Out of the office this summer? Let your colleagues know!

The summer holiday season is well underway! The halls are a little quieter and your email inbox is getting a small break from the flurry of messages it’s used to receiving. If you’re planning on catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation this summer, don’t forget to set your out of office replies. Your colleagues, who’ll be streaming peaceful sounds of ocean waves on their work computer, will appreciate it!

Clearly communicating when you’ll be out of the office takes just a few minutes of your time, but will help colleagues/clients manage expectations and save them endless hours (or days!) of frustration.

Composing your out of office reply

When are you away?

Include the specific dates you’ll be out of the office, and when you’ll be returning i.e. I will be away from the office August 1 – August 9 returning to the office August 12.

Who to contact in your absence?

Include the name, email and telephone number for colleagues who can be contacted in your absence. This is especially important if you manage or provide support for a Business Critical service. You may have more than one ‘back-up’, so be sure to indicate when/why a client might contact them i.e.

  • If you need immediate WCMS Support please email wcms@uwaterloo.ca.
  • If you need technical assistance, please contact the IST Helpdesk at ext. 44357 or helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca.

Will you have access to or be checking email or phone messages while away?

Let colleagues/clients know when they can expect a reply from you.

Setting your out of office replies

  • Set your ‘Out of Office’ email reply
  • Set your temporary greeting on your desk phone
  • Add a note to your office door
  • Let your colleagues and clients know you’ll be away

Enjoy your summer holidays!

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