Setting your Out of Office is often the last thing you do before you shut the laptop for your vacation. It’s that satisfying final click of the mouse which signifies it’s time to relax. It also might be something which undermines a lot of the other good work you’re doing as a manager.
Perhaps it looks a bit like this.
‘Thank you for your message. I am out of the office until [date]. I will be checking my emails periodically but for anything urgent please contact [team member] or [team member].’
It’s probably the one that you’ve reactivated from the last holiday you took. Or something you copied and pasted from your boss.
It’s also not great.
Here’s some of the potential issues:
To be clear, there are a small number of roles and/or circumstances which require leaders to be online when they’re on vacation. But these are pretty specific. The vast majority of people working whilst on vacation do so due to either a poor working culture, lack of adequate delegation, or a misguided sense of their own importance. Or all of the above.
So when you’re heading out on vacation this summer, just pause to think about what your out-of-office arrangements say about you as a manager. They may matter more than you think.
Instead try something like (adjust for your own responsibilites):
'Thank you for your message. I am out of the office until [date]. During this period, please contact the following on the relevant area: Customer Enquiries - [Team Member], [Team Member E-mail]; Operations - [Team Member], [Team Member E-mail]; General team matters - [Team Member], [Team Member E-mail]. I will respond to anything outstanding when I'm back.
You'll have already briefed each of those team members in turn on their responsibilities, demonstrating your trust in them, and creating an opportunity for them to grow. Each of these individuals will also have your personal mobile if something really is on fire and you need to be contacted.
Now go and enjoy your holiday.
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