Create and use an Effective Out-of-Office Message


Almost all email systems can send an Out-of-Office message so that people emailing you know that you are away. These are often called autoresponder email messages.

This is good practice to set up to send an out-of-office message. It is a simple courtesy to tell people that you cannot respond immediately. It is also efficient and makes you look professional.

Think of it from the other person's perspective: they have sent you an email and expect a real-time response. Plus, in today's world, you may find your lack of response means something. Just imagine you get an email "We want to sort it out before we go to a lawyer...."

So I suggest you set one up if you intend to be out of the shop for some time.

When I am on holiday, even if I know I should have internet access, something often goes wrong. Plus, I do not have access to documents and people to discuss it. Plus, usually, I am not in the mood. So I set up such a message.

The note I use is


From experience, give yourself a [return date] a few days after you return. This is because when you arrive, besides your regular duties, there will be much to do to catch up.

For [reason] keep it simple holidays where ??? - let them be jealous, medical checks not an illness, etc.

[phone] not [email] as too many spammers are harvesting email addresses.

If you want to copy or change it, go for it. I change it on every extended break.

But I suggest you don’t forget to write an auto-response for those who email you while you’re on leave. 

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