7 Creative Out-Of-Office Message Ideas Using Video

Last Updated May 26th, 2021

It never feels like the right time to take a day off work. After all, you’ve got a job to do, and people need you! You also know it’s disappointing for your clients and colleagues to be on the receiving end of your out-of-office message. They send an email hoping to get an actual reply, but instead, they get a frustrating automated message. Using a creative out-of-office message, especially one with video, can change that.

Your out-of-office message is a great (and often missed) opportunity to build relationships and showcase your humanity. Rather than a plain-text reply letting people know you’re gone, a creative out-of-office message leaves your recipients looking forward to interacting with you in person when you return.

Use your message to create connection, add a bit of humor, and show off some of your fantastic personality in an otherwise unremarkable situation. It’s the perfect chance to remind people that a real person is on the other end of their email — one who’s going to be there for them as soon as you get back to the office.

There’s great potential to create a human connection, make yourself memorable, and communicate effectively through your out-of-office response — even though you aren’t physically there. So, in this post, you’ll find some of the best sample out-of-office emails, with video examples, that’ll help you connect with people while you’re gone (all of which can be done with video, too) — such as…

1. An Honest Family Vacation Message
2. The Professional Development, Conference, or Training Event Message
3. A Pitching in Outside of Work Message
4. The I’m on Vacation — Period — Message (Featuring Boundaries)
5. A Ready-To-Go-Sick-Day Message
6. An Unplanned Extended Leave Message
7. The I’ll Be Back in a Few Hours Message

1. An Honest Family Vacation Message

In theory, a family vacation sounds fun and relaxing. But more often than not, traveling with others (especially children) can be just as exhausting as the nine-to-five workday. Finding the humor and irony in this helps to make you more relatable.
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Hi there,

If you’re getting this automated message, you already know I’m not in the office. This week I decided it would be the perfect time to take a family vacation. I couldn’t think of anything more relaxing than [DRIVING OR FLYING] with [NUMBER OF PEOPLE OR CHILDREN] for [NUMBER OF] hours and coordinating a week of activities that make everyone happy.

While I’m out, please reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters. [NAME] will take great care of you.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your very best or even your very worst family vacation stories.

I look forward to connecting with you when I get back!

[SIGNATURE]
__

Watch what this looks like in video format below…

 

2. The Professional Development, Conference, or Training Event Message

Whether you’re attending a conference because your company is sponsoring the event or you’re at professional development training, sometimes your work takes you away from the office, too.

And even though you’re out of the office trying to better yourself professionally, personally, or expand your network, your current customers may still be disappointed when they learn that you’re unavailable. Take advantage of this opportunity to reassure them that the time you spend learning new skills or networking will help you (and your company) serve them better down the road.
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Hi there,

I’m sorry I missed you. I’m out of the office attending [NAME OF TRAINING OR CONFERENCE]. Unfortunately, it’s going to keep me away from my desk for [AMOUNT OF TIME].

At [NAME OF TRAINING OR CONFERENCE], I’m focusing on [YOUR MAIN FOCUS AT THE EVENT]. Doing this will help me continue to do my very best for you and to improve our experience together. [Optional: HOW IT BENEFITS YOUR RECIPIENT.]

While I’m out, please reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters. [NAME] is still in the office and will be able to help you quickly.

[Optional: In the meantime, if you’re at the [NAME OF TRAINING OR CONFERENCE], reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’d love to meet with you and catch up for a few minutes in person while we’re between sessions!]

I look forward to connecting with you when I get back.

[SIGNATURE]
__

And if you’re going to use a video message instead, try something like this…

 

3. A Pitching in Outside of Work Message

More and more companies are encouraging their employees to give back to the communities where they live or work in.

This means that it’s not unusual for employees to leave the office for the day to head out in the community to volunteer. Let your customers know about the good you’re doing with a creative out-of-office message. Understanding that you’re more than just what you do for a living, that you’re working to better the world you live in showcases your genuine humanity.

