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Drafting the Perfect Out-of-Office Email

Published: Sep 14, 2021

Topics: Law  Workplace Issues  

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re seeking the perfect language to use in your out-of-office auto-reply for some upcoming time away from work. An OOO email is one of those messages that may seem simple in theory, but without an example, it can be hard to come up with the right wording. (Not to mention, you want to get it right—who knows what client, higher-up, or professional connection will email you while you’re away.) Good news: We’ve got a few tips and examples to help you craft that perfect OOO message.

A few general tips: 

  • Keep your message short and sweet. You don’t need to provide an alibi in your out-of-office email. For whatever reason you’re gone, you have the right to step away without an explanation—whether you’re traveling the world or simply taking a rejuvenating staycation. 
  • Be sure to test your OOO auto-reply before signing off for your time away. Send yourself an email from a personal account to make sure your message is functioning properly and looks okay from the recipient’s end.
  • Double check your dates! In some email programs, auto-reply dates are automatically saved from the last time you were out of the office. Be sure to update the date range so your message deploys when it is supposed to.
  • You may want to include more than one alternative contact person in your OOO email—for example, if you work on multiple teams or work flows. In this case, you can include a list of contacts and clearly label the purpose(s) for which each person should be contacted.

Here are a few templates to get you started—simply copy and paste into your email program and tweak accordingly!

If you're looking for a standard out-of-office message: 


Thank you for your email! I am currently out of the office and will return on [DATE].

I look forward to connecting with you when I return. If you require immediate assistance, please reach out to [NAME] at [EMAIL].

Thank you,


If you plan to check your email periodically: 

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office until [DATE] and only checking email periodically, so please excuse a delay in my response.

I will return all non-urgent emails when I return. If you require immediate assistance, please reach out to [NAME] at [EMAIL].

If you’re working in another time zone: 

Thank you for your email. Please expect a delay in my response as I am currently working [TIME ZONE] hours. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [NAME] and [EMAIL]. 

If you're taking an extended Leave: 

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on an extended leave and will have limited access to email until my expected return on [DATE]. If you require assistance before my return, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL].

If you're going on maternity Leave:

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on maternity leave until [DATE]. If you need assistance before my return date, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL]. Otherwise, I look forward to connecting when I am back in the office, and you can expect a response within a week of my return.

If you work remotely and want an alternative to "out of office":

Thank you for your email. I am taking time off from [DATE] to [DATE] and will have limited access to email. For any non-urgent matters, I will respond when I return. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL]. 

Now go—enjoy your time away from work!


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