Sara Nachlis
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Thank you for your email.

I will be out of the office until Friday, April 28. I will respond to your message when I return.

Ah, the out of office message. Boring, bland, blah.

But it doesn't have to be.

An out of office email's main purpose is to let people know:

  • That you're out of the office.
  • When you'll return.
  • Whom they should reach out to if they need immediate attention in your absence.

That's all well and good, but it's possible for your out of office email to work for you when you're not at work. Here's how.

Use it even when you're not on vacation.

An out of office email can be used to let people know you're doing much more than lounging on a beach somewhere.

Forbes contributor Avery Blank suggests turning the automatic response on when you're attending a conference, busy with a team building exercise or really, anything offsite that is work related.

"You might say, 'I am currently speaking at the Women’s Power Summit with limited access to e-mail. In the mean time, check out the other great speakers at the event,' writes Blank. "Doing this highlights an activity of yours, showcases other great people and in turn, can heighten your stature by association."

"While you're waiting..."

If you're waiting in a waiting room, odds are you at least have a magazine to entertain yourself. You can do the same thing with your out-of-office.

The Muse's Alexandra Franzen suggests that along with all your pertinent information add a line that says, "While you're waiting..." and links to a worksheet, blog post, video, etc." Adding a few links that show something about you and your work helps make an impression even when you're not there.

Lie, just a little bit.

When you come back from vacation, people are going to expect answers to their questions.

Instead of worrying about how you're going to dig out from the email avalanche on day one of your return, give yourself some time to respond by adding a day or two to your out of office.

Dmitri Leonov, the vice president of growth for Sanebox, an email inbox service that helps you separate your email into folders, tells Time that by saying you'll be back on Wednesday when you're really back on Monday can make all the difference.

“It gives yourself a little extra time to get everything done, and the added bonus is that I impress people when I get back to them on Wednesday,” he says.

So turn on your out of office, take that much needed break and wow 'em when you get back.

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This post originally appeared on Spring.St and has been republished with permission. You can read the original article here.

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