If you work in an international environment, it may be necessary to leave an out of office message in English as well as in your native language when you are on holiday, on a course or away for whatever reason. In this article we’ll consider what you might want to include in your out of office message and how to express it.
Out of office message – key information to include
- The date you return to work
- It’s important people know when you’re back so they can decide whether to wait for your return or contact somebody else
- Email access while away
- Whether you have some, limited or no access to email
- People to contact in your absence
- For more urgent enquiries when people can’t wait for you to return
Out of office message – optional details that could also be included
- An acknowledgement of their email
- A “thank you” can show appreciation for their contacting you
- The date you’re absent from
- It’s more important for people to know when you return, but you might want to state the period of absence
- The reason for your absence
- holiday; course; maternity leave, etc.
- Whether or when you will deal with their email on your return
- Alternative contact details
- i.e. your mobile phone number if you’re happy to be contacted while away
Out of office message in English – examples
● Only key information
I will be out of the office until 18th June and will not be checking email during this time.
For urgent enquiries, please contact (contact name) at (contact email address).
I am currently out of the office with limited access to email. I will be back on 18th June.
For urgent assistance, please contact (contact name) at (contact email address).
● With key information plus some optional details
Thank you for your email. I will be on a course from 11th to 15th June during which time I will be unable to check or reply to email. I will be back in the office on 18th June.
In the meantime, please redirect any urgent enquiries to (contact name) at (contact email address). Otherwise, I will deal with your email as soon as possible on my return.
Thank you for your email. I will be away on holiday for 3 weeks from 30th June to 20th July returning to the office on 21st July. I will not be checking email while away.
In my absence, please contact:
(contact name) at (contact email address) for sales enquiries
(contact name) at (contact email address) for financial reporting
(contact name) at (contact email address) for marketing
Please note that due to the length of my absence and the amount of emails I generally receive, I will not be able to read your email on my return. If you do need to get in touch with me personally, please contact me again on or after 21st July. Thank you for your understanding.
Thank you for your email. I am currently on maternity leave and won’t be returning to the office until 11th October.
In my absence, please contact (contact name) at (contact email address)
I’m away from the office today with no access to email.
For urgent matters please contact (contact name) at (contact email address).
Alternatively, I will deal with your email on my return to the office tomorrow.
Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office from 7th to 9th May inclusive with limited access to email.
In my absence, please contact (contact name) at (contact email address).
If your enquiry is urgent, please contact me on my mobile (mobile phone number).
One last tip regarding the date
When writing the date, the Americans use the format MM/DD/YY whereas the British and the Australians use DD/MM/YY. In order to avoid any confusion, I always recommend writing the date using words, i.e. writing the month as a word and not as a number.
This way, you will always be understood correctly and avoid any doubt as to whether, for example, 04/03/21 means 4th March 2021 or April 3rd 2021.
For more information on how to write and say the date in English, take a look at:
I hope this was useful for you and you now have a good understanding of the different ways to write an out of office message in English.
If you have any doubts or questions, please leave a comment below.