9 creative out-of-office messages to try out during spring break

Mar 12, 2024

4 mins

9 creative out-of-office messages to try out during spring break
Serena Leilani

Journalist Intern

One thing on everyone’s vacation packing list is an out-of-office message. You’re sure to find a flurry of them in your inbox, and you may even be preparing one of your own. But why opt for a standard, “Hi, I’m out of the office and will be back on the 15th. For urgent matters please contact mylessfortunatecoworker@email.com” when you could do something unexpected, personalized, out-of-the-box?

Allow yourself to be inspired by our eclectic collection of OOO messages, adaptable for any occasion and any personality type. From the too-straight-to-the-point responses to ones that have you laughing, screenshotting, and sharing with a friend, these OOO messages are worth noting for your next vacation.

1. The Netflix and chill OOO message

Hello, as you’re reading this I’m probably binging Love Is Blind from the bathtub. Yes, once I’m back I’ll ask you for show recommendations, having breezed through everything on my current watchlist (I may have even rewatched the first season of GoT for the fifth time … ). But until then, unless you have a life-or-death emergency, consider me otherwise occupied.

We agree that catching up on (or reliving) your favorite shows is very serious business. With too much work and professional responsibilities, it can feel like we’re falling behind on what ultimately makes life enjoyable. Sometimes, that’s taking a bubble bath and watching people “fall in love” without ever having seen each other …

2. The memorable OOO message

Hello there, I’m taking a hint from Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton herself: “Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” I’ll be back on Monday.

Who said there was anything wrong with short and sweet? Sometimes someone else already said it better than you could have.

3. The Cast Away OOO message

Hello, I’m currently on a solo hike across the PCT, or on a deserted island off the coast of the Philippines. Either way, there’s no technology in sight. It’s safe to say I’m unreachable.

Secretly, we all probably resent this person for making us feel bad about late nights spent on the couch eating hot Cheetos and late mornings spent stretching out in bed while they’re off on an epic, unplugged adventure into the unknown. Although the Kitchen-to-Couch Trail can also be quite a hike …

4. The literary OOO message

Dear reader,

If you find yourself seeking out my presence, I would bid you look elsewhere than such a frivolous place as “electronic messaging.” Besides, I’m far too occupied frolicking through the hills of Appalachia with a book in my bonnet to find an appropriate reply to your inquisition. Though I must assure you, any request you may have is of the utmost importance to me and shall be treated as such upon my swift return.

Do you think the Brontë sisters would have responded to their emails in a timely manner? Probably not, so why should you? This message is a clear exercise of style and form, which is work in and of itself. Quite admirable, really.

5. The influencer OOO message

Hey besties, I’m off for a few days but will–of course!–be documenting my travels on socials @YesImmaMicroInfluencer. If you need me, I’m only a DM away! #OOO #VacationMode

Oh sorry, we meant content creator. Here we have the person who tries to convince you to help film a TikTok during lunch break. But hey, if they do break out of the micro-influencer status, you can say, “I’m the one behind the camera! I was there from the beginning!”

6. The workaholic OOO message

Hey, I’m supposed to be on “vacation” but we all know I’m checking Slack every hour and email every two hours. If you can’t wait that long, I guess there’s really no hope for you. Time for my next cup of coffee. Cheers!

We all know someone like this. Never too far from their emails, constantly striving for that coveted “No new messages!” Statewide coffee shortages point back to them. Their boss forced them to take time off to, you know, comply with state regulations. They take their work computer home every. Single. Night. Married to their job, as some might say. If it’s you, we’ll look the other way …

7. The furry friend OOO message

Hi, I’m out of the office and will be back on Tuesday. To keep you company while I’m gone, please enjoy a picture of my cat, Ms. Fluffins. In case you were wondering, she’s also the reason for any typos you might find in this message or elsewhere. That’s right, those little paws are responsible for a lot of professional embarrassment. Thanks for your understanding.

Animal photos are 100% effective—it’s even been tested. Long gone are the days of blaming your dog for eating your homework: now, their cute faces can gain you some serious attention. If you don’t have a pet, try your neighbor’s.

8. The not-so-secret job hater OOO message

Hello, I hope this email doesn’t find you. I hope you’re free from the corporate chains binding us all. Your message certainly won’t find me, at least not until I’m back (if I even come back lol).

Brutal, but sometimes this is what we need to hear. The realization that even your most motivated, hard-working colleague has managed to take time off should be the wake-up call you need to use that PTO. Go on, you’re worth it.

9. The aggressively calm OOO message

Namaste. I am currently on a yoga retreat in Bali, soaking up the sun and perfecting my Astavakrasana. My absence from the office is needed for me to reconnect with my mind, body, and soul. I would encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the urgency of your message and swap your next meeting for a meditation session. With peace and love, your Zen colleague.

Ok, we get it. You’re relaxing and we’re not. We’re not bitter … not bitter at all.

Ready to try for yourself?

Whether you’re looking for laughs or simply to show off your personality, an OOO message can be an unexpected outlet for creativity. Imagine if everyone in the office added a little–or a lot–of pizzazz to their vacation message: our inbox would be a happier place. So, while keeping in mind your company’s culture and your personal voice, let’s build a better world, one non-boring OOO message at a time.

Photo: Welcome to the Jungle

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