Don’t Forget Your Out-Of-Office Message!

OOO it’s time for the holiday break!
It’s the time of year where the majority of the US’s 125 million workers take some well deserved time off. With many of our country’s workers out of office, autoresponders will take over the internet. Before you leave to trim the tree and sip the nog, be sure that you have a perfect out-of-office (OOO) message set to autorespond for your email.
While holidays are the time for friends, family, and fun, we will all eventually return to work in January. You will be more comfortable during your time off if you know that your OOO message represents your business with the ultimate professionalism.
After all, an OOO message might be someone’s first contact with your business, and it should represent your organization’s values. We’ve put together 5 helpful tips to help you craft the perfect message to display your dedication and professionalism.

Tip #1: Address a wide audience

Inboxes get a variety of requests, so it’s important to address a variety of queries. Make sure that your out-of-office autoresponse appeals to anyone who might receive it. For example, don’t give out your mobile unless there is no other option. You never know whose hands it might fall into. Instead, try to direct important requests to another email address that you can check periodically.  

Tip #2: Be personable

This helps others understand your absence, and satisfies curiosity if you give a little bit of information about where you are. If you are away at an industry convention, then explain where you can be found. Similarly, if you are taking a vacation, explain that you will be out of signal range. Don’t include unnecessary information, but help those who email you understand why you are away.

Tip #3: Proofread!

Nothing puts you on the naughty list faster than misspellings and grammatical mistakes. Take the time to proofread your out-of-office message, or better yet, ask someone to take a look. It’s always much easier to copyedit someone else’s writing.  

Tip #4: Be specific

Let recipients of your out of office know exactly when you left the office and when you will return. You can also let them know the approximate time it will take you to get caught up on email once you return. For example, “I will be out of the office from December 24 – January 2. However, responses may be delayed until January 5 as I catch up on my email.” Other professionals understand that it can take a few days to get ahead of a backlog of email.

Tip #5: Provide another point of contact

For email requests that cannot wait, be sure to give a method of problem-solving that doesn’t include waiting until next year. If you have a support team, be sure to include their contact information. Ask a colleague to cover you if possible. If there is no other option, include an emergency form of contact. Hopefully, no one will need to use it.