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How to Rock Your Out-of-Office Auto-Reply


Out of town for the #holidays? Use these tips to help manage your inbox while you’re gone.


With the holidays in full-swing, vacations and PTO have us constantly writing #out-of-office messages and our inboxes continue to grow without any sign of letting up.


So how can you manage your inbox, stay connected to important communication, and still enjoy your vacation? Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your auto-reply and minimize stress when you get back in the office.


Keep it Short, Not (Necessarily) Sweet

We are all aware of what it means when an instant auto-reply comes through. Be straight to the point. You can always add a little character, but no one needs to know you are out for a family vacation to visit your great-grandma on her 99th birthday.


Think of Those Left Behind

Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean we all are. Those of us stuck in the office still have a job to do, so be considerate of our time too. Your auto-reply should inform us of the dates for when you will be out of office, who we should contact in case of emergency, and who to contact for general inquiries.

*On the flip side, be sure to let the co-workers you’re designating as contacts know that people may be contacting them (and what about) so they’re not surprised or confused when it happens.


Give Yourself Some “Extra” Time-Off

Coming back to the office after any amount of time off can be stressful. When giving your dates, pad them with a day or two to give yourself more time to catch up on what happened in your absence. This will help you manage your inbox and sort out the urgent matters with those who can wait a little extra for a response. When you get to them more quickly than they were expecting, it makes you look like a star!


There are plenty of ways to create an auto-response that will be both informative and creative. Add some of your must-follow rules for writing an out-of-office email below!

Last Updated: August 4, 2017
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.