Time & travel

Time off from work is extremely valuable for every person’s well-being. It increases productivity by lowering stress levels and preventing burnout. Upon returning from vacation, one feels refreshed, relaxed, and ready for a productive return at the office.

So take advantage of your long weekends and utilize your holidays to get some “me time”, refresh your mind, and be free of worry! 

And when you do decide to go on vacation – set yourself up so that you don’t have to worry about work emails. All it takes is an Out-of-Office (OOO) autoresponder email message and you’re set! This is especially important if you are engaged in email marketing and is a must for anybody serious about work (and enjoying time off of it).

Here are some tips and suggestions for when setting up your autoresponder:

  • Share Some Personal Information
    • Giving a small piece of information about you, your trip, or your corporation’s product or service can serve as a link between you and your clients. This will make all the necessary information available to those trying to contact you – your name, job title, when you return from the trip, and when you will be able to get back to them. Keeping people informed shows that you are considerate of their needs and allows them to plan their moves effectively.
  • Give the Purpose of Your Vacation
    • You may include reasons for being on leave if you feel like it. This lets people know exactly what you are doing and may even make them feel a little more connected than usual since the information is of a more personal nature. When people feel positively linked to you, they will be more likely to do business with you. The connection comes from feeling like they know you – and when people are familiar with you, it is easier for them to begin trusting you.

If you decide it’s okay to share the purpose of your vacation, try doing it in a way that could kick off a future conversation. This could be:

  • Reason for your travel – a conference, a wedding, visiting family, spending time with your kids or loved ones
  • Places you plan to visit.
  • Activities you will engage in while you’re away

Examples:

  • Hi there! I’ll be visiting my dad for his birthday, as well as enjoying the fresh scent of the mountain pines. I will not be checking my email until (date). If you need anything urgent, please contact my amazing assistant [assistant’s name]. 
  • Hi there! I’m at a conference for safety and security in Perth this week in the hope that I will be bringing back tools that will make our business better – especially for you! I will have limited access to email during this time. If you need immediate assistance before Monday, please contact [colleague’s name].

These kinds of notes are great conversation starters, as people tend to relate to specific scenarios may even ask you about your experience for their future travels (or even their own Out-of-Office replies)!

  • Share Interesting Content
    • You could try sharing articles, tips, or blogs that may speak to your audience. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience so that you have a good chance of generating interest in your content.

For Example:

  • “Hi! I hope spring is treating you well. It’s time for my annual vacation. I look forward to responding to your email when I return on [date].
  • In the meantime, for our clients, I wanted to share this article with you on tricks that can help you get the most from our CRM system. Using one of these hacks could save hours of your time.
  • If you need immediate assistance…”

Another possibility would be:

  • “Howdy! Studies show that vacations are good for the brain and can increase performance at work. This calls for further research! I’ll be out of the office with limited access to email until [date]. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [my colleague.] Catch you soon!”
  • Customize Your Message

It varies with each email host, but there are email systems that allow the sender to draft one note for internal people and a different note for those outside the organization. Some system allows you to send autoresponders only to those in your address book, versus blasting it out to people you don’t know. These simple functions give you flexibility in customizing your emails. For instance, you may want to share more personal information with your colleagues than you would with external senders.

Here are a couple of examples of how you could customize your messages:

  • For general use: I’ll be attending a family gathering and will be on leave until [date]. Please reach out to our wonderful assistant [insert name] should you need more timely help in my absence. Hoping to see you when I get back!
  • For colleagues and loved ones: My parents will be celebrating their 30th anniversary and I  couldn’t be happier! I’ll be on maternity leave until [date]. In my absence, please contact [insert name] for any marketing needs and [insert name] for PR-related requests. Looking forward to celebrating with all of you when I get back!

Time for yourself is time well spent. Go with your family or climb that mountain alone. Take advantage of that time to refresh and reflect on yourself. Before you go away, contact  ICTechnology to take care of your Out-of-Office responses! We will set you up for your next scheduled time off, all you will need to do is pack your bags and enjoy the trip!  

Written by Ibrahim Massri
Ibrahim Massri is General Manager at ICTechnology, an IT services provider based in NSW. He has more than 9 years of rich experience in IT management services. Working since 2010, he has expertise in project management, business strategy, business development, Microsoft Office solution selling, and software related projects. He loves to pen down new industry insights and his experience in this field to help solve challenges related to IT issues.
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