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How to Write a Winning Out-of-Office Message

Writing an effective out-of-office message is a key part of running any business. Although it may seem so simple, an incomplete or unclear out-of-office message will cause problems before you leave as well as when you return.

It’s important to get the tone and content right because it can make or break your reputation as a company. 

You might receive multiple emails from coworkers and clients if you’re not specific about your absence dates, which will clog your inbox and make it hard for you to remain productive when you get back.

The more information you include in your outgoing message about the colleagues who can assist in your absence, the less likely you are to interfere with ongoing projects. This will help ensure you enjoy that well-earned vacation.

What to include in your out-of-office message

When you’re away from the office, it’s important that people know where they can reach you. This is especially true for those who work with you on a regular basis. If you have an email address or phone number listed as “out of office,” then everyone knows how and when to contact you. But what should go into this note?

Here are some guidelines:

A brief explanation of why you’ll be unavailable

If they think you’ll be checking in, they might still attempt to get in touch with you. In the event that you take vacation time or personal time, they’ll try to contact you less often.

Your expected leave and return date

Remember to change the dates, and double-check to make sure they’re correct if you’re resuming the same message you used the last time.

People who can assist while you are away

Please include their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If you handle multiple areas, let colleagues and clients know what each person specializes in so they can contact the right person for help.

The best time to call/email; don’t forget about weekends!

If you want to send multiple messages over different days, make sure each one includes all the information above so there aren’t any questions left unanswered. And remember — no matter how much space you give these notes, you still need to leave enough room for actual emails!

5 examples of automatic response messaging you can use

If you’re in a rush or just not sure what to write use some of these out-of-office email examples in your next auto-response email message.

Out-of-office message example 1:

I appreciate your message. I am out of the office currently with no office email access. However, return on the following [date-of-return].

If you require assistance before then I can be reached on my cell phone at ( cell number).

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Out-of-office message example 2:

I appreciate your email. Currently, I am out of the office but will return after (Date of Return). My access to email will be limited during this period of time.

I can be reached at (your cell number) for immediate assistance.


[Your Name]

Out-of-office message example 3:

I will be out of the office for an extended period starting on (Starting date) until (End date).

Please contact (Contact Person with email and phone) if you need immediate assistance.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Out-of-office message example 4:


I will be out of the office starting on (beginning date) and ending on (ending date). 

If you need immediate assistance during my absence, please contact (Contact Person with email and phone). Upon my return, I will reply to your emails in a timely manner.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Out-of-office message example 5 :

I will be out of the office from (Date) until (Return Date).

If your matter is urgent you can contact (contact person with contact details) for assistance.


[Your Name]

What not to put in automatic email replies

Avoid the following pitfalls when setting up your out-of-office message:

  • Typos in the email message: Check it twice! your best customer could receive this reply. Make sure to proofread it carefully so as not to embarrass yourself.
  • Providing too much information: It’s great that you’re going away, but you don’t need to divulge every detail. Including a note indicating that you will be on vacation is adequate.
  • Adding humor to your away message: Avoid making jokes in away messages. They can be misinterpreted and convey the wrong impression.
  • Engaging a colleague’s immediate assistance: It is impossible to predict how swiftly a coworker will be able to answer your emails during your absence, so don’t make promises. If you would like to include your colleagues’ email addresses and phone numbers in your out-of-office message, please ask them before doing so; They may be too busy with their own work or could be out of the office themselves!
  • Don’t promise you’ll return the message immediately: On your first day back you may have a pile of work to do. Don’t state an exact time frame on when you will reply to the email. Making promises you can’t keep can cause issues.


Out-of-office messages are critical to keeping things moving smoothly during times when employees are absent. They also serve as reminders to others of what day you won’t be available.

When crafting an out-of-office reply, keep in mind that you must provide sufficient detail so that recipients understand exactly when you’ll not be able to respond.

Your clients should know when they can expect a response and when you might be unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.

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