soon as you get back can be a land mine. While this is a great indication of how you’re taking care of your clients and fellow workers, it can take time to get back to everyone who’s contacted you while you were away. Keep things realistic, so no one feels ignored when you get back.
Here is a table of those steps for quick reference:
|1||Keep it Short and Sweet||Your message should be concise, delivering the necessary information without being overly lengthy.|
|2||Be Kind||Always maintain a polite and professional tone. Avoid phrases like “out of the office until further notice,” as it may come off as dismissive.|
|3||Make it Personal||If you're on vacation or at an event, add a personal touch about what you're doing. It helps the message feel more human and less automated.|
|4||Give Clear Instructions||Include instructions for how people can reach you in an emergency or if they need urgent assistance.|
|5||Add a Bit of Humor||If appropriate, infuse a touch of humor into your message. This can help it stand out and even prompt conversations.|
|6||Explain Your Absence||Clearly state why you're out of the office. Whether you're on vacation or at a conference, your contacts deserve to know.|
|7||State Your Return Date||Provide the dates (start and end) of when you'll be out of the office so people know when to expect a response.|
|8||Provide Other Contact Options||Include alternative ways to reach you or someone else in the company for immediate assistance. Include another contact email, a phone number, and/or business website.|
20 Amazing Out of Office Message Examples
If you’re unsure how to structure your away-from-office message, we’ve come up with a sample out-of-office messages for different situations to help.
1. Simple Out of Office Message Example
This one is short, sweet and to the point:
Thank you for your message. I am away from the office without email access until (date), I will respond when I return to the office. I appreciate your understanding.
2. Professional Out of Office Message
A professional OOO message is great for colleagues, customers and business contacts:
Thank you for your message. I am out of the office from (date) to (date) with limited access to email. If you need immediate assistance, please get in touch with me on my cell phone (number) or my secretary XX at (phone number).
3. Funny Out of Office Messages
A funny out of office message can lend a personal touch and help your contacts know you’re still alive and well and don’t take yourself too seriously. Here is an example:
Thanks for the message, but this is a robot responding to you as (name) is currently out of the office and trying really hard not to check their office email. They’ll be back by (date), so feel free to get in touch then!
The Email Robot
4. Out of Office Autoresponder Email Messages
If you need to send an out-of-office autoresponder message while you’re away on vacation or otherwise unavailable, here is an example:
This is an office autoresponder email message as I am unavailable and not checking email. I will respond to your email when I return to the office.
This is an automatic OOO message as I am out of the office until (date). I will respond to your message promptly upon my return. If you need immediate assistance, please get in touch with XX at (email) for more details.
5. Out of Office Sick Leave Message Example
Medical leave is a time to rest and recuperate. Be sure to let your colleagues and contacts know you won’t be available with a message like this:
Thank you for your message, but I am currently on sick or medical leave and unable to attend to email. If you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the office at XX.
Thank you for your understanding
6. Out Of Office Vacation Message
If you’re going away for vacation, here is an informative email vacation responder message for your contacts:
Thank you for your email. I am currently on vacation and unable to respond to phone calls or messages until I return on (date). If your matter is urgent, you can contact XX for assistance at (email). Alternatively, you can email at (generic company email), and someone from the team will be in touch.
Also, if you want to elevate your message, include a special auto-response to make it more entertaining for the reader. You can do this by linking to a GIF in your out of office reply.
7. Maternity Leave Out of Hours Message
Taking maternity leave and don’t want to fret? Automatic replies like this example OOO message below can help let your contacts know when you’ll be back in the office, lessen the pressure to respond to messages and give you peace of mind:
Thank you for your message. I am currently on maternity leave without access to emails or phone calls until (date). If your matter is urgent, please contact (email). Alternatively, you can reach out to the wider team at (team email), and someone from the company will assist you as soon as possible.
All the best,
8. Business Trip Out of Office Message
If you are going away on a business trip, this example out of office message can help you communicate your absence and contact details:
Thank you for your message. I am away on a business trip until (date) and will return to the office with limited email access. For immediate assistance, please contact my colleague XX at (email).
9. Sabbatical Out of Office
Sabbaticals are a great way to recharge and come back with fresh ideas. This out of office message can help you communicate your absence:
Thanks for your message. I am taking a sabbatical from (date) to (date) and will not be available for emails or phone calls during this period. If you need assistance, please get in touch with XX at (email). I look forward to returning soon!
10. Out of Office Message for Personal Emergency
Life can throw unexpected curveballs. This out of office message can help you communicate any personal emergencies:
Thank you for your message. I am out of the office due to a personal emergency and will not be available until (date). If your matter is urgent, please contact XX at (email) for assistance.
Wishing you all the best,
11. Training Out of Office
Going to a training course? This out of office message can help you communicate the details your contacts need to know:
Thanks for your message. I am out of the office on a training course until (date) and will not be able to respond to emails or phone calls during this time. If you need help, please get in touch with XX at (email).
All the best,
12. Out of Office for Appointment
This out of office message can help you communicate your absence when you head out for an appointment:
Thanks for your message. I am currently out of the office attending an appointment and won’t be able to respond until (date). If you need assistance, please contact XX at (email).
