Sometimes, it’s not about what you say. It’s about how you say it. Especially when you’re writing an email.
Most of us treat our inboxes like Target during back-to-school time. Get in and get out. FAST. And between the general stuffiness, cold emails and passive-aggressive follow-ups … it’s easy to see why.
But it is possible to bring some joy to someone’s inbox. Even through an email that feels routine, like your out-of-office message.
In fact, your OOO response is the perfect place to inject life into your email persona. Why? Because it’s low-risk and personal by nature. You can be as casual and conversational as you’d like. And your recipients get a little breath of fresh air to liven up their inboxes.
So blow the dust off your “swipe file.” Read these out-of-office email templates and get ready to add a new type of content to your arsenal. Copy and paste away!
Spark joy with your holiday out-of-office message
As you prep for your time away to celebrate the holiday, remember to:
- Water the office plants.
- Cross off your last to-dos.
- Throw out that lunch you never ate.
… and write a holiday out-of-office email that won’t bore your audience to tears. Easier said than done, we know. Try out these handy templates, no matter how you’re celebrating.
Automatic reply example emails for end-of-year holidays.
Professional Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year out-of-office message:
Thank you for your message. I’m out of the office until January 3 and have limited access to email.
If you need immediate assistance, please contact [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] at [EMAIL]. I look forward to getting back to you.
Funny holiday out-of-office message
What was that? If an email pings in the office but no one is there …? That’s right, I’m out of the office for the holidays. I’ll be back January 3. Until then, I’ll be covered in blankets, sipping hot chocolate and rewatching The Crown.
I look forward to reconnecting when I return. We can discuss which season’s version of Queen Elizabeth is the best.
Happy holidays to you and yours,
Fun Christmas out-of-office email template:
Today is sometime between December 22 to January 3, which means I’m away from my desk right now, sipping eggnog and eating snickerdoodles.
I’ll be back in my office in no time and look forward to responding to your message.
Have a great week!
Funny Christmas out-of-office message:
Hear those sleigh bells?
That can only mean one thing. Yup, I’m out of the office for the holidays.
My gift to myself is not checking my email while I’m away. If you need me sooner than January 3, you can reach me at [PHONE NUMBER], but remember — Santa’s always watching.
My best to you and yours,
Out-of-office email templates for Thanksgiving
Professional auto-reply message for Thanksgiving:
Thank you for your email.
I’m currently out of the office through Monday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Please allow for a delay in response times. I look forward to getting back to you.
Funny Thanksgiving out-of-office message example:
I’m out of the office right now, probably forgetting to serve the cranberry sauce for the third year in a row. (Who eats that stuff, anyway?)
I’ll get back to you Monday with a rundown of what made it onto my plate.
Automatic reply messages for the Fourth of July
Standard Fourth of July out-of-office email template:
I’m away from my desk for Independence Day and do not have access to emails. You can expect a response on Wednesday, July 5. Thank you for your patience.
Funny out-of-office email for the Fourth of July:
Hello and happy Fourth of July!
I’m celebrating America’s independence with a day off — and a few hot dogs — and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
Thanks for your message and for your patience,
P.S. Ketchup or mustard? For me, it’s all about the sweet relish.
Swipe the best out-of-office message templates for personal leave days
Whether you’re taking days off for vacation, sick leave or another reason — you can still find a creative way to communicate your time off. Swipe these templates to use when you’ll be away from your desk on personal leave.
Vacation out-of-office messages
Professional auto-reply message for vacation:
Thank you for your message. I’m away from my desk and out of office from April 4 to April 10. I will check my email intermittently and respond to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your understanding,
Funny vacation out-of-office message:*
I’m out of the office June 30 to July 14. I will not be checking emails, voicemails, Slacks, LinkedIn or Basecamp. Crazy, right?
But, if you want to have some fun with this crazy idea I had to take two full weeks off, guess how many emails I’ll have when I come back. Not sure what the prize is yet, but I’ll come up with something good as soon as I get rid of some of the noise in my head and recharge.
Please email one of these magicians if you need help with:
New Business: [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] [EMAIL]
Scheduling: [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] [EMAIL]
Financial: [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] [EMAIL]
I’m grateful that I can take this time away, and for that, I want to thank my marvelous team.
*This template comes from our founder, Ahava, who was brave enough to step away from her inbox for two weeks. It’s lighthearted, engaging and full of gratitude — which fits her perfectly.
(So how many emails did she come back to? 2,400. No wonder she needed to recharge!)
Sick leave email templates
Standard “sick leave” out-of-office message:
I’m out of the office and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please contact [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] at [EMAIL] if you need immediate assistance.
Out-of-office email template for extended leave:
Thanks for reaching out. I’m recovering from surgery right now and will have delayed response times while I’m away.
I should be returning to the office on Monday, August 9. I look forward to catching up with you then.
Please reach out to [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] at [EMAIL] for any questions or inquiries.
Out-of-office for maternity or paternity leave messages
Professional out-of-office email for maternity or paternity leave:
Thank you for your message. I’m on parental leave right now and will return to the office in on November 15.
Please direct any messages to [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] at [EMAIL] while I’m away. He’s happy to help!
Friendly maternity or paternity out-of-office message:
Thank you for reaching out!
I’m currently out of the office until June 28 on parental leave. If you need anything, please connect with [ALTERNATE CONTACT NAME] at [EMAIL] — she’s got it under control!
Thank you to my wonderful colleagues who are making it possible for me to unplug and enjoy time with my family. Baby pictures to come!
Make your out-of-office response part of your content marketing
Why bother using a creative OOO response when you’re away? Well, it reflects your shining personality, of course. But it also shows people what it’s like to work with you and gives some insight into your workplace culture.
Set up a creative out-of-office email to:
- Maintain positive relationships with clients, prospects and colleagues. Build the know, like and trust factor even when you’re away from your desk.
- Set expectations with your colleagues or clients. Let them know you’ll be away and when they can expect to hear from you (or who they can reach out to).
- Highlight your company culture. One of your readers may be looking for a workplace with a healthy work-life balance that also encourages people to have a personality.
- Stay top-of-mind while you’re gone. Give prospective clients a reason to remember you — and get excited about working with you.