Heading out of the office for some R&R, traveling off the grid or taking the day off for a simple staycation? Whatever the case, your out-of-office (OOO) message says a lot about you.
Here are seven types of OOO messages, and what they tell recipients about you.
"Hey there! I'll be out of the office taking advantage of [company name]'s attention to work-life balance! I'll be doing my best to unplug so I can spend some quality time with family over the next few days. You can catch me back in the office on [date]. Until then, feel free to reach my colleague, [email], here with any urgent questions or concerns. Thanks in advance for respecting my time off!"
This kind of OOO email lets recipients know that you appreciate a work-life balance, and you expect that other's respect it, too. Those who do value a work-life balance, as well, will respect your time off.
"Thanks for reaching out! I won't be tending to my emails for the next week. That's because, at the moment, I'm soaking up some sun somewhere in Thailand. Please reach out to my colleague, [name], for any urgent requests. Otherwise, I'll get back to you on [date] when I return rejuvenated!"
Sending an OOO email like this one tells recipients that you're a world traveler. While this may induce envy in some, it could also spark good conversation and create connections with others!
"Hello! Thanks for your email. I'm off the grid, busy trekking to Mount Kilimanjaro base camp in Tanzania. So, needless to say, I won't have access to email for the next few days! Feel free to contact my colleague, [name], for any immediate requests. Or hang out until make it back down the mountain, and I'll get back to you on [date]."
An OOO email that tells recipients that you're out in the wild, off the grid and unable to tend to emails suggests that you're a real outdoorswoman who truly unplugs when she says she will. Again, while this kind of email can induce envy in some who wish they could trade places, it can also lead to connections with people who might have similar interests or, in this case, have had the same experiences.
"Thanks for your email. I have limited access to email until [date], but I'll do my best to respond to all queries in a reasonable timeframe."
This work email suggests to others that you're a workaholic, willing to jump online even though you're supposed to be using your paid time off (PTO)! It says that you're willing to work, and probably have a difficult time saying no and unplugging.
"Hello! Thanks for reaching out. I'm out of the office until [date]. Please reach out to my colleague, [name], with any urgent questions or concerns."
This very simple OOO email tells recipients that you're out of the office in the most general way possible. You don't think too much about emails like this. Rather, you're to the point and direct, so you can focus on the real matter at hand: Enjoying your time off.
"Hi there! Thanks for your email. I'm taking two days off to practice some self-care. I'll be back in the office feeling refreshed and ready for your queries on [date]. Thanks for your understanding!"
This OOO email lets recipients know that you take self-care seriously. You're the kind of person who prioritizes self-care practices such as reading, unwinding with a favorite television series, hitting the spa, spending time with family, exercising, etc. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, you hope that others value your self-time, too.
"Thanks for your email! Unfortunately, I'm out of the office and have limited access to email at the moment. I apologize for any inconvenience! If your email is urgent, feel free to forward it along to my colleague, [name]. They'll get back to you, and I will reach back out as soon as possible! Thanks in advance for your understanding."
The over-apologizer says their sorry for times when they don't need to be! Sending an OOO email that apologizes for using your allotted time off suggests that you're the kind of person who's always trying to appease others. It's not a bad trait, but it can certainly take a toll on your own mental health!
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.
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