If you’re one of the lucky employees of a company that encourages giving back — this message is for you.
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Hi there,

Every year [COMPANY NAME] gives us a few days to volunteer and give back to our community. Today is one of those days for me. I’m over at [NAME OF VOLUNTEERING EFFORT OR COMMUNITY SERVICE] where I’m [WHAT YOU’RE DOING]. I’m excited about this opportunity because I know that a community can really flourish when everyone pitches in.

While I’m out, please reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters. [NAME] will take great care of you.

(Optional: In the meantime, if you’re interested in [NAME OF VOLUNTEERING EFFORT OR COMMUNITY SERVICE], or if you’d like to join me next time, click the link below to learn more.)

I look forward to connecting with you when I get back!

[SIGNATURE]
__

Or here’s a similar video message approach you can take…

 

Tip: If you’re using video, add the link of the organization you’re working with to an in-video Call to Action.
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4. The I’m on Vacation — Period — Message (Featuring Boundaries)

You take the same kind of vacation every year. It’s usually for the same amount of time and sometimes even to the same place. Yet, every year you have the same customers (and sometimes colleagues) who try to contact you by any means necessary.

It can be frustrating to be interrupted when you’ve taken time off work. Everyone deserves a break — including you! With a creative out-of-office message, you can respectfully address this ahead of time. And using video puts you face to face. Communicating this way helps remind others (perhaps in their moments of frustration or disappointment because they’ve received your out-of-office response) that you’re a human with needs, too!
__

Hi there,

If you’re getting this message, it’s because I’m not in the office. For more than [AMOUNT OF TIME], I’ve been planning to take this week off. I’ve crossed my T’s, I’ve dotted my I’s, and I’m confident that everything’s in great shape for my time away.

With that being said, I have absolutely no access to email or voicemail while I’m out. Even my wonderful colleagues are unable to get in touch with me. Please know I’ll be happy, rested, and ready to help you out when I get back.

While I’m out, please reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters.

I look forward to connecting with you soon!

[SIGNATURE]
__

Want to use a video message? Here’s a good idea of what that should look like…

 

5. A Ready-To-Use Sick-Day Message

You’ll inevitably need to take time off at some point in your career because you’re feeling under the weather. Why not plan ahead? Crafting a creative out-of-office message that’s readily available any time you’re sick will go a long way towards giving you more time to rest and recoup without having to worry about your inbox.
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Hi there,

If you see this message, understand that I took the time to [WRITE OR RECORD] it back in January while I was feeling well. (This is also why I sound so peppy for someone who’s supposed to be sick.) I took today off because I’m under the weather.

While I’m out resting and recovering, please reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters. [NAME] will take great care of you.

Thanks for understanding, and I look forward to connecting with you tomorrow when I get back!

Stay well,

[SIGNATURE]
__

Watch the video below to see how you can do this with a video message instead…

 

6. An Unplanned Extended Leave Message

In life, things can happen in the blink of an eye. There may be a time you have to leave work for an extended period without much notice.

Your out-of-office email message can help you reach anyone you’re unable to talk to before you leave the office. But remember, your personal life is just that — it’s personal. And unless you feel an extreme emotional connection to everyone who has access to your email address, the details of your absence can (and should) be kept close to you until if and when you feel ready to share them.
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Hi there,

Unfortunately, this message has reached you because I’m out of the office due to a [PERSONAL MATTER OR EMERGENCY] until further notice. Please know that your relationship is important to me, and I’m genuinely sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

In my absence, [NAME AND EMAIL] will temporarily take over [MY POSITION, YOUR ACCOUNT, ETC.]. [NAME] is an excellent colleague of mine and is ready to work with you.

I appreciate your understanding, and I look forward to connecting with you when I get back.

[SIGNATURE]
__

Or you might use a video message like this…

 

7. The I’ll Be Back in a Few Hours Message

Out-of-office messages aren’t just for long vacations or sick days. Have you ever taken a few hours off for an appointment or to attend an event for your child only to be interrupted by pings, texts, and even phone calls because you didn’t answer an email immediately?

