Blog Business Writing 20 Out of Office Message Examples

20 Out of Office Message Examples

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Published Nov 14, 2022

out of office message

Whenever you take time off work, it’s best practice to write an out of office message.

Writing good out of office messages can be a tricky task. You want to give your coworkers and clients all the information they need about your absence, while also striking the right balance between being friendly and professional.

If you’re trying to write an out of office reply and you’re not sure how to start, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will give you our five top tips for writing out of office messages, as well as 20 examples that you can use as a starting point.

Contents:
  1. What Is an Out of Office Message?
  2. How to Write a Good Out of Office Message
  3. 20 Out of Office Message Examples
  4. 5 Tips for Writing an Out of Office Message

What Is an Out of Office Message?

An out of office message (or OOO message) is an automated email reply that explains you’ll be away from work for an extended period. These messages help ensure the business can continue smoothly during your absence.

out of offcie message definition

When you activate an out of office message, anyone who emails you will see your auto-response right away. That way, they’ll know how long you’ll be gone and who they can contact in the meantime.

If you work in a job where your colleagues expect immediate responses, it can be useful to leave out of office messages whenever you’re away from your desk, even if it’s just for a short meeting or appointment.

If longer turnaround times are standard for your job, you don’t need to write out of office messages when you’re going to a brief appointment, but you should still use one whenever you take vacation, sick leave, or another form of extended absence.

How to Write a Good Out of Office Message

A good out of office message needs to include the following three pieces of information:

1. The Exact Date You’ll Return

This information is important so your colleagues know when they can expect a reply from you.

2. The General Reason You’re Out of the Office

You can mention whether you’ll be on vacation, taking a sabbatical, or using personal leave.

3. Who to Contact in Your Absence

If you’re unable to handle work-related tasks while you’re away, it’s useful to mention who’s covering for you in case anyone requires immediate assistance. Make sure to include your colleague’s full name, job title, and contact information.

If you work in a field where urgent scenarios might come up that you’d like to be informed about, you can mention an alternative way to contact you in an emergency. For example, if you plan to respond to calls but not to emails while you’re away, you might include your cell phone number.

Don’t feel pressured to include this information unless your line of work requires it—after all, your time off is your time off!

what to include in out of office messages

20 Out of Office Message Examples

So what does a great out of office message actually look like?

Here are 20 out of office message examples that you can use as reference points when writing your own. We’ve curated examples in the following categories:

  • Simple
  • Professional
  • Vacation
  • Short term
  • Medical leave
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Holiday
  • Promotion
  • Funny

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Simple Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Thank you for your message. I will be away from the office until [return date] for [general reason]. If you require immediate assistance, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you after I return.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example 2:

I’m out of the office for [general reason] until [return date]. For urgent matters, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information].

[Your name]

Professional Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office until [return date] for [general reason]. I will be unable to reply to your message until after I return.

If you need assistance in the meantime, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information].

Best,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hello,

I will be away from the office for [general reason] with no access to email.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. Otherwise, I’ll respond to your message when I’m back at work on [return date].

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Vacation Email Message Examples

Example 1:

Hi there,

I’ll be on vacation with my family from [departure date] until [return date], and I’ll have limited access to email until I return.

If you need an immediate response, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. If it’s not urgent, I’ll get back to you after I return.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. I’ll be on vacation from [departure date] until [return date]. I’ll be checking email periodically, but I may not have a chance to respond to your message until I get back.

If this is an urgent scenario, you can call me at [cell phone number]. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you after I return.

Thanks for your patience. I look forward to seeing you when I get back!

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Short-Term Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hello,

Thanks for your message. I’ll be away from my desk for an appointment from [time of departure] to [time of return] today, [current date].

I won’t be able to access my email until I return, so if you need something urgent, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. If your message can wait, I’ll reply as soon as I’m back in the office.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Thanks,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hi,

Thanks for your email. I’ll be out of office for a conference today, [current date].

I’ll have limited email access during the conference, so if your request can’t wait until tomorrow, please reach out to [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information], and they’ll take care of anything you need until I return.

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Medical Leave Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hi,

Thank you for your message. I am out of the office on medical leave from [departure date] to [return date].

I won’t be able to respond to emails until I return, so for urgent matters, please contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information].

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Best,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Thank you for your email.

