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Gearing up for Spring Break? Here’s How to Do Your Out of Office Right

out of office

The beginning of spring is less than two weeks away, with mid-March marking the beginning of Spring Break, allowing many families to take their first extended vacations of the year.

And as anyone who has an email will tell you, with Spring Break comes a swell of “out of office” messages. That being said, there are right ways to let everyone know you’re on vacation — and wrong ways to rub your awesome tropical adventure in everyone’s faces.

To clarify, an out-of-office message is an automatic response sent to those attempting to contact you while you are outside the workplace.

These are automatic responses that go out to partners, clients, and customers when you are away from work. Context is important with automated messages, particularly depending on who the message is for.

Autoresponder email answers, or programmed messages, are a warning that you get when connecting with an individual who is unavailable at that time. These messages can include,

  • Why the individual is unavailable
  • How long the individual will be inaccessible
  • Contact data of who to connect within their absence
  • The date they will return

Out-of-office messages are a great tool if you know you won’t be checking your email for a while, offering suggestions on acquiring information, or connecting with other representatives as needed by customers while you are away.

Associates, customers, and endorsers anticipate fast responses and solutions for their issues, especially from those working in client support, advertising, and correspondence occupations.

Out of office messages offer them a respectful, and succinct clarification explaining why you currently unable to fix the issue. Out-of-office messages or “OOO’s” can be used if you’re away for one day, several weeks, or even longer.

Out of office messages may incorporate data like:


  • Why you are unavailable. Colleagues may try to connect if they think you’ll be checking in. With the proper message, your co-workers will realize you are indisposed, and you can go back to enjoying a relaxing vacation.


  • How long you’ll be gone. If re-using a previous out-of-office message, be sure to update the information with the correct dates, times, etc. of where you will be and when you’ll be returning.


  • The date you will return. As mentioned above, specify when you’re coming back. It can take a lot of time to catch up on the work you may have missed, so don’t make any guarantees on when a report or file will be returned unless sure.


  • The date you will return. As mentioned above, specify when you’re coming back. It can take a lot of time to catch up on the work you may have missed, so don’t make any guarantees on when a report or file will be returned unless sure.


  • Who to contact in a crisis or for guaranteed assistance? Make sure to notify and get the consent of the person you’ll be sending customers to. Provide their name, telephone number, and email address, and highlight pertinent information like their time zone to assure the customer or co-worker has the best chance of reaching them successfully.


Whatever info you put into a OOO is dependent on your specific situation and job. Most prominent email providers have the option to set two Out-of-office messages, one for internal contact, and one for external.

Important notes for out of office etiquette:


office desk

Update your calendar

Most offices that use Microsoft Outlook as a primary email/calendar/contact app allow sharing between employees, making it easy for everyone to schedule meetings and quickly see when their co-workers are and aren’t available. Therefore, make sure to update your Outlook calendar by creating a standing Appointment marked with the Out of Office status for the days you’ll be gone.

Open the Google Calendar application.

At the bottom right, tap “Create Out of office.”

Select your out-of-office dates, or set a specific time period.

Discretionary: To plan out-of-office occasions that happen multiple times, underneath the day and time you select, tap “Does not rehash”-pick a recurrence.

Discretionary: Change your decay settings and alter your decrease message.

Tap Save.

But be mindful of the details…

There’s nothing more annoying than receiving an Outlook notification alerting you every day your co-worker is unavailable. So, only notify people of your Out-of-Office status if you work closely with them or if they are superior. Just make sure you turn those regular Reminders off.

Out-of-office messages ought to stay concise and most importantly professional. You probably shouldn’t:

Be giving a lot of detail. Programmed answers ought to be basic and forthright. Try not to add unnecessary information.

Offer an associate’s help without their permission.

Attempt to be funny. Unless you’re a comedian, stop making jokes.

Tell people, you’ll take care of it when you get back. You’ll have a lot of work to get up to speed with the day you get back, so try not to say you will return messages in a specific time period. It’s best not to make a promise you might have to break.

