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Out of office messages in English: tips and examples

Out-of-office (OOO) messages are handy automated responses. They allow you to keep in touch with customers and provide them with information while you are away. In some situations, you might also need to translate your OOO messages.

What are out-of-office messages?

You might not know the official term, but you have probably received an out-of-office message at least once.

These emails are automatically generated by email accounts during a specific period.

The system is mainly used when we go on holiday or when we are not able to check our inbox or read emails.

Out-of-office messages provide recipients with information and guidance so that absences or holidays are not perceived as disruptive.

To this end, a well-written out-of-office message should state:

  • the reason for the absence (due to a holiday, illness, or personal reasons)
  • the length of the absence (the date on which you will return to work)
  • the contact details of someone who can answer emails during your absence.

How to write an automatic 'out-of-office' email in English

The basic rules for writing an out-of-office message are to use a neutral tone and avoid sarcasm or jokes.

This is especially true if you frequently receive emails from international customers, suppliers, or colleagues, who may not understand your jokes and get the wrong idea about your professionalism based on your OOO message.

Examples of effective out-of-office messages in English

As English is one of the most widely spoken languages worldwide and is generally used for international business communications, it is useful to know how to write an out-of-office message in English. Here are a few examples:

Thank you for your email.
I will be out of the office until the (insert the date you return to work).
If your query is urgent, you can contact (name of a colleague + their email address) in my absence.
Kind regards,
(First and last name)

Example of an OOO message due to illness in English

Hi there,

Thank you for your email.
I am currently out of the office due to health reasons, and I will not have access to my inbox until (date).
If your query is urgent, you can reach me on my personal phone number (phone number)


(First and last name)

Example of an OOO message due to a holiday in English


Thank you for getting in touch.
I am on holiday from (date) to (date).
I will be back in the office on (date).
While I’m away, you can contact my colleague (name) at (email). Otherwise, I will reply to your email as soon as I get back.
Best wishes,

(First and last name)

Of course, not all out-of-office emails can be so simple and concise. Furthermore, you might need to send out-of-office messages in several languages. In this case, we recommend asking a professional translator to do the job, especially if you are going to be communicating with important customers.

Have a look at all of Eurotrad's translation services  into English and many other languages. Get in touch to find out more!

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