Before you go on a vacation or holidays or just to disconnect yourself from work, make sure you have set up your out of office emails so that you can spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones.

Out of office messages, or OOO messages, are automatic email replies that notify your colleagues or clients of your absence when they attempt to contact you for work. It should also include information about when you will return to work and what they should do if they are looking for you for urgent matters.

Setting up your OOO message for the period when you’re on leave can help you improve your mental health. As we work from home, it’s important for us to take breaks, even when the laptop is within your reach. Not opening your inbox and knowing that your colleagues are covering your work can help you get the proper rest that your body and mind needs.

funny out of office messages
funny out of office messages

what should you include in your out of office message?

The basics of an OOO email includes the reason why you are away, how long you will be gone, the return date you can reply to them, helpful instructions, and the contact details to reach out for immediate assistance or urgent matters. 

A good auto-reply message can be crafted professionally. However, they don't always have to be boring. Out of office emails are a good way to insert a little bit of your personality or humour into the corporate environment, and there’s no doubt we all enjoy receiving creative auto-replies as well. It is also worth noting that you should take your company’s culture and communication policies into consideration before setting up any type of auto-reply email.

six creative out of office message samples you can use

Here are some fun and interesting out of office email templates and best examples for various occasions. Few of these automatic email replies are a little cheeky to keep things light and fun.

1.  classic out of office email reply template

If you’re taking an annual leave and work in a no-nonsense environment or would not like to risk appearing unprofessional, you can’t go wrong with a classic out of office message. It should clearly state the purpose and aim of the auto-reply, and provide an alternative contact in case of an emergency. The overall tone should be polite and pleasant, and it could look something like this:

Subject: Out of Office


Thanks for your email. I’m away on annual leave from [date] to [date]. Please expect a delayed response from me as I won’t be actively checking my inbox during this period.

If this matter is not time-sensitive, feel free to contact my colleague at [].

2. fun facts

If you’re looking to shake things up, you can consider inserting some fun facts into your out-of-office emails, and share some information you find interesting with the people who are contacting you. It would also be a good idea to share a fun fact that is relevant to the industry you work in.

Subject: Out of Office


I am out of the office and won’t be responding to emails until I’m back on [date]. So here are some fun facts to keep you busy:

  • Netflix’s mega-hit ‘Squid Game’ will generate almost $900 million in value (whoa).
  • People say ‘bless you’ when you sneeze because this was often the first sign of plague in medieval times.
  • Barcode  readers only scan the white part and not the black.

If your message requires an urgent reply, please contact my colleague at []. If your request can wait, then enjoy these fun facts and I’ll get back to you when I can.

3. pop culture reference

There is no shame in taking time off to watch a long-awaited TV series or a movie that brings a 21-film series to a close. The out of office message pop culture reference is a good way to share a little bit of your personality with others. If you’re willing to potentially appear quirky yet very relatable, you can be honest about it in your out-of-office email.

Subject: Out of Office


I'm out of the office to watch a movie so that I can live in a make-believe world where everything is okay. If your email is work-related, I'll have limited access to my inbox. If you wish to have a chat about our favourite fiction movies, then my access to my inbox is fine.

You can also contact my colleague who isn't a big fan of the theatrics at []. Alternatively, wait for my return to reality which will happen on [date] and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

4. clever and funny

To liven things up, you can attempt to inject some sarcastic humour in your out-of-office email. Funny out-of-office messages will give the person who emails you a good laugh or eye-roll and you might even brighten their day.

However, this only applies if you’re working in an environment where being clever will not result in your email being flagged to HR.

Subject: Out of Office

Hello from the other side,

Thanks for this email. I’m sorry that this auto-reply gave you a false sense of my prompt and enthusiastic response. I’m actually out of the office and will only be returning on [date].

Since I live in the 21st century and quite unfortunately so, I’ll still have access to my phone and inbox. However, I’ll choose to ignore them until I’m back. For a faster reply, I would suggest you stalk me on Instagram, figure out which country and hotel I’m in, call the front desk and have them take a message that will never reach me.

If it’s an emergency that concerns me, you can reach me at [mobile number]. But please bear in mind that one day, you'll receive the payback for the pain you’ve caused me during my vacation. Alternatively, if you can’t really wait, you can reach out to my colleague at [] who will be more than happy to help you.

5. informational or promotional

If you have something to promote, a good place to plug the information is in your out-of-office email. You can give people a look at your new published articles, projects, partnerships or upcoming events in your auto-reply messages. If you know that the other party may not need to wait around for you to get the information they are seeking, be sure to include the appropriate details, links or sources in your email.

You can also use your OOO message to grow your personal or organisation's social media audiences by adding your social media accounts and asking them to follow you or share your contents.

Subject: Out of Office


Thanks for your email. I’m away from the office from [date] to [date]. I will not be checking my email during this time. Thankfully though, our resources never take time off. Keep yourself up-to-date- with our latest insightful contents on our website for your reading and sharing.  I’m sure you will find the content useful.

If you are looking for the link to my recently published article, click here.

If you are enquiring about my services, rates or would like me to work on a design project, please click here for FAQs, to submit a request form or view my recent work.

Until I’m back at the office, here are the links to my social media: [FACEBOOK LINK] [TWITTER LINK] [INSTAGRAM LINK].

For urgent matters, please contact my colleague at [].

6. lead generation

You can also leverage your out of office messages as a lead generation and direct people to a relevant product page, services, or downloadable materials. This type of out of office emails can be perfect to drive sales.

At the end of your auto-reply email you can add a clickable banner or specific call-to-action (CTA) such as linking to a free PDF report, asking the sender to sign up for a webinar or a trial or offering a discount on your latest product or services.

Subject: Out of Office


Thanks for your email. I’m currently out of the office with limited access to email. I will be back on [date] and I will try to reply to your email as soon as possible.

If your message is urgent, please contact my colleague at [] who will be more than happy to help. I will respond to all other emails on my return.

In the meantime, have you seen our new white paper? It provides lots of useful info on [what the white paper is all about]. You can access it here [URL link to the white paper].

what to avoid or not to include in your out of office message?

If you really want to enjoy your time off from work, don’t let them know that you’ll be checking your email periodically as it creates an expectation that you will reply to them when you’re on leave. Not checking your work emails is a good way to recharge your mental and physical health.

Another thing that you should note is to not overshare in your out of office messages. When you’re on leave, how and where you choose to spend your time should be personal to you. If you overshare too much, you are more likely to mix both personal and work, which will only make it more difficult for you to rest. Providing the standard “i’m on annual leave” is more than enough.

having a hard time taking time off work?

Even as we all take a break for our well-deserved vacation, or just some personal time off work, it is still a good practice to make ourselves available for any work-related urgent matters.

However, if you feel that you are unable to get any me-time during your leave because people just won’t stop calling your emergency hotline, maybe it’s time to consider a career change, one that actually allows you to take a breather when the time calls for it.

Connect with us and let us help you find a culture that not only appreciates your skills and capabilities, but also offers distraction-free leave days for you to take a mental break from work.

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