Before you head off on your next holiday or take a break to unwind, it's essential to set up your out-of-office (OOO) emails. This ensures you can relax and enjoy quality time with your loved ones without interruptions.

An out-of-office message is an automatic email reply that informs your colleagues or clients of your absence. It should include details about your return date and instructions for urgent matters.

Setting up your OOO message can greatly benefit your mental health. Not checking your inbox and knowing your colleagues are temporarily covering for you can provide the rest your body and mind need, which is the whole purpose of taking annual leave.

best out of office messages
best 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 at work or an opportunity to promote your services, and there’s no doubt we all enjoy receiving creative auto-replies as well. 

6 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 that you can use as a reference for your next vacation. 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.

1.  classic out of office email reply template

If you’re taking an annual leave and work in a no-nonsense environment or want to maintain your professionalism with your colleagues and clients, you can’t go wrong with a classic out of office message. The message should clearly state the purpose of the auto-reply, and provide an alternative contact in case of urgent work matters. The overall tone should be polite and pleasant, and it could look something like this:


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 is an urgent matter, please 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. These fun facts can be random or topics that interest you, but it is a better idea to share information that is relevant to your career or the industry you work in. 


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:

  • We spend 11 hours a week writing emails at work. 
  • 61% of employees are more productive when the dress code is more casual. 
  • Beyoncé Knowles was homeschooled and never went to college. 

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

Don't feel guilty about taking time off to binge-watch your favourite TV series or to play a long-awaited game that just dropped, we all need that break from time-to-time. If entertainment is your passion, why not be honest about it in your out-of-office email? 

Hi there,

I'm currently out of the office, immersing myself in a 24-hour game marathon. If your email is work-related, please note that I'll have limited access to my inbox. However, if you want to join my game team, my inbox is perfectly accessible!

For anything urgent, you can reach out to my colleague at []. Alternatively, I'll be back to reality on [date] and will respond to your email then! 

Best regards,

[Your Name]

4. clever and funny

To liven things up, you can attempt to inject some humour in your out-of-office email. Funny out-of-office messages will give the person who emails you a good laugh and you might even brighten their day. However, use this as a reference only if you’re working in an environment where being a little cheeky will not result in your email being flagged to HR.

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].

Unfortunately for me, I still have access to my phone and will still likely read your email. While I won’t be replying, I have faith that my colleague ( will assist you when I’m away.

If it’s an emergency that only I can attend to, you can reach me at [mobile number]. But please bear in mind that one day, I'll be collecting the debt from 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 reports or upcoming events in your auto-reply messages. You can also use your OOO message to grow your personal or organisation's social media reach. 


Thanks for your email. I’m away from the office from [date] to [date]. For urgent matters, please contact my colleague at [].

Keep yourself up-to-date with our latest insightful reports that you can find on our website for your reading and sharing. If you are enquiring about my services, rates or would like to partner with us, please click here for FAQs, to submit a request form.

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

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 are perfect for driving sales while you’re away.

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


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 able to help. 

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?

To truly recharge, avoid letting colleagues know you'll be checking your email. This creates an expectation for replies, preventing you from fully disconnecting when you’re on annual leave.

When on leave, your personal time is just that - personal. Avoid oversharing the reasons why you are away in your out-of-office messages. A simple "I'm on annual leave" suffices and helps maintain a clear boundary between your work and personal life.

having a hard time taking time off work?

If you feel that you are unable to get any me-time during your leave because your colleagues won’t stop calling you for help, maybe it’s time to consider a job change to one that actually allows you to take a breather when the time calls for it. 

We can help you find an employer that not only appreciates your skills and capabilities, but also offers distraction-free leave days for you to take a mental break from work. Join us and discover opportunities where your skills are valued, and your time off is truly yours. 

Find a workplace culture that respects your need for relaxation and mental breaks. Connect with us today and redefine your work-life balance.

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