Some Help With An Out of Office Email Reply
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All out of office content has been supplied by Andrew C. Travers

The Boston School helps French and German speaking Swiss company offices to improve their internal communications, using tools such as these. Please telephone or email the school to learn more.

It is important to remember who will receive your out of office e-mail response and listed below are some real examples of error messages and an explanation of why they are wrong.  Please feel free to use in your lessons or to copy and paste for your work.

Should you or your company need an English language school in Switzerland, we hope the provision of resources like this will help you think of The Boston School when you next review your learning needs.

Common out of office email mistakes (all are real examples)

Date Confusion

I will be out of the office starting 09/08/2007 and will not return until 23/08/2007.

In Europe and many other places in the world, 09/08/2007 means August 9th, 2007. In the US, the month comes before the day so would be understood as the 8th of September, possibly causing some confusion.

Mixing Language

Thank you for your message. Sorry I'm not in the Office until 20th of Mai and I have no access to my Emails.

In urgent cases please contact XXXX. (Phone +41 .... Email: xxxx)

Freundliche Grüsse
Kind regards

Use of Slang / Informal

*** BIZ trip until 12. Sept 2007 ***
*** please contact XX XXX ***
*** for urgent calls: +41 xx xxx xxx ***

The use of asterisks, biz instead of business project an informal relationship which may not be in line with your corporate standards.

Acceptable examples include:

Example 1

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am out of the office till Monday, 27th of April 2009 and your email will not be forwarded.

Should the matter be important, please contact XXXX XXX ( email address) in my absence.

Best regards
Your  Name

Example 2 (refer to a colleague whilst you are away)

Dear Mail Sender,

Thank you for your mail. I will be out of office from today and will be back on Tuesday, May 29th. I will have limited access to my e-mail during this period.

In my absence, please feel free to contact XX XX on +41 44 310 30338 or e-mail

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards,
Your  Name

Example 3

I will be out of the office till October 24th 2008. I will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible on my return.

Please note, that your mail will not be forwarded. For any urgent matters, please contact XX XX at

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards,
Your  Name

Example 3 (popular)

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office from [DAY, DATE] to [DAY, DATE] and unable to respond at this time.

I will review your message following my return on [DAY, DATE]. If you need immediate assistance, contact [Name, phone number and email address].

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards,
Your  Name

Link to download or view the out of office business skills worksheet