The worst and best out of office messages!

///The worst and best out of office messages!

The worst and best out of office messages!

The worst and best out of office messages!

I recently sent out an e-mail invitation to my business colleagues and as you can imagine, it being August, I received a great deal of out of office replies. Because I was stuck in the office and not away on holiday, I decided to pass the time reading all the replies, (I know my life is sad), here’s just a few of the best and worst – enjoy! (perhaps yours is among them)? 🙂

 I will be out of the office from 24/7 until 7/8.

I will read my emails sporadically during my holidays.

In case you want to reach me personally and rapidly you can always send an SMS and I will call you back.

In case your question is for XXXX Group HR, COM, Travel & Admin in general, you can forward your 

mail to

Kind regards 

In my opinion, this guy is not on holiday!  Even if he wants to spoil his companion’s fun (assuming he has companions) by taking time out to read his work emails , why would he advertise the fact to all his colleagues and clients?  He even invites you to SMS him and he will call you back! There’s a good chance that this person will return even more stressed than when he left!

Dear Sender,

I will be out of office due to holidays as from July 21st until August 8th.

Due to limited access to my email, I will only be able to respond to your mail upon my return. 

In case of urgency, please leave me a message on my mobile phone (+32 12 345 789), 

which I will check regularly.

Enjoy the summertime!


This one does not add up – Sally has limited access but will only read it when she is back? Why say she has ‘limited access’. This implies that she will only reply to important people?

I am in Holiday and have no acces to my mails

I will be back the 1th augustus

Best regards


Nice, short, to the point = OK (apart from the grammar and spelling errors)

Enjoying my summer-break - back August 7th - no mails/calls until then

Even better, I like the ‘enjoying’ gives a nice mental picture. The only possible word missing could be a ‘sorry’ at the end?

Dear all

I'm abroad and most of the time not even land based. Where that might be is not for general disclosure but 

consider it a mental refuelling trip. Responses will be irregular and not in sync with your personal 

anticipated response time. Having said that, keep in mind that anticipations are often illusions !


This is intriguing but the last sentence is a bit weird, one can imagine he (or she) needs a break!

I'm OOO and wil be back on August 17th. In case of urgencies, please contact my assistant

‘OOO’ urgh! I know you’re in a hurry but please another eight letters and two spaces wouldn’t kill you! + ‘Urgencies’ is not a word one would find in a dictionary

Thank you for your mail.  The next few weeks I will be enjoying a break in a place where mobile technology is not always working.   

So all your emails will nicely be stored in my inbox, awaiting my return on August 23rd.

In case you need urgent support please contact Annie Verrander.

This is my all time favourite. There’s no ‘Dear’ followed by an empty space (I hate that). And, knowing the author, it is highly likely that he is in a place where email is unlikely to work.  Just love ‘So all your emails will nicely be stored in my inbox, awaiting my return on August 23rd.’  It’s honest and friendly.

My conclusion is:

Don’t bother with delayed response excuses. Everyone knows that’s what they are, excuses. Just go on holiday and switch your phone off – having left clear instructions for urgent delegation in your out of office message.  Alternatively, if you believe your place in the office is so critical, you simply cannot ‘switch off’ then scrap your out of office message completely and don’t even bother to think of your time off as a holiday.

How about?

Thank you for your email. I am currently away enjoying some time off until August the 23rd.  If your reason for 

writing is very urgent, please contact Annie at Annie has kindly agreed to manage my enquiries, 

while I am away.

Have a good week,


2017-08-16T10:10:51+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’. Read my quotes

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