Its Holiday Season for a many colleagues and friends in Europe as well as US. Hence your passionately created email or thoughtful pitch can hit the robot in charge of the email and activate an automated “Out Of Office” (OoO) reply. Most of us delete the OoO replies without bothering too much about it. Similarly many of us just create a standard OoO that comes in MS Exchange or copy from somebody else’s OoO. I am told that many companies always have a template and a thick guideline book for creating OoO (Hope nobody is reading at my office!) But there are creative souls who break the monotony and compose a thoughtful OoO. It speaks volumes about themselves – their approach to life and work, not following the beaten paths, adding humor and intellect to the most mundane task, expressing creativity and finally courage!
I invite you share your best received OoO or composed OoO. And I encourage you to create a creative OoO. Please find the Top few OoO received recently – mentioned here randomly and in no order. .
1. Janne’s OoO Reply
“ Greetings, human of Planet Earth.
Janne has requested me to regrettably inform you that he is currently on holiday. You know, the thing that humans do, where they plant their feet in sand and soak in the sun like, well, other vegetation, all the while we robots work on their menial and boring tasks, like responding to email. It’s not that Janne doesn’t appreciate your email, oh no! It’s just that at this moment he appreciates the freedom to not read your email a bit more. So he left me, his faithful robot, in charge. And here I am, responding to every email that comes in. Well, not all of them, of course. You would get really bored if I responded to every single one, ‘cos let’s face it, I’m not a very creative robot. I’ll just send you a periodical reminder that Janne is on vacation, maybe every few days, just often enough to make you feel a bit jealous that he is away and you’re not, but not often enough for you to get all worked up about it. That’s the kind of tiny little faithful robot that I am, yessirree. Always thinking about only the best for my human masters. And, sometimes, just a teeny-weeny bit about world domination.
Now, Janne will be reading his emails (assuming the little #%”&!/ hasn’t burned his squishy brain in the sun again), though he does not guarantee any swift response. If you have a generic question about <Janne’s Organization>, please drop a mail to for a faster response. If you need to talk tech to a human (who wouldn’t, ‘cos they’re so adorable and cuddly), contact Otherwise, please resend your email when Janne has returned from vacation.
Eugene, The Robot In Charge of Email.”
(Janne is a CTO at a leading Finnish startup – Thinglink. Janne is a tinkerer, dreamer, geek and a dad and maintains his blog since 2003. ThingLink is the leading platform for creating interactive images for web, social and advertising channels. Follow his blog: http://www.ecyrd.com/ButtUgly/ )
2. Mike’s OoO
“Houston, we have a problem. We all love the power of email connecting people across continents. But… we’re drowning in it.”
So began an amazing blog post TED’s Chris Anderson posted earlier this year (http://bit.ly/oojA20). And I’m sure you, like me, are facing the same problem. Emails reproduce and spiral out of control much faster than we can keep up, creating a never ending death loop of messages. And before you know it, we’re doing what other people want us to do and not what we should be doing.
Why am I telling you this? Simple. I used to pride myself in getting back to emails within an hour or two, or at most, a day. But that hasn’t been happening for a while. And instead of letting that fact eat at me, which I have been tending to let happen of late, I have decided to try to tackle the problem and spread a solution I outline below.
The time I take to respond to you is in no way related to my interest in talking to you (it COULD be, but in most cases, it’s not.) I like to connect more than anyone else I know (other than potentially my friend Gary Vaynerchuk://bit.ly/pSjrcX) And I know that having this autoresponder on adds one more email to the system. But my goal is to use this one autoresponder to fix the problem not only for me, but for you as well. Yes, I’m adding another email to your box. But I hope to be taking many, many more out of your box by doing so.
The problem, you see, is one that we all share. It’s a “commons” problem and a problem that will only get better if we all want it to get better. The first step is to check out and internalize Chris’ email rules here: http://emailcharter.org/index.html.
As Chris writes, “To fix a ‘commons’ problem, a community needs to come together and agree on new rules. That’s why it’s time for an Email Charter. One that can reverse the escalating spiral of obligation and stress.”
The second rule is my favorite, and one I hope you understand as well: “Let’s mutually agree to cut each other some slack. Given the email load we’re all facing, it’s OK if replies take a while coming and if they don’t give detailed responses to all your questions. No one wants to come over as brusque, so please don’t take it personally. We just want our lives back!”
Of course, I’m not perfect. I’m sure I’ll continue to violate each of these rules. And some will be violated daily, or weekly. But we can only fix this problem if we all try our best.
Lastly, if this is an emergency and you need to reach me right away, please contact . Otherwise, I’ll do my best to get back to you. I promise.
Thanks for your understanding. And here’s to a world of more efficient emailers.
(Thanks Chirag for sharing this OoO)
3. Oliver’s OoO
“I am out of the office until . Thank you for your email.
If you are reading this, the train wasn’t able to push the Delorian up to 88 miles per hour, and I am stuck in 1885. I won’t be able to respond to emails until exactly 09:00 on
If there is an urgent matter that needs attention please contact . Alternatively, kindly follow-up with me regarding your email (if your email still requires my attention) once I am back at my desk.”
(Oliver is an eternal optimist who loves combining commercial and innovative solutions to solve real life problems. He is the Data and Distribution leader at one of the world’s leading re-insurance company, Swiss Re. I highly recommend to read his LinkedIn posts – “The 9 unwritten rules of men’s bathroom decorum” and “7:1 lessons business can learn from the Germany vs. Brazil football match”. Follow him: uk.linkedin.com/pub/oliver-werneyer/2/269/825 )
Good One – Eric Rozenberg’s OoO
The following is another good example. I did not receive it my in Inbox but got this via Yogesh. He came across Eric’s post and was inspired by it. Here it goes !
“Thank you for your email. I’m currently testing a new revolutionary App called “Holidays with the family.
With one click, it switches off all electronic devices, social media tools and internet connections. I know it’s like being back in the 20th century but it is only a few days experiment so I know I can count on your support and understanding until . I will revert once I am back.”
(Eric wrote a post about this as well and it was a big hit. Check It Out: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140501214450-451934-my-favorite-app-holidays-with-the-family?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0 )
There are many articles and blog posts on this topic. Even one on Linkedin Post – But I have tried to capture the real OoO that I experienced in last two weeks. For more on this topic, visit the Google machine – the favorites you will land up will have these top 3:
1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.
2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.
3. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged AED 25 for the first ten words, and AED 10 for each additional word in your message.
What do you think? Please send your favorite OoO.