Best Business Practices When Receiving an OOO

As the summer heats up, more and more people are looking forward to their summer vacations. These trips are staggered both internally and across client teams, so you’re likely to receive an Out of Office reply to plenty of emails this season as you wait for your turn to get some sun. As you’re working with clients and coworkers who are taking some time off, here are some best practices to keep in mind to strengthen your relationships and show your appreciation.

 

Stick to what’s necessary. One of the worst things after a relaxing vacation is to find hundreds of emails to sift through when you return. We’ve all been there before! Remember this when it comes to your clients and coworkers, and don’t contribute to the problem. Stick to only sending emails that are absolutely necessary while they’re away. 

Schedule emails for delivery when they’re back. For emails that aren’t quite as pressing, schedule them ahead for when they return to the office. This will land the emails at the top of their inbox when they’re back, and prevent them from endlessly scrolling for your message. 

Show you’re thinking of them. If the automatic reply you receive is specific about the reason for their time off, use those cues to let them know you’re thinking of them. You can create a meaningful, personalized gesture by sending them a Thnks that corresponds to their trip. Send a box of snacks or a fuel card to the client going on a road trip, or ice cream for the client spending some time at the beach with their family.

Send a quick summary. It’s a common response when someone says “welcome back” to respond with “what did I miss?” Make the readjustment period easier for your clients and coworkers by sending them a short email summary of any decisions that were made, tasks that were completed, or ideas you’d like their insights on. Send this on the morning of their return so it can go to the top of their inbox and give some context to the rest of the emails below.

These quick tips can make a world of difference for the people you work with as they return to the “real world.” Letting them know you value their relationship and respect their need for time to unwind is a foundational part of building a personal connection.