Are you committing the 10 deadly ‘out of office’ sins?

Trying to be funny, bragging about your holiday and putting kisses at the end are just some of the top ten out of office sins.

The team at has advised on the biggest no no’s for the automated messages.

Using abbreviations and office jargon were also cited as irritating and in some cases could come across as rude. More practical advice included making sure the dates are right, including alternative contact details and remembering to turn the alert off on your return.

A spokesperson for said, “Out of office message are often left to the last minute before you go on holiday and can be rushed full of typos and errors.”

“It might seem like a trivial task, but make sure you spend a bit of time getting everything in order, especially if you are going away for a long period of time without Internet access.”

“It’s worth remembering that your message will probably have hundreds of recipients so make sure you’ve dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s.”

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Here are the top ten out of office sins:

1) Describing your holiday in detail

We’re all very happy that you’re having a nice break but we’re still at work so don’t really want to hear all about it. If you’ve written two paragraphs about your luxurious hotel in Dubai, get rid and just say you’re on holiday.

2) Forgetting to set one up

Emails are important points of contact in the workplace so if you’re jetting off somewhere, at least have the courtesy to tell people you won’t be able to reply.

3) Trying to be funny

Writing an out of office is not your chance to show off your best stand up material. Keep it clear, concise and professional.

4) Getting the dates wrong

We’ve all received an out of office from someone promising to return days after your email. It looks unprofessional and sloppy so make sure you get them right.

5) Sending multiple out of offices

Make sure there are no bugs in your out of office system as once you are away it will be out of your hands. If your message starts triggering off a hundred emails, you need to know about it.

6) Abbreviations or office jargon

Don’t abbreviate out of office to OOO. It doesn’t require abbreviating and if anything might just cause confusion. Similarly, a message full of office jargon can come across as rude so keep it straightforward.

7) Not including other contact details

Just because you’ve gone on holiday doesn’t mean the world has ground to a halt. Put a reliable alternative contact and let them know they will be your new port of call otherwise all the new emails they get might come as a surprise.

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8) Turning on your out of office when you’re actually at your desk

Out of offices should only be used when you are away from your desk, not just when you can’t be bothered to answer emails. Be careful because a colleague will rumble you eventually.

9) Putting kisses at the end

Use the same etiquette you would use in regular emails, so no kisses, smiley faces or calling anyone ‘mate’ or ‘honey’.

10) Forgetting to turn your out of office off

Once you’re back and before you sit and tackle your inbox, remember to turn your out of office off! Some people have left theirs on for weeks after their return.

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