CLASSIC OUT OF OFFICE REPLIES

The traditional out of office auto-responder always contained the following information…

  • How long the person that you have emailed will be away for, including dates
  • When the person you contacted will return and reply to your email
  • If the person will sometimes look at their emails while they are out of the office
  • An alternative contact person’s details, if appropriate

Here are some templates that you can use to set up a perfect English reply….

 

Example 1: Formal style

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I am currently out of the office and will not return until (END DATE).

If you require immediate assistance in my absence, please contact (COLLEAGUE’S NAME) on (PHONE NO#) or (EMAIL ADDRESS), who will be able to deal with your enquiry.

Otherwise, I will respond to your email as soon as possible on my return.

Best regards,

 

Example 2: Direct to the point (including stating that you are not answering emails)

I will be out of the office from (START DATE) to (END DATE) with no access to my emails.

If your message is urgent, please contact (COLLEAGUE’S NAME) on (PHONE NO#) or (EMAIL ADDRESS).

 

Example 3: Suitable for Sales or Customer Service/Help departments

Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office and will not return until (DATE).

Your business is important to us and I will respond to you immediately when I return to work.

[Download a PDF version]

 


OUT OF OFFICE AUTO REPLY FROM ABROAD

This is an auto response that I received from a friend of mine who currently works in a big important company in Germany, which contains the wording stipulated by top management. There are 2 sentences (2nd and 3rd) which sound slightly unnatural (to a native English speaker) as a result of interference from German

 

Thank you very much for your email. Currently, I can not answer your message promptly. I will come back to you after my return on the (DATE).

As your email will not be forwarded, please contact in the meantime my colleague, (NAME), (PHONE NO#), (EMAIL)

Best regards,


OUT OF OFFICE REPLIES FROM THE UK

These are current genuine replies that I received from my friends who work in various companies in the UK. They are quite direct and very short, aren’t they?

I think that this is because Out of Office replies have been around for a long time now and everybody knows the message that they contain. So, if you have a very short sentence, then you are not wasting everyone’s valuable business time.

 

Example 1

I am out of the office until (DATE) and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Does anything more really need to be said?

 

Example 2

I am now out of the office returning (DATE)

For any enquiries please call (OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER)

This is possibly better than the first one, as there is help with an alternative contact if the matter is truly urgent

 

Example 3

Thank you for your email. I will be back at my desk on (DATE).

This person is not messing around. This message leaves it unsaid that your email will NOT be answered, so if you really need an answer then use your own initiative to find someone else to speak to. I like this idea because if a regular client, customer or colleague gets passed on to another person in your company, can you really guarantee that they will get the same level of service/intelligence/commitment/courtesy/knowledge/speed that you would provide? There is no guarantee, is there? So, maybe it’s better for the person to wait until you return.

 

Example 4

I am out of the office but picking up emails sporadically.

Thanks.

This message offers some hope that your email will be dealt with if it is considered important enough to merit a reply. This could lead to problems though. The sender might believe their email to be crucial. The responder might think it’s not worth a reply until they return. Confusion and frustration may ensue.

 

[Download a PDF version]


HELP SETTING UP AN AUTO RESPONDER

If you use Outlook in your office, there are instructions here and also support here from Microsoft that show how to create an out of office reply for POP or IMAP accounts.

If you use Gmail, then you need to go here.

Real Out of Office Email Examples

 


German Manager – Simple out of office email reply example – June 2019  

I am out of the office until 3rd June 2019. I will respond to your email when I return

******************** PLEASE NOTE *******************

This message, along with any attachments, may be confidential or legally privileged. It is intended only for the named person(s), who is/are the only authorized recipients. If this message has reached you in error, kindly destroy it without review and notify the sender immediately. Thank you for your help.


Swiss Manager – Good out of office email example  – July 2019

Thank you for your message. I am out of office.

In case of urgency, please contact my colleague ……………. ( contact email ), my assistant ……………… ( contact email ). Please Call  (Zürich office):  +41 xx xxx  xx xx for a quick response in my absence.

Kind regards,

xxxx xxxx


American Manager – out of office email reply example – August 2019 

 

Thanks for your email. I am out of the office back on Tuesday 20th.

Please accept delays in my answers.

Best regards,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxx