Local IT consultant Fusion IT continues its sponsored editorial column on Huddersfield Hub. In this edition, Support Business Development Manager RICHARD PAYNE shares his top tips for Christmas Out of Office replies, including jokes and messages to spread some festive cheer.

Setting your Out of Office reply when you’re not available to respond to emails is one of the last rituals many perform before signing off for a break, and has been a part of working life for at least two decades.

For the vast majority of us, and especially for those who work within a team, or with suppliers and clients, ensuring the text in your automatic response is informative and helpful is absolutely crucial.

You can use your Out of Office reply to pass an enquiry on to a colleague to ensure that work can continue in your absence, advise on when you’ll be returning to work, let the sender know whether or not you’re monitoring emails, or even let them know how they can contact you if their message is truly urgent.

But you can also have a little fun or be a little bit more creative with your Out of Office reply, particularly at this time of year, and use the space to spread a little festive cheer to whoever has been in touch.

With all of that in mind, Fusion IT presents its best Out of Office ideas for the festive period.

  1. Do something good – Christmas is traditionally a time for giving, and many use the period as an opportunity to raise money for their favourite charity, or directly donate to a cause that means a lot to them. To help spread the spirit of generosity, why not include a link to donate in your Out of Office to encourage others to jump on board?
  2. Up your GIF game – In today’s online world, GIFs are a major part of conversation and banter between friends and even work colleagues. There’s a GIF of pretty much everything these days, so why not include your favourite festive animation – perhaps a short clip from your favourite film – in your Out of Office?
  3. Give Thanks – Whilst Thanksgiving is very much an American tradition, Christmas is universally seen as a time for us to express our gratitude for what we have in life. On a personal level, this may be our health and our loving family, but on a professional level you may wish to thank colleagues, suppliers and customers for their support throughout the year.
  4. Attach a Christmas card – Many businesses choose to send their clients and suppliers physical Christmas cards, but you can also join in on the tradition digitally. There are many websites online, like this one, where you can design your own, either to embed in the body of the email, link to or attach.
  5. Make someone smile – As we have already mentioned, Out of Office replies are often a serious business, where information is key, but you can still have a bit of fun and make your sender smile with a little holiday humour. At the end of a long year, many will be relishing the break, and a little light relief in their Inbox can help them sign off with a smile.

Our favourite festive out-of-offices:

  • It’s my favourite time of year, which means I’m currently away from my Inbox chugging mugs of cocoa, stuffing my face with mince pies, and attempting to fulfil my life-long goal of memorising every single line of The Grinch.
  • I’m currently offline for Christmas —which means I’m busy either trying not to roll my eyes at this year’s new batch of corny films, attempting to explain my career to my grandma for the 800th time or feeling merry on too many glasses of Bailey’s (hey, can you blame me?)
  • I’m not actually at the North Pole, but I am preoccupied with wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate and listening to festive music as the elves do. Therefore, I won’t be able to respond to your email until after Dec. 27. Thank you for your patience, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
  • If you are reading this, that means I am currently wedged between two in-laws who are watching Homes under the Hammer. I wouldn’t dare disturb them, and that is why I cannot respond to your email right now. Thank you for your understanding in advance, and I will be sure to answer your email once I escape.
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the work hours quelling and everyone telling you ‘Please keep my Inbox clear,’ It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

We hope you have found a little inspiration from our Out of Office ideas, but more importantly, we wish you a Merry Christmas, on behalf of all of us at Fusion IT.