Outlandish Out of Office Replies

Out of Office

If you’ve taken annual leave, you’ll know the importance of setting out of office replies. But have you ever seen any as outlandish as these?

Now we’re approaching the end of the year, you’ll probably notice the people count in your workplace slowly starting to drop. As November and December usually means an increase in employee annual leave, an article by the BBC recently posted some of the best out of office responses that have been used. Here are just a few of our favourites from it.

The Funny

Starting off is this out of office reply posted by Steven Nelson. Considered to be a veteran writer of some elaborate out of office replies, Nelson’s most popular and most humorous is a spin on a classic song from the 80’s. Sang to the same tune, Nelson turned on his out of office response at one stage to read:

“Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you.

Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

I’m also never gonna reply to your message until 9th of August as I’m off on holiday.”

Nelson says he set this response only to reply to internal emails however, as he didn’t want to make the organization he works for look unprofessional, stating: “It’s a really fine line, you don’t want to make your organization look like a fun factory.”

The Outrageous

Switching gears, Edwyn McFarlane, a business innovation director, has created an out of office response that could be deemed a little outrageous. Much like Nelson, McFarlane didn’t feel it would be too appropriate to use his reply externally.

Perhaps you might be able to see why:

I am on annual leave until dd/mm/yyyy. I will allow each sender one email and if you send me multiple emails, I will randomly delete your emails until there is only one remaining. Choose wisely. Please note that you have already sent me one email.”

McFarlane did confirm that no emails he received whilst on annual leave did get deleted, despite his tongue-in-cheek out of office reply effort.

The Bizarre

One of the last out of office replies to highlight was a rather bizarre effort from copywriter Rob Gilroy. To amuse himself whilst away from work, Gilroy has created several strange examples of out of office replies.

One of his most recent is more than a little odd to some, reading:

“ERROR 405: Could not reach copywriter. Soz. Haha! What a brilliantly geeky joke, that. But in seriousness, if you’re wanting something done, no can do. I’m out of the office from now (Tues 27th June) to until then (Friday 30th June). And if you’re a Prince, asking for more money, then no. Not until you’ve paid that £12,000 back into my account. Other than that? I’ll bring any and all answers on my return. Peace out.”

Creating Out of Office Replies

Whilst the examples given above might have given you some inspiration on how to type out your next out of office reply, it’s still advisable to approach this with caution. Commenting further on this, Barbara Pachter, author of The Essential of Business Etiquette, remarks that often the first impression of someone in your professional life can often come from an out of office response.

Therefore, in order to be able to produce the almost perfect out of office reply, you should:

  • Always provide actionable information e.g. an alternative person the sender can contact.
  • Ensure your wording is clear and concise.
  • Make sure there are no mistakes in the message such as incorrect details or contact numbers.
  • Prioritize its removal as soon as you arrive back at work from annual leave.

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Sam Rose

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