Overlooked for promotion? Check your out of office email

Ambitious office workers have been warned to carefully craft their out of office emails if they want to get ahead and climb the corporate ladder.

Ambitious office workers have been warned to carefully craft their out of office emails if they want to get ahead and climb the corporate ladder.

Experts from Londonoffices.com claim that how an employee sets their out of office response when they’re away on holiday tells bosses an awful lot about their professionalism and attitude to the job.

And because the team member is usually away for at least two weeks their email response can be sent hundreds of times to colleagues and clients – so mistakes can be costly in terms of damaged promotion prospects.

Here Chris Meredith, CEO of Londonoffices.com explains the top ten biggest sins when it comes to writing the out of office message.

‘Forgetting to set one up. Not bothering to set one up at all is probably the biggest mistake. It lets bosses know your slap dash at best or totally unprofessional at worst. The implication is, ‘I’m on holiday, screw you lot.’

Forgetting to say when you’ll be back. You need to let people know when you’ll be back at work. Getting the dates wrong is worse than forgetting to set it altogether because it makes you look stupid.

Bragging about your holidays

Resist the urge to type something about chillaxing or sipping pina coladas by the pool while everyone else is working. Clients won’t be impressed and neither will bosses.

Being rude

You may be out of the office but that’s no excuse to be rude to people. Remember to type please and thank you.

Office jargon

Filling it up with office speak and jargon such as you’ll ‘revert’ when you get back. You don’t talk like this in the real world so why should you on email?

Being too friendly

Workers often write out of office messages with their friends in mind so the tone is casual and informal. They forget that this message will be sent to everyone who gets in touch over the coming weeks so it needs to be professional. No ‘mate’s or ‘darling’s.

Forgetting to give alternative contact details

Just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean the business has to grind to a halt. So remember to give the details of someone who can manage enquires if you aren’t there.

Forgetting to tell your alternate contact

There is no point in giving your boss’s contact details without telling her. Even worse she could be on holiday too.

Trying to be funny

Out of office messages should be clear concise and polite. But they don’t need to be funny unless you’re a professional stand up.

Forgetting to turn the darned thing off

You’ve had your holiday and now you’re back in the office. But your email keeps telling people you are still away. We’ve seen these go on for weeks and even months after someone’s return. Turn it OFF.

Further reading on your out of office

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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