Write a great out-of-office message in English!

Mis à jour : août 24


Out of office

If you're on holiday, everyone who sends you an email is going to see your out of office message. Make sure you're making the right impression with yours.


I very often see out of offices messages full of errors, which is not the professional impression I'm sure you'd prefer to give.


I'm going to show you some real errors I've seen and then we'll look at an easy template for a perfect out of office every time!



Here are a few bad examples:

I’m off returning June 20. This one is ok. It’s very short, but I would say I’m out of the office, returning June 20.


For urgent matters, please drop a message on my cellphone. Hmm. Do you mean please leave me a message? Or please send me a text? Probably you’d prefer a text to people calling you on holiday. I’d say: For urgent matters, please text me on….


I’m travelling and attending meetings this next days. Again, it’s not a big error, but it should be I’m travelling and attending meetings over the next few days.


I will answer you when I will be back. This should be I’ll answer you when I’m back.


For urgency, please contact Joan Smith. Again, not a big mistake, but it should be For anything urgent, please contact Joan Smith.


I’m out of the office until 2nd January 2016. I think you need to update your dates!


So here are some complete out-of-office replies you can use for your summer holiday (and you can download them :


Level 1 (you can use this one if you are travelling for work or in training or just away but still checking in):

I’m out of the office with limited access to my emails. I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Level 2 (I’m still available for emergencies and I will read my emails at some point):

I’m out of the office, returning on 3 August. I will answer you when I get back. For urgent matters, please text me on 0612345677.

Level 3 (I’m on holiday and I’m not going to do any work. Also I won’t ever read your mail):

I’m out of the office from 17 July - 3 August. Your email will not be read. For urgent matters, please call John Smith on 012345676.


I suggest you now put your automatic reply onto level 3 and go and enjoy your summer holiday.


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