Effective Out of Office Messages Guide 2024

Effective Out of Office Messages Guide 2024
Published in : 04 Jan 2024

Effective Out of Office Messages Guide 2024

If you are going on vacation or are sick and cannot or do not want to be reachable by email, an auto-reply, including an out-of-office message, is helpful so your contacts can immediately respond.

An out-of-office note is a concise text that conveys the essential information: for what period are you unavailable, when can your contacts expect a response, possibly the reason for the absence, and, if necessary, a personal touch? A reference to another email address, for example, that of a colleague, is often useful, even necessary.

Good communication by email also involves the absence of a message. You set it using the auto-reply feature of your email provider or email program: remember to deactivate it when you return!

What an out-of-office note contains depends, of course, on the context. While some companies expect a formal approach elsewhere, loosening the text with small, personal elements may be shared elsewhere. In principle, however, an out-of-office note is impersonal because it is automated. As is often the case, the sound makes the music. After all, you don't want to upset or offend anyone who tries to contact you.

Of course, you can rely on templates and examples when writing an absence note. But how do you formulate the perfect score?

Absence message: step by step


It is common to use “absent from office” or “out of office” in English as the title of your absence message. So, everyone notices as soon as they receive the automatic message that you are not available.

Call and greeting formula.

Start your absence message with a greeting, a polite formula, with which to begin your absence note. You can start by thanking your interlocutor for their message. A combination of the two is, of course, possible.



Thank you very much for your message.

Hello, and thank you for your email!


Return to office date or availability

It's best to write the most critical information in the second line of the body of your out-of-office message: when you can be reached again and, if desired, the reason for your absence. If you are absent for an indefinite period, indicate the cause. Information on when you can be contacted again gives a better impression than telling the duration of the absence.


  1. I am currently on vacation. You will be able to contact me again on Monday, DD/MM/YYYY.
  2. I can be reached again on Monday, DD/MM/YYYY.

No redirection

If your emails cannot be forwarded or viewed by a colleague, it is sometimes essential to let them know. Depending on the clientele, giving a reason or expressing regret may make sense.


  1. Your email will not be forwarded.
  2. For confidentiality reasons, your email will not be transmitted.
  3. Unfortunately, your mail will not be forwarded.


You can indicate a colleague's email address and telephone number if a colleague represents you. A request to only use this option in an emergency can help filter minor concerns from essential messages.


  1. You can contact Mr. or Mrs.
  2. In case of emergency, please contact Mr. or Mrs.
  3. In case of emergency, please use the following telephone number: XXXX

Conclusion formula

You can use a simple conclusion formula. But it’s pretty standard not to include it in out-of-office notes.

Examples: Sincerely, NAME and Yours sincerely, NAME

Personal Notes: Personalize Out of Office Messages

Your out-of-office message doesn't have to be as formal as the examples above. For example, you can be more relaxed around customers in many professions. It is particularly true for your colleagues if the email communication is only internal to the company, i.e., only your colleagues can read the out-of-office note.

Even with many external business partners, a "quick" automatic response is usual. We show you what you can use to personalize your auto-response and what you should do without it.

Personalized absence message: what you can do

With these examples in different tones, you can personally decide what suits your company. Remember that your supervisors may receive the same message as your colleagues with whom you have a relaxed tone. Please consider this advice carefully.

Absence notes: templates

Formal and general absence message



Thank you very much for your message! I am on vacation and will be at your disposal again on DD/MM/YYYY.

Your email will not be forwarded for confidentiality reasons. In case of emergency, please get in touch with my colleague, Mr./Ms. [NAME] at this address: abc@example.com




Formal absence message with an indication of replacement for customers

Good morning,

Thank you for your message. I am on vacation and cannot access my emails during this time. I will happily respond to you when I return on DD/MM/YYYY. Until then, my colleague [NAME] will represent me. You can contact him by email (nom@example.fr) or telephone (X). He will be happy to help you. I appreciate your understanding.


Yours sincerely,


Informal absence message to colleagues

Dear colleagues,


If you're reading this, I'm on vacation. Don't worry, I'll be back on DD/MM/YYYY! Currently, my colleague [NAME] represents me (xyz@example.com). In case of emergency, please get in touch with him.

May everyone stay healthy! I promise I'll bring you something from Argentina!


See you soon,


Informal absence notes for clients

Dear Customer,


Thank you for your message! I'm on vacation and will be back for you from DD/MM/YYYY. Unfortunately, I cannot access my emails during this time. Do not hesitate to contact my colleague NOM in an emergency (name@example.com). Your mail will not be redirected. Thank you for being so understanding.




Formal absence notes in English

Thank you for your mail.


I am currently on vacation and have no access to my e-mail account. I’ll be back in the office on Monday, JJ/MM/AAAA, and will respond to you as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can direct your urgent messages to my colleague NOM (collegue@exemple.com). Please be aware that your mail will not be forwarded automatically.

Thank you very much for your understanding.


Best Wishes


Informal absence notes in English



Thanks for your message! I'm out of the office and won't return until JJ/MM/AAAA. If urgent, you can email Mr. COLLEAGUE (collegue@exemple.com); he'll gladly help. I can't read emails on vacation, and your mail will not be forwarded: be warned!

Anyway, I wish you all the best. I hope I don't get lost in the desert and will return to you full of energy!


Yours Truly



The absence message, what are the risks?

Using an auto-reply that includes an out-of-office message is expected in the office. However, it is essential to consider what information you are willing to share before saving your message.

It is becoming increasingly common for criminals to seize information and use it to their advantage, for example, to plan a burglary. By sending a message to thousands of randomly generated addresses, auto-replies also allow spam senders to identify which email addresses exist.