How To: Write An Out Of Office Response

Whether you’re jetting off to sunny beaches or taking a road trip to see your beloved relatives, Christmas calls for a minimum 4 day break and at Freedom, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Almost everybody in the country will be preparing their out of offices (OOO to some) and we’re here to perfect your response.

It takes 5 minutes to do but if you make a typo or relay the incorrect information (date, name etc), you’ll either be ridiculed by colleagues or be in hot water with your manager so tip one: double and triple check your drafted response, because once that out of office is on, there’s no going back...
It is important to remember not everyone in the company shares the sense of humour you enjoy with your team. Any personal jokes or jokes only a small few would understand, should be avoided. You may have carried out a handover to a colleague in your absence; in these circumstances, leave their contact and email address. Stress that if the enquiry is not urgent, to simply await your return. Internal queries can obviously be slightly more colloquial and is more relaxed than an external message; however, messages should still be direct and to the point.

Keep in mind that it’s vital in internal and external messages to show your office return date. This allows your colleagues and associates to plan when they can have their query answered.

When writing out of offices for external respondents, you must remember that some people will be emailing you for the first time and your out of office will be their first impression of you. Remember to be polite but efficient in your response. You should be as informative as possible regarding the speed of your reply. This is all anyone really cares about when receiving an out of office reply. If you’re on holiday and you’re unlikely to reply to your emails; be honest and in your response, explain to respondents your emails will not be monitored and that you will reply upon your return.

Whilst we urge you to follow our guide on writing the correct Out Of Office, that being said we have come across some absolute crackers (pun intended) which we just had to share with you – please take these as examples of what NOT to do.

“I can't handle this today as I'm giving birth”, and “I'm heading off to push a 9 lbs baby out of my..." are personal favourites of ours. Another one that made the whole office chuckle was, “I’m not in the office right now, but if it’s important, tweet me using #YOUAREINTERUPTINGMYVACATION”. And finally, the king of OOO – “I am currently out of the office and probably out-of-my-mind drunk. Enjoy your work week.”

FYI Freedom will remain open over Christmas for the first time in a number of years; so we won’t be needing an OOO.

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