I will be OOO on medical leave from [departure date] to [return date].

My coworker, [colleague’s name], will be covering my work during this time. You can reach her at [colleague’s contact information].

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Maternity or Paternity Leave Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hi there,

Thank you for your email! I am out of the office for eight weeks on paternity leave.

I’ll respond to your email after I get back on [return date]. If you need anything urgently, you can contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information.]

Hope you have a great rest of your day!

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hello,

I will be away on maternity leave from [departure date] to [return date].

I’ll be checking email periodically during that time, but if your request is urgent, feel free to reach out to [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. Otherwise, I’ll respond to your email when I return.

Best,

[Your name]

Holiday Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hello!

Our offices will be closed for Thanksgiving break from [closing date] to [re-opening date]. We’ll respond to your message as soon as we can.

Happy holidays,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hi there,

I’ll be taking time off work to celebrate Ramadan until [return date].

If your request is urgent, feel free to reach out to [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information]. Otherwise, I’ll respond to your email when I return.

Enjoy the holiday!

Cheers,

[Your name]

Promotion Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hello!

Thank you for your message. I’ll be on vacation from [departure date] to [return date], and I’ll respond to your email after I return.

In the meantime, please enjoy a free excerpt from my upcoming book [book title]. If you like what you’re reading, feel free to pre-order a copy at [link].

Have a great day,

[Your name]

Example 2:

Hi there,

Thank you for your message. I’m out of the office and will respond to emails when I return on [return date]. For immediate assistance, you can contact my colleague [colleague’s name] at [colleague’s contact information].

If you want to stay up to date with [company name]’s work while I’m gone, feel free to follow us on our social media platforms at [social media handles].

Enjoy your day!

Best,

[Your name]

Funny Out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Not me. I’ll be out of the office until [return date].

If you need a response before I get back, contact [name of colleague] at [colleague’s contact information].

Example 2:

Error 404: Employee not found.

The employee you are trying to reach will be back on [return date].

Example 3:

I’m off to try my luck at winning the lottery. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be back on [return date].

Example 4:

I’m ooo until [return date]. If you need anything urgently, feel free to choose your own adventure:

[name of colleague 1] at [colleague 1’s contact information]

[name of colleague 2] at [colleague 2’s contact information]

[name of colleague 3] at [colleague 3’s contact information]

5 Tips for Writing an Out of Office Message

So, how exactly do you write a successful out of office message? Here are five tips for making your email effective and courteous at the same time.

Tip 1: Keep It Short and Sweet

The best out of office messages are short and succinct.

Deliver all the necessary information in a few concise sentences, and then sign off. There’s no need to waste your colleagues’ time with too many details about your absence.

Remember that you don’t need to include personal details about why you’re leaving—for example, you don’t need to disclose personal illnesses or family needs unless you’re comfortable doing so.

Tip 2: Use ProWritingAid to Edit Your Message

You never want to send out a professional email that includes a grammar mistake. The quality of your writing can impact the way your colleagues and clients see you.

It’s always a good idea to run your business emails through a quality grammar checker, like ProWritingAid, which will help you make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Tip 3: Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

A common mistake with out of office emails is to make promises you won’t be able to keep.

For example, don’t promise to answer the email as soon as you get back. You’ll probably have a lot of work to do after you return, so you can’t guarantee a quick turnaround time.

Similarly, avoid committing a colleague’s help without talking to them first. Giving out a coworker’s contact information can be a nuisance if they don’t agree to it in advance.

Tip 4: Maintain a Professional Tone

It’s often tempting to use an informal or friendly tone when you’re about to leave on vacation. But it’s important to remember that an out of office message is still a work email.

If possible, you should use the same tone you would use normally at work.

That means you can use a funny out of office email if you work in a casual environment where it’s normal to crack jokes with your colleagues.

On the other hand, if you work in a client-facing job where you regularly receive emails from new clients, it might be risky to send a funny out of office message. Make sure you’re making the right first impression.

Tip 5: Consider All Channels of Communication

It’s best practice to write and activate an out of office message on all the primary channels you use to communicate with your business associates.

where to leave out of office messages

Email is the most common communication channel for most companies, but you can also consider leaving an out of office message on your Teams account, your Slack account, or any other digital platform your company uses. That way, anyone who messages you will know you’re out of the office.

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Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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