Kayla Heisler
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While finally setting your out of office message can flood some of us with a sense of relief, crafting the actual message can be a source of anxiety for others. Just taking a vacation in the first place can cause apprehension in some offices. Last year in the United States, over 7 million vacation days were tossed away. The vacation day neglect is unfortunate because as a Nielsen study revealed, 70% of those who take vacations were satisfied with their jobs while only 46% of those who do not vacation felt satisfied with theirs. 

While HubSpot can’t help you shake the guilt of taking time off (unless you work for their company, which provides unlimited vacation days), they have developed a free tool to help make taking those vacay days a little bit easier.

Boring out of office messages reflect employees’ hesitancy to leave their desks for a week or two, but HubSpot’s new Out of Office Email Generator celebrates the joy of vacation by creating customized OOO emails infused with humor and personality. Messages are generated based on your answers to a brief survey about your time away. For example, the employee off to a tropical island might get:

“Hi there, thanks for your email. Unfortunately (or not, if you’re me), I’m on vacation in [Destination] until [Return Date]. And before you get jealous, I have something that will help your office blues. Please enjoy this relaxing, 10-hour YouTube video of ocean waves. You’ll feel like you’re on the sandy beaches of Hawaii!”  

While someone hoping to leave ‘limited email access’ lie behind to send something a little more honest (and a lot more hilarious) might get:

“Oh, this is awkward: You’ve caught me away from my desk. *The crowd gasps*. I’m in [Destination] until [Return Date], and I know I’m supposed to say I have limited access to email but the truth is, the WiFi works just fine here #SorryNotSorry. I’m just enjoying some [Activity] instead. Once I wrap up my holiday, I look forward to following up with you. What if it’s urgent? [Emergency Contact Name] can be reached at [Emergency Contact Email]. Have a great day!”

Listen, everyone: Summer isn’t over yet. There’s no time like the present to break out an out of office email generator and claim some of those vacation days.

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Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology. 

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