Over the last weeks I have noticed a wide range of out of office messages in email. They range from:
“I am travelling on business this week with limited access to voicemail and email. If this is urgent, please call my cell phone at …”
.. to …
“I am out of the office today in customer meetings. I will return emails at the end of the day. If this is urgent, please call me at ….”
I only use the out of office feature in Exchange/Outlook when I am on vacation for a few reasons:
1. For my family’s sake, I don’t want people to know that I am travelling and not at home. Many serious crimes are committed by people who are close to you, so why arm others with the knowledge that I am not home?
2. I carry a Windows Mobile 5 phone, so I am always on. I get email pushed to me, my office phone is forwarded to my cell (even when I am in the office I will simply forward it to my cell) and my cell is always on. So why bother? I may be out of the office, but in today’s all ways on work environment remain accessible.
3. When I go on vacation, I go on vacation. I turn everything off. I remember telling someone last year that if they reach me on my vacation, it better similar Sudden Impact in magnitude or I did not want to hear about it until I was back. I unplug.
That being said, I do like to have fun with those message. A few that I have used and received comment on:
“I will be on vacation from July X to July X. If this is an urgent issue, please feel free to contact (insert appropriate names). Thanks for your note, have a wonderful Christmas and New Years!”
“I will be on vacation from X to X. If this is an urgent issue, please feel free to contact (insert appropriate names). If you are feeling disgruntled or need someone to yell at, please contact (I inserted the name of the guy covering my business at the time). He is a good listener, generally optimistic and strong problem solver, he awaits your call. Have a great day!”
If nothing else, they made me laugh.