Setting up your out-of-office response, even for a few hours, can help you give those appointments or dance recitals the attention they need (and deserve).
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Hi there,

I’m sorry I missed you. Don’t worry; I’m only gone for a few hours (Optional: FOR AN APPOINTMENT, A RECITAL, A LONG BIKE RIDE, ETC.],) but I’ll be back by [APPROXIMATE TIME WHEN YOU’LL BE BACK].

I appreciate your understanding, and I look forward to connecting with you shortly.

Take care,

[SIGNATURE]
__

Here’s what this looks like in a video message…

 

Adding Out-Of-Office Videos in Gmail

Before you decide on a creative out-of-office email message, let’s talk tech and how to build one with video in Gmail.

1. Log in to your BombBomb account and record your out-of-office video.

If you don’t know how to do this yet, this article will walk you through this process step-by-step.

2. Copy the video link in BombBomb.

Once you’ve recorded and saved your video, click the “Copy For Email” option to save the video you want to use in your out-of-office message to your clipboard.

3. Access your Gmail Settings.

Log in to your Gmail account. On the top right of your Gmail inbox is a gear icon. Click this gear, and then click the “See all settings” button to access your Gmail Settings. From your Gmail settings screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page. Here you’ll see the “Vacation Responder” section.

4. Create your out-of-office message.

Fill in the appropriate date range and subject you want your recipients to see when receiving your out-of-office video. Then, paste your video in the “Message” section of your vacation responder, and click “Save changes.”

Tip: If you want to create an even more professional-looking video reply, use the BombBomb email composer to create a landing page for your out-of-office message. Learn how to do that here and then follow steps three and four.

Best Practices for Out-Of-Offices Messages Using Video

Before you leave the office for the day (or the week), you need to be equipped with the best practices for creating your out-of-office video messages.

Ask a colleague for help.

It’s always best to have someone who can help your clients or customers while you’re out of the office. Team up with a trusted coworker and help each other out. Agree to handle pressing matters for the other person while they’re away.

Not only will people appreciate that they can get assistance while you’re away, but you’ll also have peace of mind that they’re being taken care of too.

Tip: If you’re using video, be sure to add your colleague’s email address to the body of your email in plain text. Something like: “Please see the video below. While I’m away from my desk, you can reach out to [NAME AND EMAIL] for any pressing matters. [NAME] will take great care of you.” You can also add their information to your in-video Call to Action.

Follow a sliding scale of professionalism and authenticity.

When it comes to professionalism and authenticity, not all jobs are created equal. What’s honest and candid for some might be seen as unprofessional by others.

You know your company, clients, colleagues, and their professional expectations. So use your best judgment when incorporating humor and honesty in a creative out-of-office message.

If you aren’t comfortable sharing details — don’t.

Showcasing your authenticity means being your true self. Who you are is valuable and important. But this shouldn’t come at the cost of genuine discomfort. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your reason for taking time off work with anyone who can reach your inbox — don’t.

Keep your message brief.

It may be hard to get your point across in a limited amount of time, but your recipients are busy, and their time is valuable. So try to keep your out-of-office notice short. If you’re using video, try to keep your recording time at one minute or less if possible.

Draft or prerecord out-of-office messages you’ll use more often.

Save time and be prepared to take a day off by creating out-of-office messages you’ll use more often (such as sick or professional development messages) ahead of time.

Start Using These Creative Out-Of-Office Messages Today

Everyone needs time off work. But with these creative out-of-office messages, you can still connect with others while you’re away.

Video can help you get the most out of your out-of-office message by adding a little bit of your authentic personality to your automated message. It also helps create a meaningful face-to-face connection that reminds people a real person will be back to help them in no time.

Want to test it out for yourself? Try video with BombBomb for two weeks free.

Kayte Yerga Grady

Kayte Yerga Grady | About The Author

Kayte is a writer from Chicagoland who thrives on encouraging both people and companies to present the best version of themselves through creativity. She's a sometimes runner, raising three wildling boys while trying to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer. When forced inside, she uses any remaining creativity to dabble in very average floral design. | BS Purdue University

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