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The Art of the "Out of Office" Message - with Examples!

Updated on August 26, 2012

"OOO" Messages

"Out of Office" messages are more than just a convenience to your customers and co-workers; they are a great way to help keep you organized and contribute to a stress-free day off.

The Basic Anatomy of an "Out of Office" Message - Voicemail or Email

  1. Sounds obvious, but - mention that you are away! This can apply to a single day off, extended vacation, time traveling for work, etc.
  2. Note the timeline of your absence. Will you be away for the day, the hour, the week? By letting your callers/emailers know when you will return, it will aid in avoiding unnecessary requests to your emergency contacts and excessive messages upon your return.
  3. Tell them how and when you will be able to respond to their inquiry. Are you away from your office, but able to respond to email requests? Are you traveling abroad and unable to access your phone and email entirely? This is particularly helpful for those that have made a habit of responding to out of office contacts in the past. If your contacts are accustomed to hearing from you on your days off, they may start to expect that of you even when you are unavailable.
  4. Who to contact in the case of an urgent request or emergency. This will offer a sense of security to your contacts and help you to avoid a series of frantic or frustrated messages when you return.
  5. And as always - end with a pleasant salutation.

Voicemail Template Examples

EXAMPLE #1 - Hi, you have reached the voicemail of [NAME], [TITLE or DEPARTMENT] at [COMPANY]. I will be out of the office from [DATE] to [DATE], returning on [DATE and TIME]. During this time I will have limited access to phone calls or email, but will be sure to respond to your message upon my return. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [BACK-UP CONTACT NAME] at [PREFERRED METHOD OF CONTACT].Thank you!

EXAMPLE #2 - You have reached the voicemail of [NAME]. I will be traveling for business [DATE] to [DATE], returning on [DATE and TIME]. If you need immediate assistance, please contact me via email at you!

Email Out-of-Office Automatic Reply Template Examples


SUBJECT: [NAME] is out of the office.

BODY: I will be out of the office from [DATE] to [DATE]. I will reply to your email upon my return. If this is an urgent request, please contact [NAME and EMAIL]. Thank you and have a great day!


SUBJECT: Out of Office Reply

Body: Thank you for your email. I am on vacation from [DATE] to [DATE] with limited access to email. I will respond to all inquiries when I return on [DATE], but if your matter is urgent, please contact [NAME and EMAIL]. Have a nice day!

FUNNY! "How to use Microsoft Outlook's Out of Office Assistant"

INFORMATIVE: How to Set Up Out of Office Messages in Microsoft Outlook

How to Enable Out of Office Function in Lotus Notes


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      Johne363 3 years ago

      Awesome article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged. cakedagddbcg

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      Mike Abad 5 years ago

      I try to keep it simple. " I'm out, leave your message after the tone"