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Best Practice for Out of Office Responses

Creating an Out of Office (OoO) response is a simple yet essential task. Whether you are planning to go on vacation for a week or two, or are occupied in a conference away from the office for the day, creating an Out of Office response will allow people emailing you to know that your response may be delayed. These responses can be automated and based on your email system, can be sent as a reply to all emails received or only those in your contact list.

Here are some tips on setting up a professional Out of Office response:

1. Always start with a short greeting
Hi/Hello, thank you for your email/thank you for writing/thank you for your message

2. Provide a short, simple and more importantly, professional explanation for being unable to reply
I am away from the office on annual leave/ for a 2-day training / at a conference

3. Provide the timeframe of your absence This allows the sender to decide if they would like to wait for your reply or contact another person within your organization
from (Starting Date) to (Return Date)

4. Inform the sender of the level of access you will have to your email or an alternated method to get in touch with you. Follow you office policy on what is expected from you while away on leave.
During this period, I will have limited access to my email. / For immediate assistance, please contact me on my mobile: 1234 5678

5. If you will be unable to answer emails or phone, provide details of another contact person in case of emergency
For urgent matters please reach out to my colleague, Name on 1234 5678. Otherwise, I will respond to your email as soon as possible, upon my return.

6. If you’re signature is not automatically added to your Out of Office response, don’t forget to include it at the end of the email!

Combining all the tips above provides you with a template as a guide:


Thank you for your email. I am currently out of office (on annual leave/on a training/attending a conference) from (Start Date) and will be back at my desk on (Return Date). During this time, I will have no/limited access to my email. For urgent matters, please contact (Name and contact details of the next relevant person). Otherwise, I will respond to your emails when I return.

Thank you,
Official Signature

To set up your Out of Office response look through your email settings. Sometimes the feautre is called ‘Autoresponders’, and you may be able to set the message to start on a set date and finish on a set date. These settings will depend on the email system you are using.

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Written by: Nicole Graham


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Established in 2007, Bauhinia Solutions is a boutique virtual business support agency with a team of dedicated and experienced business specialists, administrators, and virtual assistants.