It’s that time of the year again! Most of you will take a break from your busy work schedules to spend the holidays with family and friends, go on a ski trip or to binge watch all the great shows you’ve missed out on.
You’ve been tying up loose ends and working ahead to make sure nothing and nobody disturbs your time out of the office. Even if it’s just for one day.
But before turning off work-mode, there’s one important thing you should take care of: setting your out-of-office message on your email.
What type of message should you write? Most people stick to “no nonsense & short”:
Thank you for your email. I’m out of the office for the holidays from [date] until [date]. I’ll reply to your email as soon as I can upon my return.
If your message is urgent, please contact [insert name /email/phone here].
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season,
Pretty efficient, right? But not very creative or memorable.
Unless you have to follow strict corporate guidelines, ditch the “boilerplate auto-replies”. Surprise people (in a good way!), add a personal touch or deliver something different with your out-of-office message.
It will help you stand out and show that you care about both, your personal life and your career.
Here are 4 ideas for creative out-of-office messages suited for this time of year:
1. The Zen message
Hello, and thanks for your email! If you’re getting this message, it means I’m out of the office, so that I can return to work full of fresh ideas for people like you!
Vacations are not for checking email, so I won’t be doing that. I’ll reply to your note once I return to the office on [date].
Sending good vibes for a Happy 2018,
2. The surprise message
Thanks for writing! I’m currently out of the office for the holidays. While I won’t be quite as far as Siberia, I will still be completely disconnected from technology until my return.
You can expect a response to your note once I’m back in the office on [date].
While you’re waiting, here’s something for you:
[Include a worksheet, tool, video, blog post, something useful!]
Thanks for your patience, and talk to you soon!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,
3. The “urgent emails only” message
I’m out of the office for the holidays from [date] to [date]. However, I will be taking occasional breaks from binge-watching everything I’ve missed to check my email for urgent matters.
Please resend any messages that require my immediate attention with a subject line of “URGENT: [Original Subject]”.
If your matter isn’t urgent, it’s likely your note will temporarily be swallowed in a sea of unread emails, to be responded after I return to reality.
All the best,
4. The cute gif message
I am off for the week—gone from [date] to [date] with limited access to email. If you require immediate attention, please contact [colleague name] at [colleague email address].
If not, then please enjoy this [picture/animated gif] of an [type of animal] [action it’s doing]:
Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
[Your first name]
Get creative the next time you’re writing out-of-office messages for the holidays. It’s an opportunity to show the human side of your business and put a smile on someone’s face. Just make sure the message suits your audience, type of business, and general workplace culture.
Happy, Creative & Inspiring 2018 from the Omibee hive!