December 20 2011

Holiday Out of Office Message Etiquette

by Emily Callaghan

With the holidays approaching, many of us will be taking vacation days. In this instance, it’s often understood that the person is traveling or taking time off to be with relatives, and that they’ll return once the holidays are over. But it’s not always so obvious; what if you head to California for a random week in March? 

In situations like these, here are three things Lifehacker has suggested we include in our “out of office” messages to answer questions that may arise—so you don’t have to.

Dates of your absence: Let anyone that contacts you know how long you’ll be gone. It helps them decide what they should do next: wait for your return or contact someone else.

Reason for absence: Is this for business or pleasure? Business trips signal a connection to the office—you’re more likely to check your email and respond to anything urgent. But if you say you’re taking a vacation, it signals that you’ll be out of touch.

Who else to contact: Instead of leaving them high and dry without someone else to get in touch with, leave a name and number of someone who can be of help.

And don’t forget to end it on a happy note: This upcoming week, writing “Happy Holidays” in your message can sufficiently explain your absence.

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