Here's How To Set Up An Out Of Office Message

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
One bad part of going on vacation is knowing that you're going to come back to a million emails. Even worse is the all-too-real knowledge that you might get interrupted during your time away by coworkers who are unaware of your absence.

To give yourself the best shot at slowing the inbox flood (and making sure your phone stays off), set up an email auto-reply. You'll want to include a few key things in your out-of-office message: Include the dates that you're away from the office, by what date you plan to return emails, and an emergency point-of-contact for while you're gone. This ensures that important messages will be addressed in your absence, or sent back your way once you're at your desk.

Here's how to do it.

In Gmail, go to your Settings. Under the "General" tab, scroll all the way down to the bottom, where it says "Vacation responder." There, you can enter the dates you want the auto-reply to stay active, the message itself, and the recipients (whether you want this message to go out to everyone, or just to certain contacts).

If you're using Outlook, go to "File", and then select "Info". Once there, click on "Automatic Replies (Out of Office)." You'll have the same specification options as in Gmail.

While we can't promise this will solve all your email problems while you're soaking up the sun, it will at least let people know that you're out of reach, which is half the battle.
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