Out of Office Message – 19 Professional Examples [Updated]

Planning a break from work? Don’t forget a crucial step: the out-of-office message. While it seems simple, a poorly crafted message can create headaches during and after your time away.

An effective message goes beyond just mentioning your absence. Clearly state your away dates, who colleagues can contact for assistance, and your return date. A weak message can disrupt ongoing projects and create unnecessary work upon your return.

This guide provides essential do’s and don’ts for crafting a powerful out-of-office message that ensures a smooth transition and a worry-free break.

What is an Out of Office Message?

When you’re away from the office, an out-of-office message lets contacts know you’re unreachable by email. This automatic reply informs them of your return date and, optionally, the reason for your absence.

A good out-of-office message includes:

  • Your return date: When they can expect a response.
  • (Optional) Absence reason: Provides context.
  • Contact information for a colleague: Who can assist with urgent matters.

This keeps everyone informed and avoids delays.

Examples of Professional Out of Office Messages

Still unsure of how to craft a  professional out of office message that works? Below, we’ll include examples that will work for the 20 most common reasons individuals step out of the office for a given period of time.

General Absence

General out of office messages can be used for any reason you may need to be away from work. Whether it is a vacation or a conference, these general message examples will do the trick. Note that many take on a more relaxed or informal tone.

Example 1:

Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office from March 19-25 for a work conference. If you require any assistance during my absence, please contact John James [email and phone number] if you have any questions or concerns while I am away.

Example 2:

Thank you for your message or inquiry. I will be out of the office today and will not be checking email. I will be returning on May 5th. If you require any assistance or have concerns prior to my return, you may reach me at [phone number]. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Example 3:

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office at this time and will not be checking email. I will return on October 31st. If this is a pressing or urgent concern, please contact Linda Smith at [email and phone number]. Otherwise, I will respond to your email as soon as possible after my return to the office.

All the best,

[Your Name]

Example 4:

Hello, Thank you for reaching out. I will be stepping out of the office from [start date] through [end date] and will be returning on [date of return]. If you require any urgent assistance or help while I am away, please contact Jim Johnson at [email and phone number]. I will respond to any emails as soon as possible upon return. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Example 5:

Thank you for getting in touch! I am out of the office for vacation from [start date] until [end date]. During this time, I will not be checking my email. If you require immediate assistance or have a question, please feel free to contact my colleague Tom Asper at [email and phone number]. For all other matters, I will respond to messages as soon as I can upon return. Thank you for your patience!

Example 6:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your email! I am currently away and will be back in the office on [return date]. For confidentiality reasons, your message may not be forwarded to another person. If you do need to get in touch with someone, feel free to contact my colleague Millie Stevens at [phone and email]. All other questions and concerns will be addressed as soon as possible upon my return.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Short Term Absence

These types of messages work best when you’re just stepping away for an appointment or will not be in the office for a few hours.

Example 1:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. I have stepped away from my desk for an appointment from 12 PM until 2PM today, March 9th. I will not be checking email during this time. If you have an urgent concern, please contact Joe Wilson at [email and phone number]. For all other matters, I will respond once I am back in office.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for getting in touch. I will be away from my desk for a staff meeting from 1 PM until 3PM today, January 7th. During this time, I will not have access to email. If you have any questions or concerns that need to be addressed immediately, please contact Ty Marsh at [email and phone number]. For all other questions, I will respond as soon as I can upon return.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Out Of Reach

An out of reach message works when you will not have access to email or simply will not be checking your email while away. You can also choose to include that you will not be checking phone messages during this time.

Example:

To whom it may concern,

I will be out of the office with limited or no email access and will not be able to return any messages until I return on October 16th. For any concerns, please reach out to my colleague Mark Adams at [email and phone] and he will take care of anything you need until I can get back in touch.

All the best,

[Your Name]

Out of Office

If you’re going to a work conference or something similar, you may want to choose to discern that while you are out of office, you may still be checking emails.

Example:

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry! Unfortunately, I am away from the office leading a conference from November 1-4. With that said, I will be checking email throughout the day and will try to respond to messages as they come in (if you have an urgent matter, please flag as high importance). For immediate assistance in my absence, please contact Nick Berk at [email and phone]. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

[Your Name]

Medical Leave

Oftentimes illness, surgery, treatment, or even the illness of a loved one may require you to be out of office for a long period of time. In a medical out of office message, you may want to detail why you’ll be away so that contacts can respect your privacy and healing process.

Example 1:

Hello

Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office on medical leave from [start date] until [end date]. During this time, I will not be checking messages or responding to emails. If you need assistance or have a question, please contact my colleague Amy Ryan [email and phone] with all concerns during this time. I thank you for your understanding and patience as I recover.

Warm Regards,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for getting in touch. Currently, I am out of office on medical leave from [start date] until [end date]. I will not be checking my messages during this period of recovery. For any concerns or questions, I will refer you to my coworker John Smith [Email and phone] for assistance. Upon return, I will strive to respond to any messages as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Best,

[Your Name]

Parental Leave

Parental leave often requires a long absence spanning several weeks or several months. It is important to make it clear just how long you will be gone and who will be taking over your accounts during your time away.

