TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Do’s and Don’ts of OOO Emails

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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When taking time off, it’s important to set an auto out of office reply. But, the standard “I’m away from the office and will return your emails when I return” is just doing the bare minimum. Think of your out of office response is an opportunity to impress your colleagues and potential clients, and make the best of it! Follow these simple tips to upgrade your OOO response before your next vacation.

DON’T GIVE UNNECESSARY DETAILS
Those emailing you are looking to reach you in a professional manner, so it’s important to keep your OOO response professional. Be careful of oversharing details of your reason for being out of the office. Your peers don’t need to know that you’re enjoying a Mai Tai in Turks and Caicos or getting a colonoscopy.

Such details are unnecessary and can cause jealousy or discomfort among your coworkers. Studies show that coworkers dislike when their counterparts go on vacation — it means more work for them. Do your part in limiting bad feelings by keeping the details to a minimum.

DON’T SPECIFY THE TIME PERIOD
If you’re going to be out of office for an extended period of time, such as a week or more, don't share that in your out of office response. Instead, share when people can expect to hear back from you. The reason for this is long vacations can be a turnoff for potential clients. Keeping the length of your absence vague will ensure you put your best foot forward.

DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY
If you’re comfortable being quirky or creative with your out of office message, go ahead. Most people emailing you either know or will know you soon, so show off your personality. Creative out of office messages are an easy way to make a mundane experience like receiving an out of office more enjoyable. If you’re creative enough, you might even get a laugh!

DO USE CORRECT GRAMMAR
There’s nothing worse than receiving an email with improper grammar. In fact, bad grammar negatively affects both your and your company’s reputation. When creating a blanket email that will surely reach many important people, it is critical that it is grammatically correct. Before you set your OOO, slow down and read your message aloud to yourself several times. Ask yourself if it reads well, and run it through spell check.

DO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Every career field is different, so only you can judge how your OOO message will be received by your peers. More creative fields might appreciate or even expect a creative OOO, but more traditional or rigid career fields might find them silly. Use your best judgment to discern how your OOO message will be received.

DO REMEMBER TO SET AN OOO
Forgetting to set an OOO can hurt your career, so don’t fall into this trap. Clients, co-workers and other peers might feel ignored or annoyed without an OOO email. Preparing for a vacation or time off from the office can be busy. To ensure you don’t forget an OOO, set an internal reminder to set your OOO before you leave.

The good news is, once you get an effective OOO written, you can use it for your next vacation. Be sure to tweak dates, but don’t be afraid to reuse a previous OOO email. Hopefully, these tips make you feel better equipped to write an OOO email — happy vacation!

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