An out-of-office (OOO) email is necessary to professionally handle email correspondences when you are going to be out of town or gone from the office for a while.
In your OOO email, you need to include details about who to contact in your absence, how long you will be out of the office, and other important customer service information. To find out exactly what you need to include in your email, keep reading.
Creating an OOO email is not just a professional way to handle work emails in your absence. It also helps you not come back to a backlog of work. By allowing someone else to handle customer service issues in your absence, you will not come back to dozens of emails you have to address.
Furthermore, customers want to know that their needs are always being met. They do not want to wait until you are back in the office to have their concerns addressed.
Your out-of-office email should contain specific information about the length of time you will be absent and how emailers can get assistance. However, you do not have to include a salutation in your email.
You need to include the dates that you will be out of the office. If you are going to be out of the office for half of the day, you should include the times that you will be out of the office.
You do not have to give a lot of personal details. However, it can be helpful for you to add a brief description of the reason for your absence, especially if you are going to work training or a conference.
If you are going to be out for vacation time, you can state that, too. However, you do not have to give details about where you are going or what you are doing during your time off.
Telling people that you are taking personal time will help prevent co-workers from trying to reach you to handle work matters while you are off work.
If someone else will be covering your work while you are gone, you need to include their contact information in your email. If you are available for emergencies, you will need to tell people how they can reach you if they need to.
Just like there is information you need to include in your email, there are some things you should avoid saying.
Everyone is entitled to take personal time sometimes. However, your customers and co-workers may not want to hear about it if they are stuck in the office.
While you want to include contact information for anyone else that will be handling your work matters in your absence, you should avoid promising that they will get to customer issues at a specific time.
Your co-workers will have to handle their work and yours, so it will likely take them a bit more time to respond. Promising things you have no control over can be a recipe for disaster.
Telling people that you will respond to their emails as soon as you are back is unrealistic. Even if other people are handling your work while you are gone, you will likely have a lot to catch up on.
People will want to know that their concerns are going to be handled promptly, but it is best not to give them an exact timeframe. If you promise to respond as soon as you are back in the office, your clients will likely be looking for a response then.
Each OOO email is different because the information for who to contact and the details of your absence differ. However, here are a few samples you can look at to get ideas for your message.
Thank you so much for your email. Unfortunately, I will be out of the office on January 5th, 2023 attending a conference. While I am gone if you need emergency assistance, please contact Jane Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for your email. I am out of the office. I will be on vacation until June 6th, 2023. In my absence, Judith Smith will be available if you have an urgent matter while I am out. You can reach her by email at email@example.com by phone at 555-555-5555 ext 555.
I am currently out of the office attending a week-long training. I will return Monday, July 10th, 2023 at 8 a.m. If you need assistance in my absence please email John Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, for immediate assistance by phone, you can call Janet Johnson at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for emailing. I am out of the office for the next two weeks on vacation. I will return on Monday, December 12, 2023. If you have accounting concerns during my absence, please call Conny Conway at ext. 3333. For assistance with placing an order, please contact Tom Timothy at ext. 4444, and for all other matters, you can reach Janet Smith at ext. 5555.
Writing an out-of-office email should not be challenging. Like writing an interview follow-up or a thank you, your OOO needs to be a formal email. Avoid taunting co-workers and customers by joking about your time off.
As long as you do that and include the details of the dates that you will be out of the office and who customers need to contact in your absence, your OOO email will be perfect. Make sure to check out the other articles we have about learning how to write better.