Learning English on holidayThe Boston School helps French and German speaking employees of Swiss company offices and others online to improve their internal communications, using tools such as these good out of office email replies in English.

It is important to remember just who will receive your out of office e-mail response and how will they react if it is poorly worded?

Listed below are some real examples of error messages and an explanation of why they are wrong. 

Please feel free to copy and paste for your work
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Common out of office email mistakes (all are real examples)

Date Confusion

I will be out of the office starting 09/08/2017 and will not return until 23/08/2017.

In Europe and many other places in the world, 09/08/2017 means August 9th, 2017. In the US, the month comes before the day so would be understood as the 8th of September, possibly causing some confusion.

Mixing Language

Thank you for your message. Sorry I’m not in the Office until 20th of Mai and I have no access to my Emails.

In urgent cases please contact XXXX. (Phone +41 …. Email: xxxx)

Freundliche Grüsse

Kind regards


Use of Slang / Informal

*** BIZ trip until 12. Sept 2018 ***

*** please contact XX XXX ***

*** for urgent calls: +41 xx xxx xxx ***

The use of asterisks, biz instead of business project an informal relationship which may not be in line with your corporate standards.

Trying to improve your use of out of office email reply you may consider

Acceptable examples include:

Example 1 – Simple out of office email

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am out of the office till Thursday, 27th of April 2017 and your email will not be forwarded.

Should the matter be important, please contact XXXX XXX ( first name second name and their email address) in my absence.

Best regards

Your  Name


Example 2 (refer to a colleague whilst you are away)

Dear Mail Sender,

Thank you for your mail. I will be out of office from today and will be back on Thursday, May 27th. I will have limited access to my e-mail during this period.

In my absence, please feel free to contact XX XX on +41 44 310 3038 or e-mail info@thebostonschool.com.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Your  Name


Example 3 Date and colleague reference out of office email 

I will be out of the office till October 24th 2018. I will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible on my return.

Please note, that your mail will not be forwarded. For any urgent matters, please contact XX XX at  XX@thebostonschool.com.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Your  Name


Example 4 (voted most popular !)

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office from [DAY, DATE] to [DAY, DATE] and unable to respond at this time.

I will review your message following my return on [DAY, DATE]. If you need immediate assistance, contact [Name, phone number and email address].

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Your  Name


Best Practice

It is important to recognise your company standards and practices when creating an out of office email reply. Too often it is the last thing we do before we leave for our holidays, so mistakes are common.

It is important to provide a point of reference, a colleague as an alternative contact and that they know you have elected them to cover for you whilst you are away.

Too help you further, we have added a simple skills and student resource sheet for your reference.


Out of Office Business Skills Worksheet The Boston School

Swiss Style Out of Office Email Example From 2019

Guten Tag,

Vielen Dank für Ihre E-Mail. Bin abwesend bis 13.08.2019 und kann Ihre E-Mail nicht beantworten. Ihre E-Mail wird jedoch weitergeleitet und bearbeitet.


Je vous remercie pour votre e-mail. Je suis absent jusqu’ au 13.08.2019, et ne peux pas répondre à votre e-mail. Par contre, votre courriel est transmis et traité.


Thank you for your e-mail. I am out of office until 13.08.2019 and can’ t answer your e-mail. Your email will be forwarded and processed.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen

Meilleures salutations,

kind regards,

Urs wrote his in 3 languages and normally in Switzerland it is two:

German/English or French/English

for an out of office holiday or business email reply

Top Tip

Da heutzutage praktisch jedes Unternehmen auch andere Formen der Information anbietet, also z. B. Facebook, eine Homepage, Instagram, Twitter etc., kann es unter Umständen sinnvoll sein, auch auf diese zu verweisen:

  • Für Informationen über unser aktuelles Produktangebot können Sie auch auf unserer Website www.a b c.com vorbeischauen.


  • For information on our latest product range, you can also check our website www.a b c d.ch / . a.b.c.d.com

Simple German / English Reference Example

Checkliste: Was gehört in die Abwesenheits-E-Mail-Antwort?

Betreff: Wählen Sie ein kurzes und informatives Thema, damit der Empfänger sofort sieht, worum es geht.

Ich danke dir: In jeder E-Mail sollte ein Gruß enthalten sein, und Sie sollten keinen ohne Dankeschön machen.

Punkt: Von wann sind Sie im Urlaub oder geschäftlich unterwegs und bis wann sind Sie nicht erreichbar?

Abwesenheit: Was passiert mit den Mails in deiner Abwesenheit?

Repräsentation: Wer vertritt Sie während Ihrer Abwesenheit oder Urlaubszeit? Wie kann man ihn erreichen?

Zurückkehren: Was passiert mit der Post nach Ihrer Rückkehr?

Vorlage Abwesenheitsnotiz Deutsch

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

bis zum TT.MM.JJ befinde ich mich im Urlaub.

Meine E-Mails werden in dieser Zeit nicht weitergeleitet oder bearbeitet. In dringenden Fällen wenden Sie sich bitte an [vertretende/r Mitarbeiter/in] unter der Durchwahl XY, beispiel@unternehmen.com.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis!

Schöne Grüße

Vorlage Abwesenheitsnotiz Englisch


Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your message.

I am currently out of the office and will be back on the ( Datum) ,,, 14 February 2020.

Your email will not be forwarded. I will answer it upon my return.

For urgent matters please contact  …vertretende/r Mitarbeiter/in …  (#### @?? unternehmen.com; Tel: 044 – XXX XX XX).

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,


Please consider making a comment or sending us directly examples of an out of office email reply you get as a student when you send an email to a client, colleague or supplier. We will verify it with you and only post it using your first name and no other detail for privacy. 

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