5 Out-of-Office Reply Templates You Can Steal

Auto Response: Sorry (not sorry) I missed you

The Break Room Out of Office
This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

It’s the day before you leave for vacation. You’re just about to head out the door for a hard-earned respite from the office. Then suddenly, you remember: You forgot to write an out-of-office reply.

We understand that you’re anxious to get going, and this is the last thing you want to spend time doing. So here are 4 handy boilerplate out-of-office replies you can use for just about any occasion. Just choose the appropriate template, plug in the variable information, and you’re all set!

The Standard

Thanks for your email. I’m out of the office until <DATE>. I’ll be checking emails occasionally and if you need assistance before I return, please contact <person>. If you need to reach me, my cell is <XXX-XXX-XXXX>. Have a great week!

The ‘Annotated’ Standard

Thanks for your email*. I’m out of the office until <DATE>. I’ll be checking emails occasionally** and if you need assistance before I return, please contact <person>***. If you need to reach me, my cell is <XXX-XXX-XXXX>****. Have a great week!

*But why are you emailing me when you know I’m on vacation? Please don’t email me if you can help it.

**By occasionally I mean as seldom as possible.

***I’d actually prefer if you’d reached out to them in the first place and left me out of it completely.

****I’m including my cell number because everyone does it, and I feel pressured to follow suit, but I really, really, really, do NOT want you to call my cell while I’m on vacation. It will give me instant anxiety and who knows what kind of strange sounds you’ll hear in the background.

The OK-let’s-just-be-honest Template

Oh, hi. I’m out of the office until <DATE>. I have vague intentions of checking my email periodically while I am away, but I also have much less vague intentions of being immersed in pool or ocean water, making interaction with electronics dubious at best. I also have less vague intentions of enjoying a delicious piña colada with lunch each day, and leaving open the potential for additional piña coladas after lunch, which will then likely lead to a nap on the beach. So even on the off chance that I do see your email, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to do much to help you. But after all, I am on vacation. If you need assistance, my cell is (415)-DO-IT-YOUR-DAMN-SELF.

The Rub-it-in

Oh, I’m sorry. Did you need something? I couldn’t hear you over the <Choose One: swooshing of skis through fresh, powdery snow; bubbles escaping from my snorkel mask and rising to the surface of these crystal waters, where I currently float surrounded by tropical fish and sea turtles; slurping of icy-cold, refreshing piña coladas>.

Unfortunately (for you) I am out of the office until <DATE>. I’d love to help you out, but this statement comes with an important follow-up: I’d love to help you out, IF I wasn’t on vacation. But alas, I am on vacation, and have thus chosen to remain blissfully unaware of the goings-on back at the office.

I have full confidence in the talents and capabilities of my esteemed coworkers at <COMPANY NAME>  to handle any and every challenge that may arise in my absence, and to do it with grace and gusto. Perhaps even making a breakthrough that could take this company to a whole new level. I wish you all great luck in these endeavors. Until my return, vaya con dios.

The I’m-already-so-checked-out-all-I-could-manage-was-this-haiku

Your email is like

Paper in the wind. For I

Am out of office.


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