13. Moving Out of Office Message
Moving to a new office or home? This out of office message can help you communicate your absence during the move:
Thank you for your message. I am moving offices and may not be able to respond to emails or phone calls until (date). If you need immediate help, please contact my colleague XX at (email).
14. Out of Office Meeting
This out of office message can help you communicate your absence to people while you are attending a meeting:
Thanks for your message. I am out of the office attending a meeting and won’t be able to reply until (date). If you require assistance, please contact XX at (email) for further information.
15. Team Outing Out of Office Message
This out of office is perfect for team outings since it can help you communicate the pertinent details people need to know:
Thanks for your message. I am away with my team on a day trip and will not be able to respond until (date). For immediate help, please contact my colleague XX at (email) and flag urgent messages as high priority.
Wishing you all the best,
16. Conference Out of Office Message
Thank you for your message. I am currently away attending a conference and will not be able to respond until (date). If your matter is urgent, please contact XX at (email) for assistance.
All the best,
17. Short Term Out of Office Message
A lot of times OOO messages are tailored to an extended period of time. On the other hand, this one is created in case you are away from the office for a short period of time and includes what to put for anyone that may have an urgent matter that can’t wait:
Thanks for your message. I am out of the office on a short-term basis and will not be able to respond until (date). For urgent matters, please contact XX at (email).
18. Out of Reach Out of Office
This one is for those who are away from their office and unable to respond, typically because of limited access:
Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office today and have no email contact and won’t be able to respond until (date). For urgent matters, please contact XX at (email) for assistance.
19. Holidays Out of Office Messages
Mark this holiday OOO message off your to-do list before you take a break with this all-purpose example:
Thank you for your message. I am away on holiday from (date) to (date). For immediate assistance, please contact XX at (email).
20. Remote Working Out of Office Message
This OOO message example is for those who are not in the office but still working remotely:
Thanks for your message. I am currently working remotely and will not be able to respond until (date). For urgent matters, please contact XX at (email).
Use These Out of Office Message Examples to Create Your Own
The out of office messages provided above are just a starting point for creating your own. When writing your own message, think about what clients and team members will need to know and who would be the best person on the team to guide them in your absence.
These examples can give you an idea of how much information to include (or exclude) and the important components that go into creating the message.
Also, don’t forget to update your out of office messages as soon as you return to the office so that your customers receive timely responses.
What is a good automatic email response? One that will generate leads
Rest assured that there is an excellent automatic office message response for you in internet land. However, it’s a really good idea to think about tailoring your out of office messages for lead generation. First of all, creating an out of office autoresponder email message is important and even more essential for email marketing.
The good news is that it’s surprisingly easy to create a lead generation opportunity that will collect a lead in your responder. Also, office message examples that collect leads, include a sense of urgency, have a clear call to action and make the reader smile are key.
Are there templates you can use for an out of office email?
Yes, there are numerous templates available online that can assist you in crafting an effective out-of-office message. Here are some key points to note:
How do I put out of office on status?
To put out of office on status, you will need to enable your Out of Office reply. If you use a web-based email client such as Gmail or Outlook, you can do this by going into Settings and enabling the Out of Office function.
You may also have access to an auto-responder in your email settings, which is a great tool for setting up your Out of Office status. If you are using a desktop email client, you will need to access the settings for that specific program to turn on the Out of Office message.
How do I set up an out-of-office message on Gmail?
Setting up an Out of Office email message on Gmail is easy! Just open your Gmail Settings, select the “Vacation Responders” tab, and check the box to enable the feature. Then, simply enter your desired response, set a starting date and end date for when you’ll be away from your inbox and returning, and save your changes.
You can also customize your Out of Office message to include specific contact information for urgent inquiries and any other pertinent details, such as expected response times.
How do I set up an out-of-office message in Outlook?
Setting up an Out of Office email message in Outlook is also a breeze! Just open the “File” tab and select the “Send automatic replies” option. Then, check the box to enable it, enter your desired response, and save your changes. You can customize your Out of Office message to include specific contact information for urgent inquiries, as well as any other pertinent details, such as expected response times.
Last Checks for Your Vacation Responder
Before leaving, you’ll want to check the following:
- Availability: Everything in your auto-reply messages, including the vacation responder and time frame like the start and end dates, are unavailable for you.
- Formatting: Depending on the email client, an auto-reply message can sometimes present with formatting issues.
- Appearance: Make sure to check and see how your auto-reply messages look on desktop and mobile devices before it goes out to clients and team members.
- Content: Check and double-check your auto-reply messages to ensure that it’s accurate, clear, and professional.
- Urgent matters: Make sure to include alternative contact information, such as a mobile number or email address, for urgent matters.
Once your Out of Office message is all set up and ready to go, you can relax knowing that any emails sent to your inbox will be answered in a timely fashion. With these 20 Out of Office Message Examples from Small Business Trends, you’re sure to craft the perfect message and start raking in the leads! Good luck and happy away time!
Image: Envato Elements
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