Out of Office Replies

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I’m a huge vacation planner and am already planning my next vacation, basically six months out. I look forward to it all year, month, week…whatever. If I’ve learned anything in my last year of working for my organization, it’s that sometimes PTO is ignored.

It doesn’t take long for me to get frustrated, give in and work on vacation.

When I went to Puerto Rico, I decided this wasn’t going to be the norm and going forward, my time off meant that I had genuine time off with no interruptions. 

Aside from making it really clear to my boss that I will not be disrespected and contacted during my time out of office, there are some other ways to make your vacation as relaxing and away from work as possible. 

Inform Your Team Members: As a planner, this is one of the first things that I do, but I also like to make a list of things that will need to be completed and who they need to work with to ensure success while I’m OOO. I also make sure those within my organization know what to expect as far as who to contact. If it’s social and email, there’s one person versus another for graphics and in-game content. They won’t have every single answer but I’m always willing to return the favor when they’re out of touch.

Send a Reminder Email: I try to remind everyone in my department meeting before I’m out, but I also send an email reminder with what I’m working on, who will be taking over and what expectations need to be met. 

Set That OOO Email: This is one of my favorite things to do before going on vacation. Like it’s so satisfactory. The right email includes all of the important details of when you’re out and when to contact you. My typical email looks like:

Hello and thanks for your email. I’m out of office right now but will get back to you as soon as I can. Expect a reply [date] latest. For any immediate assistance, please contact [name] at [email] and [phone].

Stand Your Ground: If you’ve checked all of your boxes and you’re still being contacted, don’t be afraid to be blunt. I use this formula to help be direct when I’m out of office.

“Getting texts and emails while I’m on vacation is making it hard for me to disconnect from work. Would you hold these until I’m back in office? I’d appreciate it!”

Just remember, you’re entitled to your time away from the office to recharge and reset. I hope this guide has been helpful in asserting your boundaries and gaining the respect you deserve when you’re out of office! Now delete their numbers (maybe not) and enjoy your summer!

Photo Nov 05, 10 17 50

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