Express self-centeredness or self-pity – This should be a no-brainer, but it’s not a good idea to complain about how hard you have it, or about your job in your “OOO”.

Have grammatical mistakes. Your out-of-office message could go to anybody, from the company director to a paying customer. Make a good impression by having correct grammar.

Set up your autoresponder message…

In Outlook, do this by clicking Tools > Out of Office, and then fill in the body copy, dates, times, and Address Book rules. For security and privacy purposes, it’s best to only send autoresponders to internal contacts since scammers can check out office messages to confirm whether or not an email account is active. You also have the option of sending just one out-of-office response to each unique address so your contacts don’t get repeated notifications that you’re out of the office.

Gmail is a little different.

Stage 1: Once signed in to Gmail, go to Settings, click the cog icon in the upper right corner, and select Settings.

Stage 2: Scroll down to “vacation responder.”

Stage 3: Select the radio catch for the Vacation responder and then select the dates for the responder to be active. Individuals will get your out-of-office answers beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the First day until 11:59 p.m. on the Last day.

Stage 4: Write your title and message. If you need to arrange your message in a specific way, click the Rich Formatting connection to see alternatives. You can choose to send the message to individuals in your contacts, or if you have an undertaking account, to just send the message to individuals at your organization.

Stage 5: Click Save Changes. You will know it is working when you see a yellow bar across the top of your Gmail stating your out-of-office message is active.

You can click End at any time to turn it off, and your away message will be saved until you need to use it again.

Or, should it need to be altered, go to vacation settings to change whatever necessary.

When somebody gets your message, the title will be [Your subject line] Re: [Their subject line]. You can see the entirety of the out-of-office answers you sent in your Sent mail organizer.

And make sure you’re specific…

Obviously include the time period of your absence, along with when you’ll be back in the office (or when people can expect a response from you). Don’t forget contact information, either for yourself in case of emergency or for a designated backup who can handle problems in your absence.

But not too detailed…

The modern out of office reply should serve just two purposes:

1) a polite and professional reminder you are not available to be relied upon for a particular time period

2) a helpful redirect to someone else in your company who can answer a question or solve a problem.

Any further information about how amazing your trip is or how great a time you’re having, is unnecessary and unprofessional.

It’s important to always have some way to notify customers and other staff of an employee’s absence, even if it’s not directly from them.

Luckily, there is a simple method to set up out-of-office messages for different clients or an entire organization without a moment’s delay.

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro is an element stuffed email mark and mail stream to the executive’s device.

One of its numerous capacities is the setup of programmed answers, so you can ensure that each missing client is sending an out-of-office message that is concise and professional.

You can customize OOO messages for all representatives without even needing to contact them.

While conventional out-of-office messages are just text, programmed reactions from a mail worker added by CodeTwo Exchange Rules can incorporate hyperlinks, pictures, and other additives.

To keep things very simple, consider this general out of office template:

“Hello, I’m out of the office from [date] until [date]. I will only be available [specific time period]; if you need help in the meantime, please contact [name + info.]”

The following are some great options of automated responses for those inside and outside your organization:

“Thank you for your email. I will be out of the workplace from September 3-8. If you need help while I am away if it is not too much trouble, contact X at [email and telephone number] for general information, or Y at [email and telephone number] for accounting questions.”

“Thanks for your message! I am out of the workplace today, with no email access. I will be back on Feb. 16. Assuming you need quick help before that date, you may contact me at [phone number].”

“I will be away from July 2 to July 15. If this is an emergency, you can email or call X at [email and telephone number].”

With out-of-office messages, we can all enjoy Spring Break. With an incredible level of customization, you should be able to cover any scenario that might come up with a quick, and to-the-point message.

Looking for more ways to enhance workflow and boost overall productivity? Need help using Microsoft Outlook to manage calendars and contacts? CMIT Solutions can help. We worry about IT so you don’t have to — no matter when, where, or from what device you’re working on, contact us today for more information.


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