Embrace Your Time Off with a Fun Out of Office Responder - American Society of Employers - Heather Nezich

Embrace Your Time Off with a Fun Out of Office Responder

When you take time off one of the last things you typically do before leaving is set your out of office responder.  It’s usually done in a hurry without much thought, right? Well, why not have some fun with it?

In 2023, work trends seemed to be all negative…quiet quitting, quiet firing, quiet cutting, overemployment.  So, let’s focus on a fun one in 2024 – creative out of office responders. People are having a little fun with their out of office responders, and it puts a nice personal touch on the typically boring message.

Sometimes it’s just about adding a personal touch, others try to add a little humor.  Some even offer a resource to the person emailing.  All of them do more than the typical I am out of the office and returning on message.

Here are some examples:

  1. If you are reading this message, that means I am finally spending my vacation days! I am currently making up for lost time, so I will respond upon my return [date]. Talk to you then!
  2. I finally beat the birds down to Acapulco Bay! I return from vacation on [date] and look forward to answering any questions you may have then.
  3. Hello! A recent study found that vacations are good for the brain and can increase performance at work. This calls for further research! I’ll be out of the office with limited access to email until [date]. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [my colleague.]
  4. Hi, I’m celebrating 5 years of marriage, as well as enjoying summer vacation with our 4-year-old and 4-month-old. In honor of such a momentous holiday, I will not be checking email until [date]. If you need anything urgently, please contact my wonderful assistant Jenny at (email).
  5. Hi, I am attending a conference with fellow healthcare account managers in Atlanta this week with the hopes of bringing back tools that will make business even better for my clients. I will have limited access to email during this time. If you need immediate assistance before Monday, please contact [colleague].
  6. Hi! Hope you’re having a great summer. It’s time for my annual vacation. I look forward to responding to your email when I return on [date]. In the meantime, for our clients I wanted to share this article with you on tricks that can help you get the most from our CRM system. Using one of these hacks could save hours of your time. If you need immediate assistance…
  7. I’m out of the office burning up the last of my PTO. I’m making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out … you get it. I shall return to the office [date] jolly and ready for some eggnog. If this is an urgent matter, please [colleague].
  8. You got this email immediately which means I’m out of office on vacation. While I hypothetically could reach my email, while I hypothetically do have my phone on hand, and while I hypothetically do have access to WiFi, I’d rather enjoy time with my family. My kids are growing up at the speed of a supersonic jet, and if I blink one more time, they’ll be 35. And I’ll be 73. And I don’t want that. I will return on [date]. In the meantime, please contact [colleague].
  9. I am currently out of the office and probably chilling on the beach. Enjoy your work week. If you need immediate assistance while I’m enjoying some sunshine, please contact [colleague].
  10. Right now, I’m not in the office because I’m down with the sniffles. It's nothing serious (but it does mean that I can't smell the coffee brewing in the break room). Please have an extra cup for me. I'll be back soon! Please contact [colleague] if need help before I’m better.

Using out of office messages can be a delightful way to showcase your personality and foster connections with colleagues, potential clients, and customers. Nevertheless, maintaining professionalism is crucial, and it's advisable to ensure that the humor in your messages aligns with a PG to PG-13 rating. You can have a little fun while maintaining your professionalism.


Sources: Harvard Business Review, findymail.com, HubSpot Blog

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