How to write a good and concise «Out of Office» message

by Popie Matsouka

1

The Orthodox Easter is just around the corner, and many linguists have already left or will soon leave their offices for the Easter holidays. If you are like me, and you communicate via email on a daily basis, you might want to compose a short «Out of Office» message, or «OoO» as is also known. Auto-responder email messages are small bits of prepared text that are automatically sent to the sender when the person you are trying to reach is out of the office.

Even if you have already notified your clients that you will be absent, having an out of office message is a good practice for those unexpected messages you might receive during your absence. It also shows professionalism, and that you care about your clients.

A few simple guidelines will help you with this easy task.

  • First of all, be polite and thank the sender for their message. Let them know that you have received it.
  • Secondly, let them know for how long you will be absent. Indicate the dates clearly, providing both the name of the day and the full date.
  • Let them know if you will have limited or no access to your emails. Personally, I prefer the «not at all» option, since the «from time to time» makes the sender expect you to see their message soon and respond. So, if I am not planning to spend my vacation days with my cell phone/tablet at hand, checking my messages every now and then, the «not at all» option is usually the best for me.
  • Do not over-explain the reasons why you will not be at the office. A simple statement will have to suffice; after all you do not own anyone an explanation for taking some time off.
  • You can be funny, or you can be creative, if you want. You can do this by adding, for example, a card with Easter wishes, or a tasteful but funny image in your reply. Most people though prefer to keep it simple.
  • If you want, you can provide alternative methods of communication. Depending on your relationship with your clients, you might want to add a sentence like «You can contact me on my mobile telephone for any urgent matters.» However, I would not put my phone in the message. There is a reason you are absent during that time, and any person who needs to contact you for an emergency will surely have your number.
  • If you are collaborating with a person that will be handling your workload while you are on holiday, make sure to put their contact information at the end of your message and notify the sender that they can talk to your collaborator instead of you.
  • After composing your message, double check that it is concise and to the point. Also, be sure to check for spelling mistakes!!
  • As a translator, you can certainly create your message in two languages, your mother tongue and one more. This is entirely up to you.
  • Go to your email account and enable the autoreply feature. The settings depend on the email provider, see below some examples of «How To» for various email clients:

YAHOO yahoo

https://help.yahoo.com/kb/yahoo-business-mail/SLN17479.html?impressions=true


gmailGMAIL


https://support.google.com/mail/answer/25922?hl=en

outlookMICROSOFT OUTLOOK

http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/290846

outlook2OUTLOOK.COM

http://www.guidingtech.com/14792/automated-vacation-replies-outlook-com-email/

  • Remember to set the auto-responder feature in such a way that it will send a reply only once per sender. You do not want to flood people’s inboxes with OoO notifications!

See below some examples of simple and professional auto-responder email messages:

Example 1:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. Please note that I am currently out of the office for the Easter Holidays. I will not be checking my emails from Friday the 10th of April to Monday the 13th (incl.). I will also not be available for work during that time. I will see your message and respond to you the soonest possible upon my return.

Have a great day, and a Happy Easter!

Best regards,

Your Linguist

Example 2:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. Please note that I am currently out of the office for the Easter Holidays. I will not be checking my emails from Friday the 10th of April to Monday the 13th (incl.). I will see your message and respond to you the soonest possible upon my return.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact my colleague Jon Doe at jondoe@test.com.

Have a great day, and a Happy Easter!

Best regards,

Your Linguist

Example 3:

Hello,

Thank you for your message. Please note that I am currently out of the office for the Easter Holidays. I will have limited access to my emails from Friday the 10th of April to Monday the 13th (incl.). I will see your message and get back to you the soonest possible.

For immediate assistance, please call me on my mobile telephone.

Have a great day, and a Happy Easter!

Best regards,

Your Linguist

Popie Matsouka is currently the Senior Project Manager and Lead Medical Translator and Editor of Technografia. She also holds the position of Quality Assurance Specialist, having specialized in translation and localization QA software technology. She is the resident tech/IT expert, and after having worked as a localization tools trainer, she recently also became a beta tester for SDL Trados Studio. Her education includes being an Apple trained Support Professional, plus a PC/MAC and LAN technician, apart from being a CAT tools expert. She also volunteers for the Red Cross, and is a firm believer that if we all work together we can make a great difference in this world, combining our professional and our personal strengths.

Με χαρά διαβάζουμε τα σχόλιά σας!