If you’re interested in more maternity leave tips, you may like to read 15 Best Maternity Leave out of Office Message Examples

Example 1:

Hi There,

Due to a new addition to the family, I will be away on maternity leave from August 1st until December 2nd. During this precious time with a new little one,I will not be checking or responding to work related emails. All of my accounts and clients will be handled by Patrick Henry during this time. You can reach him at [email and phone} for any questions, concerns, or projects. Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Hello,

Thank you for getting in touch. Due to the birth of my [son or daughter], I will be away on paternity leave from [start date] until [end date]. During this time, all of my accounts and clients will be handled by the very talented Amelia Harkins. She can be reached at [email and phone] during regular office hours. I thank you for your understanding during this exciting time.

Best wishes,

[Your Name]

Sabbatical

Earning a sabbatical can be a wonderful thing, but you’re often away from the office for up to a year or more. Here, it is very important to let clients know just how long you will be away and who will be handling your workload during your absence.

Example 1:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your email. Currently, I have taken a year long sabbatical that will stretch from [start date] until [end date]. During this time of [restoration or study], I will not be checking or responding to work-related emails. Instead, all of my duties will be transferred to the very talented and adept Jim Markey. Jim can be reached at [email and phone] during regular office hours. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Best,

[Your name]

Major Holidays

Some companies celebrate major holidays in different ways. Many will shut down for a long period of time, while others will only observe the day of the holiday itself. Let your contacts know that you may not be in the office during the holiday season.

Example 1:

Seasons Greetings!

As per company policy, our offices will be closed from December 22nd until January 1st. I will respond to any messages as soon as possible upon return. If there is an emergency, you may reach me at [phone number], but I will not be checking email messages at this time. Thank you!

Happy Holidays,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Thank you for your message! I hope the season finds you well. The office will be closed from November 22nd through the 27th in observance of Thanksgiving. During this time, I will not be checking email messages. If there is an emergency, feel free to contact me at [phone number]. Otherwise, I will respond to all messages as soon as possible upon return.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Vacation

Everyone deserves a vacation from time to time. Your out of office message should state exactly which dates you’ll be gone and when you’ll be back.

Example 1:

Hello!

Thank you for your email. I am going to be away on a vacation from [insert dates here] and plan to take a step back and unplug during that time. If your message is not pressing, I will try and respond as soon as possible upon return. For urgent matters, contact my colleague Adam Reyes at [email and phone number.]

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Thank you for messaging, hopefully this email finds you well! I am currently on vacation from [start date] until [end date]. During this time, I plan to step back from tech and will not be checking emails. For urgent matters, please contact my coworker Adrienne Roe at [email and phone]. All other concerns will be addressed as soon as possible upon return. I appreciate your understanding.

Best,

[Your name]

Conference/Work Related Trainings

If you find yourself attending a conference or work related training, you will want to say as much, while still keeping the door open for networking or mingling.

Example:

Hello,

Thank you for getting in touch. I am currently out of the office attending [Name of conference] in [name of city]. While learning new and exciting aspects of the field, I will be periodically checking my email. If you require help immediately, please contact my colleague [Name] at [email and phone number]. If you find yourself attending the conference, feel free to connect. I can be contacted via cell phone at [number].

Best,

[Your name]

Why Is An Out of Office Message Important?

To you, it may not seem like a big deal if you need to step away from work for a few days or weeks. After all, the world will keep on turning, right? Well, yes, but it could lead to some major confusion among your clients and contacts.

An out of office message is important if you will not be able to respond to emails for any period of time. These automatic email replies will let your contacts know why your response is going to be delayed and how their needs can be met while you are out of office.

Let’s face it, coworkers, clients, and contacts almost always expect a fast response to pressing emails. Many want solutions to their problems as soon as possible, specifically in fields such as marketing or customer service.

If you’re away and simply do not respond to these emails, it could reflect badly on you and the company you work for. It can also cause some major headaches when you do decide to return to the office.

With a concise, polite, and professional out of office message, you can let clients and coworkers know exactly why you are not able to respond right away. These messages can be used to explain why you might be gone for a day, week, or even several months. People often craft out of office messages for the following reasons:

  • Travel or vacation
  • Heading to a conference or workshop
  • Taking sick leave or sabbatical
  • Parental leave
  • Taking a personal day
  • Stepping out for a meeting or appointment

As mentioned above, an out of office message is useful for an extended absence but can also prove very handy even if you’re only going to be out for a day or even an afternoon. Essentially, an effective out of office message ties up loose ends and ensures that no one is left waiting for a time sensitive response.

This can save your working relationships with clients and create less work for you upon return. Generally when you craft an out of office message, you may want to create one for internal colleagues and one for external contacts. We’ll touch more on that below.

Conclusion

There are so many ways to write and format an effective out of office message. At the end of the day, the content of the message will be shaped by your line of work and the relationships you have with your clients/colleagues. You can choose to take a more formal or informal approach to the out of office message depending on how you typically interact with contacts via email.

At the end of the day, as long as you address the basics: start/end date of leave, a colleague or coworker who can be contacted, and the nature of your leave, you should be able to craft an effective out of office message that impresses both clients and coworkers.