How to set up an Out of Office message so you can actually enjoy vacation

By properly setting up your Out of Office Message so people understand you are actually out of the office

We’ve all been there.  

We put in the PTO request months ago… and it was approved!  

We let the Project Manager know that we’ll be out of the office during critical project milestones. (And, let’s be honest, we may have planned vacation to avoid those exact milestones.) 

And we’re going.  

The family is packed. 

The friends are joining in on the fun. 

And all there is left to do is leave! 

Lia Mack
Elevate Digital
Senior Manager, Consulting

However, going on vacation when you’re a working adult is, well, work. There are discussions to be had and tasks to do before we are free to go. Who’s covering for who? Who else is out of the office at that time? Will the team be left hanging? Or did you do enough prep-work so that the team (hopefully) doesn‘t feel your absence? 

Until, of course, the you-know-what hits the you-know-what.  

Urgent issues. Side conversations that turn into new developments. Tasks that pop up the moment you go off the grid.  

And let’s not forget the work environment we all know well by now. New employees who’ve just joined the company, as there’s someone new joining at least every week. Even every day. How are they to know you’re not just ghosting their emails?  

You set up your OOO (out of office) message!  

Yes, I know. Captain Obvious moment for sure. 

However, what if you:  

  • have never set up an OOO message before, or,
  • don’t set up OOO messages ever, or even,
  • do a not-so-great job with your OOO messages?

Thankfully, you have read this far and now I will demonstrate all there is to know about setting up an effective, useful and, dare I say, even pleasant-to-receive OOO message.  

Full disclosure? I work with MS Teams here at Elevate Digital, so that’s the platform I’ll be demonstrating below.  

However, don’t be dismayed.  

My OOO message templates below will help guide you in setting up your very own OOO messages no matter which platform you are using. For step-by-step directions on how to set it up in different platforms, a google search or call to HR will help you. 

So, without further blog post shenanigans, jump below for step-by-step instructions and OOO message templates!