Vacation planning is tough enough without needing to ensure the workplace is not left hanging! Setting up your vacation alert is a very simple process nowadays but not something you do very often. It’s always a good idea to make your work absence a large part of your vacation planning, to avoid having additional stress closer to your day or departure.
Have a conversation with your manager and confirm their guidelines. Some companies mandate no communication while you’re on vacation, some expect minimal availability if someone has a quick question. In either case, knowing you’re leaving the office in good hands is paramount to avoid worrying while you’re out of town. Setting up your voicemail and email alerts is one of the last things you’ll do, while you’ve got “vacation brain”, no less.
Henceforth, here is a quick reminder / tutorial…..
- Open Outlook
- Click on “File” (specifically the “Info” tab if not automatically highlighted)
- Select “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)”
- Click on “Send Automatic replies”
- Check the box saying “Only send during this time range”….
- Specify your vacation dates (when you’re gone, and when you’re back in the office)
Compose an outgoing message:
This message will be immediately sent to anyone emailing you during your vacation time. You can leave a quick vacation note, or be more detailed, if you wish. If your department cannot survive without you (which it probably can’t), be sure to leave contact information for an alternate contact while you’re away. Here is a sample message we typically see:
“Subject: Vacation Alert”
“Please note I am out of office from this date to that date. In the meantime, should need further assistance, please contact so-and-so and this number.”
That’s it! Once you’ve set the end date, Outlook will automatically turn off the automated email on that date.
This one is even easier. Simply log into your voicemail and select the menu option to change the outgoing voicemail message. The message you leave can be very similar to the email message above.
Please note – – typical phone systems are not automated and you will have to remember to change your phone message back when you return. One good tip is to set an alert in your mobile phone, email yourself, or set a reminder in your calender (or your company’s Customer Relationship Manager, if you use one).
The final step, of course, is the hardest…..enjoy your vacation and don’t worry about work!