12 November 2007

Away... Beta

"Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out. It's all about timing." Stacey Charter

What is the best way to write the "out of the office" message?

Sample #01

I am not in the office on November 12, and will not be reading my mail. Your mail will be dealt with when I return. For programme matters, please contact the following colleagues.

Experience: So when will the person return to the office? When will the mail be dealt with? However, it is good that someone will follow up on the matter during the person's absence.

Sample #02

Thank you for your message. Kindly note I will be away from the office today (Nov 9, 2007) and therefore there will be a delay in returning your messages. Thank you.

Experience: Again, when will the person be back? If it is urgent, who should be the contact person?

Sample #03

I will be out of the office starting 11/06/2007 and will not return until 11/10/2007. I will attend to your email on my return on Nov 12.

Experience: It is a clear message. Readers know when the person will be away and return to the office. But again, who will take care of urgent matters when the person is away? Lastly, the date format can pose a problem.

Suggested "out of the office" message

I will be out of the office starting 06 Nov 2007 and will not return until 10 Nov 2007. I will attend to your email upon my return on 12 Nov. If this is an urgent matter, my colleague Maggie can be reached at 8123-8123. Thank you.

Out of the office message is important. It set expectations. People won't expect immediate feedback when the message recipient is away. Setting up the out of the office message takes at max 3 minutes. If this is not set up, the negative information experience it may create will last longer than that.

Every little things count.

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