How Out-of-Office Messages Can Save Your Business

Out-of-office messages are set up to tell people that you are away from your office. Learn more about this feature.

Once you become your own boss, one of the most challenging things to do is to take time off to relax and unwind. 


Because of the fear that you won't offer your clients and employees the attention they deserve. However, research shows that time taken off from work enhances productivity and efficiency. 

This is where out-of-office (OOO) messages come in.

Out-of-office messages are essential for business communications today because they let your customers and coworkers know you are out of the office until further notice. A well-crafted OOO can go as far as to offer alternative solutions to problems raised regarding your business. 

In a nutshell, they can save your business from issues like lousy reputation and loss of clients. 

Below is a deep dive into how OOO messages can be a fantastic business solution. 

Why Out-of-Office (OOO) Messages Are Important to Your Business

The most obvious importance of out-of-office messages is that they inform anyone looking for you that you are not currently in the office. 

These messages help you make your customers and coworkers feel like they aren't being ignored whether you are in or out of the office.

This is possible because a message is personal; it lets the recipient know when you will be available to reach out to them. As such, the recipient doesn't spend time trying to reach out to you through systems like emails or social media platforms.

Also, losing new customers is easy if they feel like they don't have an excellent experience with you or your company. Luckily, out-of-office messages help you avoid a potential decline in customer satisfaction.

Moreover, you can rest a little easier when setting up out-of-office messages because they allow you to respond to any issues as you enjoy your time off. Besides, if your respondents aren't sending you many follow-up messages, you will have fewer emails or phone calls to get through when you are back at the office. 

What Should Your Out-of-Office Messages Include?

When you are professional in your OOO phone message, you boost your credibility and competence. You also encourage your listeners to continue with your business relationship. 

Out-of-Office Messages Should Be Helpful

If you are not helpful in your OOO message, you are wasting an excellent opportunity to build lasting relationships with your recipients. As such, make your message as short as possible.

Inform the recipient you will be out of the office, mention the period you will be out or the date you, plan to get back to the office and offer alternative solutions or an alternative coworker to work with when you're unavailable.

Don't shy away from showing your personality through the message; a little humor can go a long way as well. In a nutshell, your out-of-office messages should include:

  • Your name, company, and position
  • Clarification that the message is automatic
  • The duration you are out of the office
  • The reason you are out of the office
  • A contact in case of an urgent issue — include their name, contact number, and email address. If you have more than one contact person for different reasons, also include their expertise to make it easier for the listener to know whom they need to contact
  • A call to action to either leave a message or send an email
  • Remember to include a friendly greeting and a polite gesture in your message
  • Note: we’re not including all of these things in our examples below. We should either update the examples or say that these things should just be considered.

What Should Your Out-of-Office Messages Avoid?

One of the qualities of a good manager is knowing when to keep things professional and when to present a light-hearted approach to business. 

In the case of your OOO messages, you need to avoid being too relaxed or silly, especially if you are creating the message when on vacation.

You want to avoid making a wrong impression if a prospect reaches out when you are out of the office. Also, avoid making definite promises. An example is telling your listener that you or your coworker will get back to them immediately.

Such a move adds pressure to your coworker, and it disappoints the listener if they don't get immediate help. 

Instead, ensure the expectations you set are realistic. Remember to ask your contact persons for permission to add them to your OOO messages beforehand. Additionally, give necessary details only. 

Examples of Effective Out-of-Office Phone Messages

Professional Example

Hello there,

This is John Doe. I can't take your call right now as I am out of the office until Thursday, February 7th., but Pp Please feel free to leave your name and reason for calling, and I'll get back to you before the end of the week. Thank you. 

New Point of Contact Message

Hi there,

Thank you for calling my office. This is John Doe, the CEO of the ABC Company.

I'm sorry to inform you that I am currently out of the office and unavailable for office phone calls or emails until February 7th. In the meantime, you can get assistance from David Bradley, the CFO. 

Call him at 000-123-4567 or get in touch through their email address which is Davidbradley@ABC.com. Otherwise, I will return your call on the day of my return to the office. 

FAQ Out-of-Office Message

Hello there,

Thank you for calling. I am currently on vacation until February 7th. If you called to ask for more information about our new product line, please feel free to email my personal assistant at personalassistant@website.com to get the help you need. 

Our FAQ section is exceptionally comprehensive about what our new product line offers. You can find it at abc.com/faq. I'll be sure to address any of your additional questions when I return. Let's talk soon.

