11 professional out of office text examples

Have you ever wondered what to write in your out of office messages? You have come to the right place! Sometimes it is just difficult to think of a perfect text for your out of office, right off the bat. That is why we thought it would be nice to share some good out of office examples and inspirations. Below you will find sample messages for any occasion. But first, let’s look at the basic information you should always (conditions apply!) have in your out of office message and which you should avoid.

Out of Office examples

What to include in an out of office message

There is some information which just needs to be in any out of office message. You may think this list is obvious, but it is easy to forget something when you are in a hurry to get out of office:

  • Leave date and return date – you should always include both. Why not write only when you are coming back? Because it makes a difference. Think about how many emails you have to read after a three-day absence. Now think about how many emails will be waiting for you if you go away for two months. In most cases, it might take more than a day before you are even able to read and reply to all important emails sitting in your inbox. Your recipients would like to know when they might get the actual response from you.
  • Contact details – sometimes people may want to contact someone in a different department. If you include your job title and some other personal info, you might save the day. If you do not add your basic personal information, you might leave people waiting for your return when they could have contacted the right person earlier. Moreover, you should include alternative contact information. It will be helpful if someone has a very urgent matter, and they simply cannot wait for your return. You should always include an email address of someone who covers for you in your absence. Alternatively, if you are never really away from work – write how to reach you.
  • Will you monitor your mailbox? – sometimes, when you are out of office, you may be checking your incoming emails from time to time. If you can and do – include this in your out of office message. This information will give your out of office message a professional vibe. But if you are not going to look at emails when you are gone – do not give false hope.
  • The reason for absence – now this one is tricky. You should include the reason for your absence (vacation/ business travel), but you should avoid being specific. While informing that you are attending an international conference is a good idea, giving details on your vacation is not professional.
  • I’m sorry – well probably it is not your fault that you are not there; however, it does not cost you to be polite. Saying “sorry I missed you!” is a great way to show that you care.

What to delete from out of office messages

Some out of office messages are just irritating. Not just because they mean you might have to wait for an answer – this goes without saying. Sometimes, those automatic responses upset people because of what is exactly written in them. Below you will find a list of what you should delete from your out of office messages.

  • Details – you might be surprised, but most people are not that interested in where you are going to spend your vacation, with who and what you are going to do. The same goes for detailed information about your sick leave. There are different reactions to such details in your out of office messages, but the most frequent one is irritation or indifference. Happy feelings are highly unlikely.
  • Self-pity – some people do not even realize that they include self-pity in their out of office messages. One of the most popular phrases that gets people going is “After months of hard work I have finally managed to go on my annual leave.” Or “I am so happy I am not in the office!” You would be better off if you keep those thoughts to yourself.
  • Typos – I mean I know you are in a hurry, but please, read your text after you finish it. Those messages are short by design and if there are typos or grammar issues – you might not be taken seriously.
  • I’m not there – if your message has those four words and no more, it’s better not to write anything. The reason is simple – it does not help your recipients at all.
  • Limited access to email – it is a popular phrase which, if you think about it, does not tell you anything. While most people do not mind it, it is not helpful either. If you use it as a polite way of saying “I will not read any emails,” you might be better off writing just that, rather than giving false hope.

There are exceptions to some of the rules above – you probably can be much more informal in your internal messages. In fact, some of your colleagues might be interested why exactly you are not there.

Out of office examples

Below, I present some sample out of office templates for different occasions. You might find them useful if you can’t find the right words or don’t have the time to write your perfect out of office message.

All-purpose out of office messages

The examples below should work for every situation – they do not go into details but tell everything they should say.

Hello,
I am truly sorry, but you have just missed me – I’ll be back soon, by {Date}. During my absence, feel free to contact {Name} at {E-mail}. He/She will be able to assist you with any issue or question you might have.
Best,

-Out of Office alert-
Dear recipient, I am out of office from {Date} to {Date} due to {reason}. Sorry about that. I will be sure to reply to you as soon as I come back. In the meantime you can contact:
sales@example.com for sales inquiries,
support@example.com if you need technical assistance.

