Get these amazing 13 out of the office messages examples (OOO message examples) that you can use when you’re out on vacation, on a business trip or just need some time off.
What is an Out of Office Message?
Out of office message is a message you leave on your email system, such as Gmail or Outlook that sends back a message you craft as soon as an email enters your inbox.
“I’m sorry, I’m currently out of the office riding an alpaca named ‘Reggie’ across South America through the end of this quarter. If you need help while I’m gone, you’re out of luck.”
When I was “super cool high school” Liz — a rowing, track-running theater nerd — the lead-up to going on holiday break during the school year was always so relaxing, festive, and packed with shenanigans with my friends.
Back then, all I had to do was:
* Knock out a few mid-term exams
* Look like a yuletide baller in an ugly sweater or three
* Attend a handful of class holiday parties
* Exchange super cute gifts with friends (and my crush-of-the-month)
It was as if I had a one-way ticket on the stress-free express to Vacation Town, population me. Now, it’s a little bit of a different story.
Going on vacation as an adult with a full-time job is no easy task. Often, you’re burdened with the knowledge that you need to double, triple, or quadruple up on whatever work you need to get done ahead of your absence.
If your leave is extended or longer than usual — for example, if you’re going on parental leave, due to the arrival of a child — you’ll also likely have to write up coverage plans for others to take care of your usual duties while you’re out.
Whenever I find myself in these pockets of time, when I’m tirelessly prepping to actually take a break from work, I will always have a flicker of a moment, a split-second where I wonder, “Is all of this extra effort worth it?”
Of course, the moment I turn on my out of office reply…
…I know the answer to that self-doubting question is unequivocally yes.
Because I’m a total drama queen, however, I just love when I’m able to come up with some fantastic, memorable out of office reply message people will receive while I’m gone. Anyone else feel that way?
I’m going to assume yes, if you’ve landed on this article.
Unfortunately, sometimes what I wish I could put as my out of office reply…
…is not what some would consider terribly professional, no matter how accurate or truthful it might be.
…or friendly enough.
So, to help myself out (and you, our beloved audience, by extension), I’m going to share some of my favorite professional, memorable, and (sometimes) super funny out of office reply examples we can all use when we take our next break.
What Should an Out-Office Reply Include?
No matter how creative, zippy, plucky, or “Dang, I wish I had thought of that!” your out of office reply is, it will be a total failure if you don’t include the following:
The date you leave will begin
The exact date you will return
Expectations about returned correspondence
Points of contact while you’re out (if your office is open while you’re out)
Guidance that the entire office is closed (if everyone is away on holiday)
Whether or not you will have some or limited access to email (or have zero intent to check your email at all)
Basically, if someone is reaching out to you, you can’t sacrifice meeting their expectations for the sake of winning at the out of office message game. If you miss any of these points (as applicable) in your out of office message, you’ll increase the risk that someone will bother you while you’re out to get a resolution.
13 Best Out of Office Message Examples
1) The standard professional “just the facts, ma’am” out of office message, Subject: Out of office until [DATE].
2) Professional (but more casual and friendly) out of office message, Subject: Oops! I’m out of office until [DATE]!
3) Entire office is closed out of office message, Subject: [COMPANY NAME] closed until [DATE]
4) Extended parental leave out of office message, Subject: Away on parental leave until [DATE]
5) Promote some of your Rockstar content out of office message, Subject: I’m so sorry I missed you!
6) Personal video with an animated thumbnail for an out of office message, Subject: Until next year, folks!
7) Bad news/good news out of office message, Subject: Oops…
8) Lead generating out of office message, Subject: I’ve got bad news
9) Out of office message in pithy haiku form, Subject: Away, I have gone
10) Totally honest out of office message with a touching note of humanity
This is a real out of office message our CEO, Bob Ruffolo, used earlier this year. I would be remiss if I didn’t share this as an all-star example of an out of office message that is human, authentic, thoughtful, unique, and still checks all of the essential OOO boxes.
11) Traffic-driving out of office message, Subject: Uh oh…
12) The tumbleweed out of office message, Subject: I’m sorry to report…
13) Advice-seeking out of office message, Subject: I may need your help