Out Of Office Message Best Practices with Templates

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 by Time Off Cloud

Cover image reading "Out Of Office Message Best Practices"

Drafting an Out Of Office message can be frustrating, right? Is there a template for crafting a standard out of office message? What do you need to include? What are the do’s and don’ts?

Before enjoying your time off, an out of office message should be checked off your to-do list. An out of office email is used to inform your colleagues, bosses, and clients of your absence.

In your message, you will include details such as your ability to be reached, reasons, out-of-office start and end date, should be included. You don’t need to include any personal details, just keep it professional, straightforward, and concise.

What is an Out Of Office Message?

When taking a leave from work, it is important to notify your colleagues of your absence. This is to avoid disrupting the business and causing unnecessary chaos. Therefore, it is important to turn on an auto-reply message for any queries, concerns, and emergency requests made during your leave. This will allow you to explain the situation, offer guidance, or come up with an alternative solution until you return to work.

As we know, email is one of the most used communication tools in business. It is an easy method for sending messages locally, nationally, and internationally. Email is also the standard channel for sending out-of-office messages. This is where we will focus. That being said, if your primary method of communicate is Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, or others then you will need to adapt the following lessons.

When is an Out Of Office Message Needed?

The best time to use an out-of-office message is before the actual date of your work leave. This will serve as an automated response whenever you’re unable to answer messages during standard business hours.

Out-of-office messages are valuable when urgent concerns in need of immediate answers are made during your leave.

You should set it up yourself to customize the message content to be effective in addressing your unique situation.

How to write an Out Of Office Message?

There is no perfect way to write an out-of-office message. In fact, it does not need to be elaborate; it just needs to contain the important information. Just make sure to include the following details: 

(1) the dates of your leave, as well as the date of your return, 

(2) reasons or purpose (relevant not personal) of your nonattendance to work, and 

(3) contact information for urgent matters and further assistance. 

For the latter, you can put multiple points of contact to cater specific people in particular concerns.

Needless to say, out-of-message messages can help alleviate the effects of your absences and help your colleagues get by while you’re on leave. You can offer guidance, explain certain processes, and set proper expecations.

There is no need to prepare a lengthy message. You can draft all the necessary information in just a few sentences or so. As a matter of fact, it is advisable for an out-of-office message to be short and concise. Still, you should add some friendly greetings or polite salutations in starting and ending your message.

The following sentences below are commonly used in out-of-office messages:

  • I will be away from work until…
  • Please expect a delay in my response to your inquiry…
  • I will respond to your email as soon as I return…
  • If you require immediate assistance…

IMPORTANT NOTE: In writing an out-of-office message, do not release any personal information. No matter how close you are with your colleagues, do not send out an extremely informal message just to be funny. Moreover, do not decide on a workmate’s support alone while you’re gone. You need to discuss it with your trusted colleague and ask for their consent, specifying if they can step in for urgent matters at hand while you’re away.

To go further, it is important to make your message free of misspellings and grammatical errors. Remember, an out-of-office message is still a work message so it needs to sound and look professional. Lastly, set realistic expectations for your colleagues, managers, clients, and yourself. Avoid making empty promises about your availability and response times.

Standard Out Of Office Message Templates


[Greetings with salutation],

I am pleased to hear from you. Unfortunately, I am on out until [return date] due to [reason]. I will be sure to respond to your message upon my return.

If you are in need of urgent assistance, you can contact [name of colleague + their job position] at [email, telephone, etc.]. He/she/they will assist you on my behalf.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Complimentary closing]

[Name and signature]


[Greetings with salutation]

I will be on a work leave effective today until [return date] due to [reason/purpose] with no access to email. If you are in need of urgent assistance, kindly contact [name of colleague + their job position] at [email, telephone, etc.] for assistance.  Otherwise, I will respond upon my return.

Thank you for understanding.

[Complimentary closing]

[Printed Name over signature]


[Greetings with salutation],

I’m excited to receive your message. Sadly, I’m away on work leave because of [reason] and won’t be back until [return date]. I’ll be more than happy to respond to your message as soon as I return. In the meantime, feel free to [name of colleague + their job position] at [email, telephone, etc.] for immediate assistance.

Once again, thank you for your message, and sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused you!

[Complimentary closing]

[Printed Name over signature]

The little things make a difference

Setting up an out-of-office message is an important practice to ensure that your company will still operate flawlessly despite your absences. It is also a simple form of gratitude towards the management who has approved your time-off request in the midst of a hectic workflow. By doing so, you are taking responsibility for your absences and exerting efforts to minimize the risks of schedule conflicts and work deficiencies while you are away.

Drafting an out-of-office message will also help you enjoy your vacation leave to the fullest.

Are you ready? Give it a try, today!