Out-of-office emails prove invaluable for managing expectations and for demonstrating your respect for the valuable time of your correspondents. Whether you are on vacation, attending a conference, or dealing with a personal matter, setting up an automatic out-of-office response ensures that your correspondents are informed about your unavailability.
In this guide, we provide seven ready-to-use out-of-office email templates designed to fit different scenarios. These templates are crafted to save you time while effectively communicating your absence to colleagues, clients, or stakeholders.
- Information to Share in an Out-of-office Email
- Out-of-office Email Templates
- How to Set Up Email Autoresponder in Gmail
Let’s get started.
Information to Share in an Out-of-office Email
When writing an out-of-office email, it is crucial to include information that would keep your correspondents well informed about your absence.
- Date Range – By clearly stating the period during which you will be out of the office, you will be able to manage people’s expectations a lot better and make your absence bearable for those looking forward to your response.
- Alternate Contacts – Provide the name and contact details of a colleague or team member who can assist in your absence. This ensures a seamless flow of communication.
- Reason for Absence - While not always necessary, including a brief reason for your absence can add a personal touch to your email and appeal to the other party’s humanity.
- Response Expectations – Inform your correspondents about when they can anticipate a response. This helps reduce frustration, especially if you are still occasionally checking your emails.
Keep in mind that you should never feel compelled to share information you consider private. It is perfectly acceptable to state that you are unavailable temporarily and will be responding as soon as possible.
Out-of-office Email Templates
From a simple vacation message to more detailed explanations for extended leaves, these templates offer a range of options to suit your specific needs. Let’s get into it!
Planned Vacation with an End Date
Sharing a specific end date will help you maintain professionality while also informing colleagues and clients of your unavailability during a specific period. This approach sets clear expectations, allowing others to plan accordingly.
Without Providing a Reason
On the other hand, there is nothing forcing you to actually provide a reason for your absence. Not everyone is comfortable sharing the details of their personal life – so it is just as acceptable to respectfully state that you will not be available until a future date.
Providing Alternative Contacts
By specifying a colleague who can assist during your absence, you demonstrate a commitment to responsiveness but also offer a solution for urgent matters that may arise in your stead. Providing accurate contact details as an alternative ensures that those reaching out have the information they need readily available, minimizing disruptions and maintaining a professional standard of service.
Limited Workdays per Week
This scenario often arises due to part-time schedules, flexible work arrangements, or other commitments. By automatically notifying colleagues and contacts about your restricted availability, you minimize confusion and demonstrate reliability.
This proactive measure fosters understanding and helps others plan their future communication efforts.
In Case of Emergencies
Providing clear instructions on who to contact in case of emergencies will help redirect urgent matters to a designated alternative, preventing delays in resolution. It is wise to have an emergency contact who can reach out to you in case something really needs your attention. Just set some ground rules beforehand about what severity an emergency needs to be for them to disturb you.
In situations where the duration of your absence is uncertain, an appropriate response helps convey that you are currently away and unable to respond promptly. This would eliminate ambiguity and provide colleagues and clients with the necessary information to make informed decisions.
It is also important that you provide at least one alternative contact so that urgent matters can be properly addressed in your absence.
Ensuring that clients, partners, and colleagues are aware of a holiday closure and can plan their interactions accordingly will prevent frustration due to unanswered emails and provide clarity on your organization’s schedule.
How to set up Email autoresponder in Gmail
Gmail calls its email autoresponder the “Vacation Responder” and you can find it on the first page of Gmail’s settings, simply click on the gear icon and select “View all Setting”, scroll down until you see the following section:
Here’s what you need to know about Gmail’s Vacation Responder:
- Vacation Responder Toggle – Turn it on if you want to automatically respond to incoming mail.
- First Day – In case you want to set it up in advance for a future date, select one.
- Last Day – If you want the Vacation Responder to stop on a specific date, set one.
- Subject & Message – This is where you put in your out-of-office email template, enter an appropriate subject along with a concise and complete email message that you want your correspondents to receive.
In case you only want the autoresponder to send a response to people in your contacts, check the box next to “Only send a response to people in my Contacts”. We’ve written a complete guide about the Gmail out-of-office autoresponder, make sure to check it out :)
Which template should you use?
Your out-of-office template should match your specific use case. Pick what suits your situation best and spin it in your own style – you may have noticed that almost all of these follow the same pattern, a warm greeting followed by a concise and straightforward notice about your absence.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? If you want to add a touch of humor to your OOO email, check out these 7 funny out-of-office message ideas.
We hope you enjoy your days off!