Setting up an out of office message in Outlook is quick and easy. But failing to set an OoO response can be a big mistake:
What if one of your team members assumes a colleague is taking responsibility for a key process, but they aren’t? What will happen if a vital client emails you, expecting a reply?
Creating an automatic out of office reply in Outlook might sound like it’s just being polite. But if you or a member of your team chooses not to, it can actually cause you serious problems later down the line.
Note, you can manually turn off your automatic response when you get back to your desk after being away. But using the “Only send during this time range” option prevents later accidents.
When setting up your out of office message in Outlook, you will also see an “Outside My Organisation” tab as well as an “Inside” one.
It is worth noting that your out of office response in this tab will be sent to everyone outside of your organisation who emails you. That means junk mail senders, newsletters you’ve signed up to, constant LinkedIn updates – the works.
If you use this option, it might be worth selecting “my contacts only”.
In this case, you might be one of those people who has a different version of Outlook. If you don’t see the “Automatic Replies” option under your File menu, you will instead need to use “Rules and Alerts”.
The process for using rules to create an out of office message is a little bit more complex. But only a little. You can find step-by-step instructions over on the Microsoft website.
If you’re wondering how to set out of office in Teams, the process is very similar. All you need to do is:
A professional out of office message is an absolute must these days. The accepted normal speed of modern communication means that people expect that you have received their email and will get back to them.
If you don’t, that is potentially a huge black mark against you or your company.
That’s the “why” and “how” to set an out of office response in Outlook and Teams out of the way. Now, what do you actually write? The key elements of a good out of office message are:
Out of office messages are part of business communications 101. This is the sort of thing you or your tech team really needs to be on top of.
If you find that members of your team don’t do vital basic things like setting up an out of office response in Outlook, it’s time for some more staff training. And possibly to call in some outside expertise to deliver it.
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If your Microsoft365 problems go beyond a simple out of office message, you should check out our Microsoft365 consultancy service.
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