The Perfect OOO Reply: Happily Unavailable

Is there a better feeling than getting your ducks in a row and crafting that “out of office” reply? You pick your dates. You press ‘schedule’ … and you slam the laptop shut. Your partially packed suitcase is on your bed staring at you just asking to be zipped and placed by the door.

We’ve all seen great OOO replies that genuinely make us pause and wish that client, colleague or friend happy trails and a relaxing week. So, what’s the secret?  

1. Funny and Punny 

Start your OOO message with a lighthearted joke or pun related to your absence but don't forget to tie it back to the purpose of your message. For example, "I'm currently out of the office exploring the world (or at least the local breweries). I'll be back next Monday with both souvenirs and a refreshed perspective on life!" 

2. Pass the Torch 

Acknowledge the inconvenience of your absence while offering helpful alternatives for assistance. You can say something like, "I'm currently out of the office replenishing my creativity reserves. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [alternate contact]. Rest assured, I'll be back in two weeks with fresh ideas and renewed energy to tackle any challenges."

3. The Personal Touch 

Share a brief personal tidbit or anecdote to connect with your recipients on a more human level. People secretly want to know where you're headed and what you're up to! For instance, "I'm currently out of the office chasing sunshine and catching waves. In the meantime, if you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact [alternate contact]. I have a feeling I'll be better at surfing the web than actually surfing ... so no fear, I'll be back next Tuesday.”

Keep your tone professional and align your message with your company's culture. Balancing humor with clarity and professionalism will ensure your OOO reply is well received ... and maybe even prompt a smile on the other end!

Oh, and if you get stuck ... try this ...

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