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It's interesting to see the different type of messages that people use - from the very general and uninformative - "I'm out of the Office" to specific dates and contact information.
Out of office messages are good for when you’re away from the office for a period of time. They set expectations for the sender.
Include the day/dates you’re out and an alternate contact either phone or email if there's an urgent request.
You can set up Out of Office messages for when you're just away from your desk for the day or for a few weeks holiday.
“Thank you for your email. I am out of the office until day/date. If you have an urgent enquiry you can contact my colleague name at email address (or mobile) I will respond to your email on my return.”
Sometimes it’s useful to say whether you’ll be checking emails in your absence or if there’s a number you can be contacted on if it’s urgent.
One very specific Out of Office message stated that the person only dealt with their email at a specific time each day and that wouldn't be able to respond until then. As well as giving contact details for more urgent enquiries.
Set a reminder in your calendar or diary to remind you to switch your Out of Office message on and off. It's easy to forget that you've got one set and it keeps appearing even when you're back.
You can apply the same principles to email and phone messages.