If you’re taking time off work, you’ll probably set up an out-of-office message. You might want to direct queries to one of your colleagues, but don’t forget to ask before signing them up for endless emails.
We’ve previously looked at how to craft an effective out of office message, including how to avoid making recipients jealous. In the rush to leave the office and get away from things for a while, it is easy to forget simple things. You might have someone in mind who you think should be able to deal with queries while you are away, but don’t just assume it is OK.
Your co-worker could be about to embark on a major project that will take up all of their time — they don’t want to receive your emails on top of their own workload. The Guardian offers the handy yet simple reminder to check. You wouldn’t appreciate having someone else’s emails dumped on you without warning, so treat others with the same respect.
If you’re going to write: “I’m away, but please contact Clare”, then do let Clare know that you’ve basically ruined her life for the next couple of weeks. Clare is going to be up to her eyes in emails, drowning in overlong signatures, and spammed to death. She needs to know the fate that will befall her.
It’s also a nice idea if you’re going on holiday to bring a gift back for Clare, as a way of thanking her.
Check out the Guardian article for a number of other tips including the suggestion that your OOO should be brief, to the point, and not filled with brags about your time off — nor packed with typos!
How to write the perfect out-of-office message [The Guardian]