the rules to write a polite and professional out of office email

Out-Of-Office Email Etiquette: 9 Rules To Do It Right

Who this micro-class is for

* Employees, Managers, and Professionals

What you’ll learn

* How to write a professional out-of-office message

* How to avoid the most common mistakes


* Less than 4 minutes to complete

About this micro-class

Creating an effective out-of-office (OOO) email is crucial to managing expectations and maintaining professional communication while you’re unavailable.

Factors to Consider for Out-of-office Emails

1. Clarity of Information

Ensure your email clearly communicates the details of your absence, including dates, alternative contacts, and when the recipient can expect a response.

2. Professional Tone

Maintain a professional and polite tone while conveying your unavailability.

3. Relevance of Details

Share information that’s relevant and necessary for the recipient, avoiding unnecessary personal information.

Out-of-office Emails Best Practices

4. Clear Subject Line

Use a concise and descriptive subject line that indicates your unavailability, such as “Out of Office” or “Away from Desk.”

5. Dates of Absence

Clearly specify the dates you’ll be away to manage expectations about when you’ll return.

Remember to turn the out-of-office off as soon as you are back.

6. Reason for Absence (Optional)

If relevant and appropriate, you can briefly mention the reason for your absence (e.g., vacation, conference, or personal reasons).

7. Alternative Contact Information

Provide the details of an alternative contact person or department for urgent matters.

Notify the recipients whether your emails are getting automatically forwarded to an alternative contact person.

8. Response Expectations

Inform recipients when they can expect a response or when you’ll be available again.

9. Gratitude and Politeness

Express gratitude for the understanding and patience of the recipient during your absence.

Sample Out-of-Office Message

Subject: Out of Office

Dear [Recipient],

Thank you for your email. I’m currently out of the office and will not be available from [Start Date] to [End Date]. During this time, I’ll have limited access to email.

For urgent matters, please contact [Alternative Contact Name] at [Alternative Contact Email/Phone].

I’ll respond to your email promptly upon my return on [Return Date].

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Resources and useful links