Your Out of Office can be creative

waterfalls in forest

For the last ten years, I have made a big deal about my Out of office message. It would be best if you did too. Why? People are emailing you, and if all they get back is:

Sorry I am out, till date X, but if it is urgent call me

First, you are out; don’t invite people to call you. Second, this is the message people will get while they are not on holiday and this how you entertain them? Give them something they can enjoy while they have to miss you (they are missing you because you are fantastic!).

I included my OoO of this year. Keep in mind: OoO messages are just for colleagues. This is not about being “professional”, though you expose yourself and your company to security risks by letting the world know you are somewhere around the globe and not at home/work.

Enjoy reading mine, and I hope it inspires you to also spark a bit of joy with your Out of Office message.

Hi, you’ve reached Rick’s out-of-office responder.

I’m sorry I’m not here. I’m in the forest taking some rest (did you know there are seven types of rest that every person needs)? I’m even more sorry that you’re stuck in the (home) office while I’m off enjoying nature. Is it raining outside?

📨Why I will reply to your email on the Xth of [Month] (or later)

While most out-of-office responders say I’ll have limited access to email, that’s not true. I cannot do without a proper internet connection though I am not spending my holidays on work emails. I will work on trying to nail some basics, and this is simple but not easy, though it will be good for me (and you) to get some more basics in place.

🙋🏼‍♂️What if you need to have an answer or help right now?

Since I’m not disappearing into the rainforest, I will have my phone firmly by my side, but I’d somewhat not be disturbed unless my house is on fire or you have a great vegan recipe to share.

Are you sure your email cannot wait in my absence instead of emailing me another three times? It really won’t make me respond any faster 😉. If it indeed is an emergency in either [Topic 1] or [Topic 2], feel free to panic, or reach out to anybody in the [Specific Group]. And also, when it is not an emergency, reach out to [List of great people]. Each one of them is fantastic and will be able to answer any of your questions. If your hyper-urgent request is about [Topic 3], consider reaching out to one of the other [More great people].

⛱What am I up to in my holidays?

As I’m off relaxing somewhere lovely, I plan to enjoy some of the Dutch nature we got and read some books. Also, I will keep publishing my weekly newsletter on LinkedIn, are you subscribed? Since some of you already shared with me that you were waiting for the book tips this summer. I share two sets of recommendations: books read, and I know they are great and books I plan to read, and I hope they will be good.

🌟 The five books that were the best reads for me in the past 12 months:

📚 The books I will read during my holidays

Suppose you’ve made it this far. Congratulations! Mostly though, you’ve made it. This is the end. If you’re wondering how you can get back the last few minutes of your life, console yourself with the knowledge that my vacation will be short-lived, and I, too, will be back in the office soon ([Insert date]!), then, it’ll be your turn to go on holiday and perhaps write a nice out of office message.