Some are more helpful than others.
They vary from the simple "I'm out of the office until (date)", to the more informative or more specific.
- If you need to contact me urgently here's my mobile number.
- I'm not available but here's another person to talk to.
- If you're calling about a specific topic, have a specific request - contact this alternate number.
- I will/won't be checking my emails while I'm away.
- I'll be checking my emails periodically and will get back to you as soon as possible.
- I'm away on business ...
- I'm out in client meetings all day ...
- I'm on holiday until ...
I've even received a very specific one - along the lines of:
"I'm out of the office until (date). I will be checking my email at (time), I will respond to your email if it's urgent the same day, otherwise I will reply by the following day. If you need to talk to someone urgently, please contact (person + contact details)".
Out of Office auto-responses are useful for setting expectations - the sender knows you're away and when you're returning. They also have an alternate contact if needed.
Remember to switch them off when you return - set a reminder in your scheduler.
Do you use them - what's on yours?
out of office (Photo credit: Victor Bezrukov)