Funny Out-of-Office Message


Thank you for calling American Airlines. Okay, it's actually John Doe on the line. 

I'm not in the office right now, but I'll get back to you after I learn to land a plane with no casualties, which will be on Thursday, May 27. Let's fly together then. 

What Should Your Out-of-Office Email Include?

The format is almost identical to that of out-of-office phone messages since you should include:

  • An articulate subject line
  • The reason you are out of the office
  • Mention that the message is automatic
  • The day you will be back in the office
  • Alternative ways to get in touch with you, if possible
  • Alternative contact persons in case you will be out of the office for a long time or in case of an urgent issue
  • A greeting and a "see you later" gesture message

Email vs. Phone OOO Messages

Email out-of-office messages are more common than voicemail because they provide a bigger space to pass all the information you wish to in your message. 

For example, instead of merely including your coworker's name, contact number, and position, you can share a link to your website where the recipient can get further or immediate assistance from your support team.

Additionally, an email message allows you to be much more creative with your message, thus, making the experience much more appealing for your recipients. For example, using graphics and images makes your message more interesting.

Email messages allow personalization because, instead of greeting the recipient with a "hi there," you can use their name. However, avoid giving too much information or over-promising to resolve any issues raised by the recipient.

Also, ensure all your sit-in contact persons have agreed to be your liaison while you are away. Once you are done writing your email message, countercheck everything to provide no incorrect information. Remember to check your formatting to avoid issues, like missing images, when the message gets to the recipient. 

Examples of Out-of-Office Emails

Professional Out-of-Office Email Example

Hello Jeremy,

Thank you for your email. I am currently without email access. I will be back in the office on February 7th, when I will be sure to follow up with you. If the matter is urgent, please contact our customer support through this link. I appreciate your patience.

Warm Regards,

John Doe.

New Point of Contact Email Example

Hey Olivia,

Thanks for reaching out. I'm currently on vacation and with no access to email and will be back on February 7th. In the meantime, please feel free to contact our Operations Director, DR. Do-little, through the email Do-little@ABC.com for any urgent matters at hand. I will be happy to follow up when I'm back at the office.


John Doe.

FAQ Out-of-Office Email Example

Hello there,

Thank you for your email, but I am currently out of the office and won't be back until February 7th. If you have questions about our company, please go through our FAQ section to find everything you need. I will be happy to write a follow-up email when I am back.

Kind Regards,

John Doe.

Other Types of Out-of-Office Emails

Funny out-of-office Email

Hello there,

I am pleased to inform you that I have finally migrated to Mars, where we have no email access. But don't fear: we build transmitters to help us communicate better with earthlings. Our expected date of success should be February 7th. Until then, live long and prosper.

John Doe.

Summary on Using Out-of-Office Messages Effectively

Out-of-Office messages are essential for your business because they give you a chance to excel at what you do by allowing you time off from work with minimal interruptions. 

Using OOO messages also reduces your backlog, thus, ensuring your first week back to work will still be productive. To enjoy these benefits effectively, you must:

  • Acknowledge the person that has contacted you professionally.
  • Give the specific dates you plan to be away from the office.
  • Include the contact information for the people you have left in charge.
  • Set expectations to reply without overpromising.
  • Ensure you share the correct information, be it on the phone or in email.
  • Find a balance between being too brief and offering too much information.
  • Try to maintain professional honesty even when you are being funny, but don't be too professional.

Remember to activate your message so that your recipients can get your response. Other tips to get the most out of your OOO messages include:

  • Establish your brand voice through the message you send.
  • Generate leads by encouraging people to subscribe to your website with a link.
  • Encourage your respondents to stay connected through social media and include your platform links.
  • Increase traffic on your site by mentioning a blog or case study.
  • Invite your respondents to an event like a conference if that is your reason for absence. This increases your networking opportunities.
  • Extend your expected return date to ensure you have enough time to reply to your respondents when you are back at the office.

Hoist makes it easy to manage your customers through its all-in-one and easy-to-use business software. Learn more about launching your own business with Hoist today.


Five Ways To Boost Your Business Credibility/ Forbes

How To Set Realistic Business Goals And Expectations In 2021/ Strategy Leaders

Why You Should Put a Little More Thought into Your Out-of-Office Message/ HBR 

Get ahead of the competition.

Join the 14,000+ entrepreneur growing their business with Hoist's guidance.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


We're Hoist. We help entrepreneurs successfully run and grow painting businesses. Learn about how to build your company by following along on Instagram and Linkedin.

More for You