Human Resources News & Insights

7 creative ideas for your out-of-office message

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to liven up your out-of-office email reply. 

Need inspiration? Take a look at the following real auto reply messages, captured by associate editor Kathy Gurchiek on SHRM.org, that people used to amuse (or maybe to confuse?) their recipient:

  • “Hi there! Hate to break it to you, but I’m onsite at an event today. You probably don’t want to hear this, since you’re working yourself, so here’s a cat video to cheer you up …”
  • “I’m on an emergency golf trip and unable to answer any calls or emails.”
  • “I’m away from my desk, drinking mai tais on a Caribbean beach far away from Wi-Fi. It’s likely your message will be swallowed up in the inbox oasis. So, if you require a response, please resend your email after …”
  • “I am unplugged and away from my email until [date]. Right now, I’m either in the spa getting a massage, gazing at the ocean or maybe just messing with you. You decide … If this is an important matter, please reach out again after [date]. If it’s not an important matter, please stop emailing people and go have some fun.”
  • “WHAT ARE YOUUUU doing emailing me on YOUR day off?”
  • “Hey, you just missed me. I wrapped up everything and I’m OOO … If your question can wait, great. If not, send it to the person who will bring satisfaction and meaning to your life [co-worker’s email address]. In case of emergency (e.g. someone needs help with his resume), you can reach me at [phone number].”
  • “I’m not in the office right now, but if it’s important, tweet me using #youareinterruptingmy vacation.”
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