Out of office for vacation or annual leave

Probably the most common one – you might be healthy as a horse for years, but from time to time everyone goes on a vacation:

Thank you for contacting me, but unfortunately, I am on vacation. I will return on {Date} and will be happy to assist you with any issue you might have. If you require immediate assistance, please contact the Customer Service at support@example.com.

Hello,
As much as I would like to give you a quick reply, I cannot. I am on annual leave from {Date} to {Date} and I will not be able to check my mailbox regularly until I return. That is why I strongly recommend you contact {Name} at {email} for a more timely response.
Kind regards,
{Signature}

Out of Office for parental leave

How is this one special? I mean, besides the fact that there is the miracle of birth involved. You must be sure to get everything just right – those messages usually stay for a long time.

Hi,
I have gone on maternity/paternity leave. I will not have access to my mailbox between {Date} and {Date}. During my absence {Name} covers for me. You can contact her/him by sending an email to {Email}
Best regards,
{Signature}

Out of office for a public holiday

When you are away for a public holiday, it’s probably not only you who is gone. That is why it is especially good to have a similar OOF for all employees:

Dear reader,
Thank you for your email, but our company is out of office, celebrating {holiday}.
Unfortunately, it means we will not be able to send you any reply until {Date}.
We apologize for the delay but wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Best regards,

Out of office for business travel and training

If you leave your office for a conference, you should be able to receive emails and respond to them, but you should make others aware that your responses might be delayed:

Hi,
I am at the {event name} from {Date} to {Date}. I will be sure to check my inbox between sessions, but it might take a bit longer for me to get back to you. If you cannot wait, call me at {phone number}.

Dear recipient,
I am currently attending a training session. As a result, my reply might take a bit longer than usual. I apologize for that. I will be able to respond in a more timely manner starting from {Date}.

Funny out of office messages

It’s unlikely that you will use them for your external contacts, but you might give your colleagues a laugh, as long as you keep it in good taste – not everyone shares the same sense of humor, after all.

Hello there, it’s {Name}’s autoresponder. {Name} is not there until {Date}
As much as I’d like to help you – I can’t. I’m too busy deleting all the important emails and contacts from {name}’s mailbox. I’m sure he/she will get back to you as soon as possible. That is if I spare this email. If your matter is urgent, I would try contacting {Name} at {email}.
Have a very nice day,
Autoresponder

Hi,
I am truly sorry, but I will be out of office on {Date}. You still can call me at 1-900-call-me-now or {Phone Number} (rates may apply).
Parental advisory – explicit content.

Hello there,
I appreciate you trying to reach me, unfortunately – I am out of office sunbathing. I will be back at {Date}. It will probably take me two additional days to get used to my office and dig through hundreds of new urgent emails, before I get back to you.
Or you could contact {email} for immediate assistance. Just saying.

But have you ever thought what can happen if someone forgets to turn on their auto-responder and does not forward emails to anyone? It may cause serious problems if someone is in a hurry and does not even realize that their email just sits there in somebody’s mailbox, sad and unread. Fortunately, there is an easy way to set up out of office messages for other users, or even for a whole company at once.

CodeTwo Out of Office Manager

For more business-style out of office message templates, take a look at the CodeTwo Out of Office Manager.

CodeTwo Out of Office Manager is a free tool which, in addition to providing a libary of high-quality out of office examples,  lets you centrally manage users’ automatic replies in Microsoft Exchange Server or Office 365. Thanks to this tool, you can make sure that every absent user will be sending out of office message and that it maintains a professional tone. You can use a well-organized calendar view to see all the out of office messages that have already been set up, unify them, and automatically personalize them for all employees. Try it; it might save your day!

2 thoughts on “11 professional out of office text examples


  1. From a security perspective, you do NOT want to give info such as “out of town” and specific dates of absence. People who’ve done that have returned to a ransacked house. Think about it. The care has your name and landline phone number. That lets them discover your home street address. You then give them a window of time your house will be vacant. I counsel saying something more like, “I’m sorry to miss your call, but please contact xxxxxx if this is important. I am on a special project that prevents my response for an extended period. Thank you.”

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