The out-of-office emails to avoid

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It’s the holiday season, you can’t wait to get away on your vacation or just escape the office but before you do you may want to reconsider what you write for your email out of office. There will always be someone left behind in the office and they may not appreciate your vacation brag out-of-office email reply.

To help you avoid an out-of-office faux pas NY Mag has compiled a list of the worst out- of-office replies. We’ve selected a sample to share, they are:

  1. The Vacation-Brag

One that reads “I’m in Fiji enjoying Pina Coladas from my beach-front room and will have limited access to emails until December 30” may be accurate, however it can come across as insensitive to those back in the office.

  1. Seniority show-off

You may be a head honcho but it doesn’t need to be spelt out within an auto-responder by directing the mailer to your long list of minions. For example “If you need immediate assistance, please contact my executive assistant at….. or my associate executive assistant at…. or my executive assistant’s assistant”.  

  1. The travel for work excuse

Announcing you are travelling for work over the holiday season will only induce eye rolls. While there may be that one-day conference in Los Angeles, people aren’t silly and know on the other five days trips to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Sea World are on the cards.

  1. Excessive options

This is the equivalent of being on the phone to a company and having a robot read all the different options. An excessive options out-of-office reads like this: “If you’re a member of the media, please call Joe at …. If you’re a client wanting to get in touch, please email If you are a colleague please contact Edna during my absence etc. One reliable contact who can direct people to who they need to speak with is plenty.

The moral of the story keep it simple and use a basic template.

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