You’ve been busy planning out your tasks, tying up loose ends, and working ahead to ensure you can actually disconnect, recharge, and relax over your holiday break.
When you’ve finally powered your way through that seemingly endless to-do list and are ready to check out of work-mode once and for all, there’s one final thing you need to take care of: Setting your out-of-office response.
But, what exactly should you say in that automated message of yours? Whether you’re looking for something straight-laced and formal or over-the-top festive, here are six different templates you can use for an out-of-office message that’s perfectly suited to you, your company, and this merry time of year.
1. For the Person Who Works in a Traditional Office
Thank you for your email, I’m currently out of the office until [date].
I’ll reply to your message promptly when I return. But, if you require immediate assistance, please send an email to [contact name] at [contact email] in my absence.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season,
2. For the Person Who Likes to Keep it Friendly, But Professional
Thank you for your email. I’m currently out of the office until [date] to celebrate the holiday with my loved ones—without my phone in front of my face.
I’ll be sure to reply to your message when I wade through my inbox upon my return. If your message is time sensitive, please send an email to [contact name] at [contact email].
Sending wishes for a happy holiday season,
3. For the Person Who Keeps Things Festive
It’s my favorite time of year, which means I’m currently out of the office chugging mugs of cocoa, stuffing my face with cookies, and attempting to fulfill my life-long goal of memorizing every single line of [your favorite holiday movie].
I’ll be back in front of my computer on [date] and will respond to your message at that time. If you need immediate assistance, please send an email to [contact name] at [contact email] so that the other elves in this workshop can help you out.
4. For the Person Who Will Be 100% Out of Reach
Thanks for your email. I’m currently out of the office, returning on [date]. I’ll respond to your message then.
While I won’t be quite as far as the North Pole, I will still be completely disconnected from my inbox until my return. So, if you require immediate assistance, please send your email to [contact name] at [contact email].
Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
5. For the Person Who Will Be Checking in (Reluctantly)
I’m out of the office until [date].
However, I will be taking period breaks from binge-watching everything I’ve missed to check my email [once per day/every evening/occasionally] while I’m away.
If this matter isn’t time-sensitive, rest assured that I’ll respond when I’m back in the office. But, if this is an urgent request, please resend any messages that require my immediate attention with a subject line of “URGENT: [Original Subject]”.
All the best,
6. For the Person Who Likes to Live on the Edge (of HR Protocol)
I’m currently out of the office for the holidays—which means I’m busy either:
A) Trying not to laugh at my [relative’s] corny jokes
B) Attempting to explain my career to my [relative] for the 800th time
C) Getting buzzed on too many mugs of eggnog (hey, can you blame me?)
I’ll return on [date] or after I watch [favorite holiday movie] one too many times (whichever comes first)—and will respond to your message at that time.
If your request is urgent, there’s no use sitting idly in my inbox. So, please send your request to [contact name] at [contact email].
Whether you prefer to stick with something simple or have a little fun with your out-of-office message, it’s important that you always make sure to at least include the basics: your return date and an alternative contact people can reach out to for urgent matters.
Then, all that’s left to do is turn it on before you abandon your desk, and get prepared for a relaxing holiday break—without feeling the need to be constantly tethered to your inbox.
Photo of person with friend on phone courtesy of BraunS/Getty Images.