Hi stranger, Sorry I'm unable to reply to your email. I'm off frolicking in the meadows. Please do not contact me until I'm back.
How's that for an out-of-office message? Probably not ideal. As a working professional, emails are your lifeline. And even when you're not around to respond, you need to let senders know you're not actually ignoring them.
So here's a breakdown for how to write the perfect, most concise out-of-office message.
1. Start with a friendly greeting
Skip the "Greetings," "Salutations," "Dear sir/madam." These are far too stuffy and robotic. Instead, start off your response with a simple "Hi" or Hello."
2. Thank them for their email
Even though you're not actually responding to the email, you still need to mind your Ps and Qs. After your greeting, add "Thanks for your email."
3. Explain why you're out
No need to go into great detail that you're traveling to seven different European countries. Simply state whether you're on vacation, at a conference, or on a business trip. This will give the sender a general idea of whether you're be checking your email while you're out. "I'm currently on vacation/at a conference/on a business trip."
4. Give them the dates
Don't leave your sender guessing. Let them know when you'll be out and the date you'll be back in the office — not when you're returning home.
"I'll be out of the office from Monday, 12/14, and will be back on Monday, 12/21."
5. Throw your boss under the bus
Because you can never predict when an emergency will come up, make sure you have someone who can resond to urgent requests. And that person would be your direct manager. But let them know ahead of time so they're not blindsided when they need to respond to something.
Try something like, "For immediate assistance, please contact Boss Name at email@example.com."
Now that we've gone over each component, here's a template you can use:
Thanks for your email. I'm currently on [reason]. I'll be out of the office from [date] and will be back on [date]. For immediate assistance, please contact [person name] at [person's email].
And if you want to try something clever, here are a few hilarious examples.