The perfect out-of-office parental leave message

The perfect out of office parental leave message

We recommend thinking about your out-of-office parental leave message a few weeks before you finish up. It needs thoughtful consideration and, depending on your work environment, you can either have fun with it, or you can keep it more formal.

Essentially your out-of-office message needs to include a few things

  1. Your expected return date. If you don’t know it yet, just put 12 months on your note. It’s important to let people know how long you will be gone so they can manage their request accordingly.
  2. Your replacement or relevant points of contact. It’s critical you include who to contact in your absence.
  3. Don’t be afraid to set the boundaries and be clear about how you will be managing your emails. If you won’t be logging on, then don’t be afraid to say “during this time I won’t have access to my emails”. If you will be checking occasionally, then again, set clear expectations.

The first time I left the office to begin parental leave was a mad rush to the finish line. Buried under flowers, gifts and work stuff, I left feeling frazzled and stressed. I cried from excitement and other emotions, but I was also frustrated with myself that I hadn’t finished everything I wanted to. I remember finalising my handover, sending farwell emails, changing my voicemail and unsibscriing from my favourite emails all in the last hour. And that’s whilst everyone in the office kept visiting me to say farewell. And so my first out of office was frantically written at 5PM as I was trying to get out the door. I threw a few words together, only to find myself logging on the following week to update it with more thought. With my second parental leave, the effort was a little more structured and I managed to create the right message and tone—I think I wrote it weeks before and had it ready to be activated at 5PM the day I left!

We would have loved a template through our journey and it’s something we get asked for a lot. So, we’ve crafted a few below that might help you. Feel free to cut, paste or make it your own.

Discover three out-of-office parental leave message examples below – 

For the parent who wants to totally disconnect
Hi there,
Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on parental leave commencing August 9, 2017 and plan to return late July 2018 .
For all enquires and assistance, please contact [insert name] on [insert number] or [email.]
During this time, I won’t have access to my email. For all personal matters, please do not hesitate to contact me at [insert personal emai])
Kind regards

For the parent who wants to stay connected
Hi there,
Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on parental leave commencing August 9, 2017 and plan to return late July 2018 .
I will be checking emails on a weekly basis, so will respond when I am next online. If your matter is urgent and requires an immediate response, then please contact [insert name] on [insert number] or [email.]
For all personal emails, I am contactable on my personal email, [insert email.]
Look forward to seeing you in July 2018.
Kind regards

For the more relaxed parent
Hi there,
I am super excited to be welcoming our first child into the world and will be commencing parental leave from [insert date]
I plan to be kept busy by this little one, so won’t have access to my emails. For all enquires and assistance, please contact [insert name] on [insert number] or [email.]
For all personal emails, I can be contacted on [insert email.]
If you would like to follow my journey and look at hundreds of really cute baby photos, then join me on Instagram [@ insert handle.]
See you next [insert month.]

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