Monday, September 5, 2011

FTW-Best Out of Office Message

You are packed and ready to go on vacation, just a few small details left to take care of, confirm reservations, download some movies to your iPad, oh, and put your out of office message up on your email. Who hasn't been on vacation and neurotically checked work email? Part of me wants to read and respond, but I don't want to set some level of expectation that I will always do that. At my office, everything is always urgent, and many people act as if the information they need will in fact cure cancer, and that it is imperative we respond. Not to make light of our very fast paced office, but we aren't saving lives for sure! So how do you tell people that while I am sure whatever you need is SUPER important, most things are not as important as some hard earned time off with my family?
Well the good people at Gizmodo have posted the best out of office email I have ever seen, written by Josh Kopelman, and maybe one day I will have enough guts to try something similar at my office!

It reads:

I am currently out of the office on vacation.

I know I'm supposed to say that I'll have limited access to email and won't be able to respond until I return - but that's not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I'll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I'm going to experiment with something new. I'm going to leave the decision in your hands:

• If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I'm on vacation, please resend it to and I'll try to respond to it promptly.

• If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona ( and she'll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I'll respond when I return…

I love that he makes sure that they know they will be interrupting his vacation, that his wife will be mad, and that they should feel bad about it. But if after all that you really need that answer, go ahead and email him. I wonder how many emails he received to his interruptyourvacation email address?