Out of Office etiquette
Spring is just around the corner, and chances are, some of you have well deserved trips planned. While you may be tempted to keep your phone at arms reach in case of a work emergency, the reality of the situation is you won’t always be available to check your inbox. Instead, you rely on your out-of-office reply, enjoy your break and hope you won’t be flooded with unanswered emails upon your return.
It’s common courtesy to leave an automated message to let people know you’re out of the office. Many of you may have never really thought about it, and probably leave it as one of the last things you do before you happily skip out of the office, typing it up in a rush before shutting down your computer. Don’t fret; we’re here to help! The Corporate Communications team will provide you with the right out-of-office etiquette to keep it polite and professional.
Remember to set your out-of-office reply. This may be a given, but you will be surprised at how many things you will need to do before you leave. To make things easier, set it in the morning of your last day and set your start date and time for your out-of-office reply. It’s always better to prepare beforehand and have one less thing to think about.
Keep it brief! Don’t make the person sending you an email read your whole life story and what you’re doing on your vacation, because chances are, they’ll ignore it! Instead, point them to someone else in your department who can help them with any issues. Just because you’re on holiday, doesn’t mean that you can’t provide any assistance. Provide a colleague’s full name, designation, email address and contact number. That simple detail goes a long way!
Ensure you provide a return date. It is important to inform people when you expect to return to the office. Avoid any confusion and provide the exact day and date of your return. If you aren’t coming in first thing in the morning, it is also essential to mention the time.
Maintain professionalism. Keep it simple. It’s best to keep it professional and not share too much about your personal life…that includes where you are vacationing!
Lastly, always TRIPLE check for typos! Save yourself the embarrassment and make sure that there are no grammatical mistakes or typos. If you’re still unsure after reading it, ask a colleague to proof read it for you.
Take a look at some examples below:
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I am out of the office until Sunday, March 22nd with no email access. If you need any assistance during my absence, please contact Corporate Communications Supervisor, Mohamed Algarf, on email@example.com or +973 1774 6115.
May Al Mousawi
Corporate Communications Executive
If you are available to be contacted by telephone during your time off, your auto reply could go along the lines of:
Thank you for your email. I’m out of the office and will be back on Sunday, March 22nd at 10am. During this period I will have limited access to my email. For urgent assistance please contact me on my mobile phone at +973 3966 6666. For any other queries, kindly contact Corporate Communications Supervisor, Mohamed Algarf, on firstname.lastname@example.org or +973 1774 6115.
Now relax and enjoy your holiday! You don’t want to return to an inbox full of requests that should’ve been completed yesterday. But one thing you shouldn’t forget to do is turn off your auto reply once you’re back in the office!