Out-of-Office or Out-of-Your-Head? You Decide.

Bob Goldman on

Oh, goody! It's holiday season.

That means you'll be spending quality -- and, hopefully, quantity -- time away from your desk, unless you have a Scrooge for a boss -- or a Santa. (Yes, this column supports the elves in their fight to unionize.)

If you don't want to be bugged by endless emails while chugging a jug of kombucha wassail, you will need an out-of-office message -- a few well-chosen words that show you truly care about the people who are trying to ruin your holidays, while, at the same time, hiding the fact that you'd rather stick your head into a deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey than be inconvenienced by their incessant demands.

This is why the out-of-office message you really want to leave is a concise, "Get off my case," or the classic, "Don't bug me."

This kind of refreshing honesty might have worked before companies starting shedding workers willy-nilly in a process we call "Elonization," but this holiday season, it just makes sense to cover your heinie.

Alexandra Franzen can help. Her recent post on, "Standard Out-of-Office Messages are Boring -- Try This Instead," offers a variety of options to replace the typical "I am out of the office and will respond to your email as soon as possible."


For example:

No. 1: "Share exactly what you're doing (and why)"

Let people know that how your vacation benefits their business.

Position your vacation as an opportunity to refresh and recharge. Explain that you'll return from two weeks backpacking through the rainforests of Borneo "full of fresh ideas for my clients, like you."


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