In this day and age, it’s common courtesy to put in place an out of office (OOO) email if you won’t be able to respond to messages in a timely fashion, even if you have a coworker who’s agreed to cover for you. Whether you’re out with a nasty cold, at a training seminar, attending a conference or tradeshow, on vacation, or away from the office for a longer period (on parental or sick leave, for instance), using an email autoresponder to let people know of your lack of availability is a must.
But when it’s time to put an out of office email together, many professionals don’t know where to begin. What information needs to be included? How long should the email be? Are there any security risks to be aware of when using an auto reply email template?
Instead of leaving you to scour the internet for a sample out of office email that meets your needs, we’ve put together a few out of office email template ideas that are appropriate – and safe – for several common scenarios.
Thank you for your message. I will be mostly unavailable today as I recover from a cold. However, I plan to check my inbox and will respond to messages as I’m able.
For urgent matters, please reach out to my colleague [name] at [email address].
Thank you for your email. I’m currently completing a training seminar and will have minimal access to my inbox until [return date]. If you have an urgent matter and need immediate assistance, please reach out to our customer service team at [phone number].
Thank you for reaching out. The [Conference/Tradeshow name] is taking place this week, and I will have limited availability until [return date]. However, if you need assistance sooner than that, my colleague, [name], can be reached at [email address].
Thanks for contacting me. I am currently out of the office and will be responding to email beginning on [return date]. If you need assistance sooner than that, please contact [name] at [email address].
Thanks for your email. I will be out of the office until [return date] and won’t be able to access my inbox in the meantime.
For general inquiries, please reach out to [name] at [email]. If you have an urgent matter that requires immediate assistance, please contact [name] at [email].
If this is not a time-sensitive request, please feel free to reach out to me upon my return in [month name].
Have a great day!
Regardless of which OOO email example you choose, you must walk a fine line between informing customers, vendors, and coworkers of your absence and guarding against potential security concerns. When naming a contact who will answer requests while you’re out, avoid identifying their title and do not label them as your supervisor or boss.
One final tip: whether you’re out of the office at a training seminar or on a cruise in the Caribbean, try not to stress over your inbox. You’re out of office email is serving its purpose, so focus on your work-life balance and don’t worry about the emails you might be missing.