After getting your request for leave approved by your supervisor, you can’t wait for the holidays. You power your way through the pile of work sitting on your desk, enthusiastically tick off all the items on your to-do list, and discuss who should fill in for you during your absence with your team. However, just as you’re about to shut your laptop close and flip a mental switch to turn on holiday mode, you realise there’s still one thing left to do.
Yes, we’re talking about setting up your out-of-office auto-reply email.
When you’re on leave, you shouldn’t have to worry about work emails or feel pressured to respond to them. At the same time, you don’t want your colleagues and clients who are unaware of your absence to think that you’re blowing them off. If you want to make the most of your time away without potentially worrying the people you work with, setting up an out-of-office auto-reply email does the trick!
What should an effective out-of-office auto-reply email include?
The reason(s) for your absence
If you include the reasons for your absence in your email, your recipients will less likely expect you to check in out of respect for your personal space. At the same time, you don’t have to delve into the details and tell them what exactly you’re up to. Simply mentioning that you’re travelling or taking some time off for personal reasons, for instance, is enough.
The date of your return
Letting your recipients know the date of your return gives them an idea of your earliest availability and helps manage their expectations. However, it might not be the best idea to claim that you’ll revert back as soon as you return to work since you could have plenty of things to catch up on. You don’t want to make promises you might not be able to keep.
The contact details of the person who can help
Letting your recipients, especially clients, know whom they can contact for assistance during your absence may put their minds at ease. After seeking permission from the colleague in question, be sure to include their name, title, and contact details in your email. At the same time, be careful of making commitments on their behalf as they may already have a lot on their plate.
5 out-of-office auto-reply email templates for you to copy and paste
Template #1 for annual leave(business formal)
When you want to keep it professional…
Thank you for your email! I’m currently on leave until [Date] and will reply to your email when I return to the office.
If you require immediate assistance, please contact our [Job Title] [Name] at [Email Address].
My apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Template #2 for annual leave(casual and friendly)
When you want to be friendly yet professional…
Thanks for reaching out! I’m away until [Date] so I’m afraid I might not be able to check my emails as often as I’d like to. But don’t worry—I’ll be sure to reply to your message when I dive into my inbox after I get back to my desk.
If you need assistance in the meantime, our [Job Title] [Name] will be happy to help. Please feel free to reach him/her at [Telephone Number/Email Address].
Template #3 for any type of leave(stay reachable)
When you’ll be away but still reachable…
Thanks for your email! I’m currently on leave until [Date]. Although I’ll be checking my inbox from time to time, I may not be able to reply to your email immediately.
If you need to reach me urgently, however, please feel free to give me a call on [Telephone Number].
Template #4 for the Christmas holiday
When you want to get into the festive spirit…
Do you hear the jingle bells? I do too!
Since it’s my favourite time of the year, I’ve taken some time off work to spend time with my loved ones indulging in cookies and hot cocoa, singing Christmas carols, and ringing in the brand new year.
I’ll be back at work on [Date] and will reply to your email then. If you need immediate assistance, my colleague [Name] will be happy to help. Please send an email to [Email Address] or give him/her a call at [Telephone Number].
Template #5 for sick leave
When you’re not feeling well…
I’ve been under the weather and as per my doctor’s recommendation, I’ll be taking a few days off to recover so that I can get back to work in full swing on [Date].
If you need help with anything during my absence, please email our [Job Title] [Name] at [Email Address] and I’ll take over once I return to the office.
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