Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you struggle with how to let people know that you are going to be out of the office?

Is this an aspect of business English that you need a little help with?

If you are like most people then you may find that telling others you will be gone is a bit of a struggle.

We’re going to show you why an out of office response is helpful, and how you can write the best one to help you come off as the polished professional that you are.

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Why An Auto Response Matters Here

A crucial skill in business English is being able to take time off and communicate about it.

What can you say in your auto responder when you will be out of the office?

How do you let your colleagues or anyone who emails you that you are out on vacation?

This is usually about the external emails to people outside of your company or work group.

Writing business English emails can be tricky, especially when it comes to letting people know you’ll be out.

We need to not feel guilty that we’re on vacation because we need it and it’s a good thing for us mentally.

It’s all about balance in today’s fast world, and vacation is a big part of achieving that balance and being happy.

Nothing can be that important that you can’t take a couple of days off of work.

You want to write this out of office message correctly, and then you can feel good being away.

The Various Aspects of an Out of Office Email

There are various aspects of an out of office email that you want to include.

These will help your email to inform those trying to reach you when you are gone.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to make it an effective aspect of business communications.

  1. Make it simple and direct: That’s the point of our written communication. You want to get to the point and say what you need to say. This is a simple notification and you want to just say what you need to say. You don’t need a name or greeting other than hello because it will go to anyone who emails you while you’re gone. this is one tone and not formal at all. You want to be polite and respectful and start by saying “Thank you for your email”. Then you get to the point of it by saying one of a few things: “I am out of the office” or “I am away from my desk right now” or “I am unavailable right now.” You can say “I’ll respond to your greeting upon my return.” Give yourself the time to respond upon your actual return to the office, and not over the weekend. Just keep it as Monday so it’s when you are officially back in the office and not over the weekend. People understand because we all have the need to relax and take a few days off sometimes.
  2. Think through the options that fit best for what you want to say: You can use one of the options mentioned above for the point of the message. It depends on how in depth you want to get with the reason for your absence. You can give a few options as to why you’re gone and get as specific that as you want. You might say that you are out “on holiday”, “for personal reasons”, or just tell the amount of time you will be out of the office. If this is an exception and it’s during the week that you’re gone, you can get more specific if you want to. You could say “due to a personal emergency” or something like that. If it’s a special one week holiday you could say you’re gone for spring break if that’s the reason. It could be that you are gone for a conference and you could mention that. You could present the option of somebody they can contact in an emergency. You are giving them the option of reaching out to somebody else that can help them.
  3. A simple but effective closing: You can close with “all the best” and sign your name. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate because you are just closing things on the informative and direct email. You can put your position and company name, though this may be part of your auto signature. These are the little details you want to pay attention to. You want to be polished and professional, but use such templates to save you time. An auto signature is a good idea and part of this, and you could even put a link to your company website too. You can list or link to any relevant social media sites as well.

Never Feel Bad About Being Out of the Office

Don’t be ashamed that you are taking time off, just own it and enjoy it.

Be proud that you are a busy professional but you recognize that you need to take the time for a holiday.

This is good for you in so many ways to get away and decompress and then to come back at it with a clear head.

The way in which you communicate can really help to set you apart.

It can show people that you are a truly polished business professional and that you think through all the details.

People will understand your absence, and then be happy to hear from you upon your return.


Business communication is such an important part of learning and using English.

When it comes to leaving an out of office response, this is a really useful aspect of business communications.

You want to be to the point and tell people what they need to know so that they understand why you won’t respond right away.

Taking time away from the office is so important for you as a professional, and now you know how to communicate about your absence.

If you have any questions please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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