You will not be in the office? Here’s how to let people know. Let us know about that out-of-office messages.
This article will explain what an out-of-office message is, what such a message is sent for, how and when it is to be sent, who the recipient of an out-of-office message is, and then provide a template and 4 samples of an out-of-office message. Thus providing the reader with all they will need to write and send an effective out-of-office message.
An out-of-office message is also referred to as OOO. It is an automated email that is sent to coworkers or colleagues to notify them that one will not be working for some time, and also informs them when they should expect a response, or include information on another person they should contact for what they require.
Situations that warrant an employee to send an out-of-office message.
● Time off
● Business travel
● Leave of sickness
Out-of-office messages are not only for scenarios where a staff member is away from his post for long periods, they are also appropriate for short-term unavailabilities. Such situations may be;
● Hospital appointments
● Early leave of work
To determine when to set up an out-of-office automated response message, a person should ask themselves what will happen if they’re away from their work for a time. If their response won’t be too late then one does not need to set up OOO. If they receive urgent messages regularly they may need to provide an explanation for delayed response in such a situation, an OOO will then be necessary.
What to include in an out-of-office message?
An out-of-office message does not need to be lengthy or elaborate. The message should convey important and necessary information. Some people like to garnish their OOOs by adding jokes and extra details. There are various ways to write an out-of-office message.
A good and professional out-of-office message should include;
1. Duration of absence
2. Brief reason for absence
3. Contact information of other people that can be reached for assistance in case the matter is urgent.
An out-of-office that properly provides the above-mentioned 3 gives the person that has sent the email the option of waiting for his availability or proceeding without him.
It doesn’t hurt to also include some pleasantries.
What not to include in an out-of-office message?
Unrealistic expectations; “I’ll reply the moment I return” or “my colleague will assist you immediately”. There’s no need to place any burdens on yourself or your colleagues.
Unprofessional or overly informal tone; whether the environment a person is in has elevated his or her mood or not, it is always vital to remember that an out-of-office is meant to be professional.
How to set up an OOO automated reply?
Since a staff member is out-of-office, that staff should not have to draft up an email every time they wish to let someone know that they are not available for work.
To set up an out-of-office message as an automated reply
Select the file > automatic files
On Microsoft outlook 2007
Select tools > out-of-office assistant.
In the box for automatic replies, choose to send automatic replies
One may also choose to set a date duration for the automatic replies
Subject; automated reply-Out-of-office
First paragraph; this paragraph is the most important in an OOO message. It should contain a reason for absence and the expected date of return.
Second paragraph(optional); this paragraph may include an alternate point of contact for the one sending the email in situations that require immediate assistance
[personal closing]; happy holidays, best, yours sincerely, sincerely, etc. [name and signature]
Your out-of-office message may look like any of the following
I’ll be away from the office this week due to sickness. In the meantime, if you require urgent assistance please contact [name, and contact information of alternate contact]
[your name and signature]
Thank you for your email, at the moment I am unavailable as I am out of the office until (return date) for (reason for absence). I will gladly respond to your email when I return.
Meanwhile, if you require any assistance, please reach out to (name, and position) at (mobile number and or email address)
[personal closing address]
Thank you for your email, I am currently offline due to celebrating the festivities with my loved ones, but will resume on (date). I’ll respond to your email as promptly as I can once I return. But if you need urgent assistance please send an email to (name of person) at (email address) in my absence
Have a wonderful holiday
(your name and signature)
For the person that’ll be checking emails even while on break.
I’m currently out of the office until (date of return)
Notwithstanding, I take periodic breaks to go through my emails (daily/every morning/hourly/weekly) while I’m away.
If it isn’t too urgent, be rest assured that I’ll respond to your email during my next break. If it is time-sensitive and requires my immediate attention please resend the content of this email with the subject line being “URGENT: (original subject of email)” Conclusion
One can never be too sure of who will read the automated out-of-office message they’ve set up, which is why we have provided all relevant and necessary information to help the reader make sure their OOO is professional and able to pass the point of absence and unavailability across clearly. No matter what one may wish to have in an out-of-office message, it’s important to remember to include the basics; reason for absence, date of return, who to contact, and how to contact that person in urgent situations.
Frequently asked questions
1. Are out-of-office messages only for in-office work situations?
No, an out-of-office message is good work etiquette regardless of the situation where a person works. So that absence of staff does not disrupt the smooth running of a business
2. What are some more tips to remember regarding OOO?
● Don’t forget to set up the automation process.
● Spend your time off relaxing without feeling the need to always be available ● Proofread and make corrections before setting up an out-of-office message as an automated reply.