How To Reply To An Out Of Office Email

An out of office email is a common communication you receive when contacting someone who is currently away from work. Knowing how to reply to this type of email in a professional and effective manner is essential. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of crafting a thoughtful response that ensures your message is received and understood.

What to Do Before Writing the Email

Before composing your reply, it’s important to take a few preparatory steps to ensure a successful response:

  • Review the original email: Carefully read through the out of office email you received to understand the details of the person’s absence. This can help you tailor your response accordingly.
  • Determine urgency: Assess the urgency of your message and whether it can wait until the person returns. If it requires immediate attention, consider reaching out to an alternative contact mentioned in the out of office email.
  • Gather relevant information: Collect any necessary documents, attachments, or reference materials that might be needed to address the subject of your email effectively.

What to Include In the Email

When composing your reply, include the following elements:

1. Subject Line:

Use a concise subject line that clearly communicates the purpose of your email. Include keywords that summarize the content, making it easier for the recipient to understand your message at a glance.

2. Greeting:

Start your email with a polite and appropriate greeting. Address the recipient by their name and use a formal salutation, such as “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Hello Ms. Johnson.”

3. Acknowledge the Out of Office Message:

In the body of your email, acknowledge the recipient’s out of office notification. Express understanding and briefly mention any relevant information from their message to show that you have read and respected their absence.

4. Purpose of Your Email:

Clearly state the reason for your email and be specific about what you require or the information you seek. Keep your message concise and focused to ensure clarity and efficiency.

5. Alternative Contact:

If your matter is urgent and requires immediate attention, mention the possibility of contacting an alternative person or department specified in the original out of office email.

6. Thank You:

Express gratitude for the recipient’s attention and any assistance they can provide. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in fostering positive communication.

7. Closing:

End your email with a formal closing, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name and contact information if necessary.

Email Template – Reply to An out Of Office Email

Subject: Regarding [Subject of Original Email]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I recently received your out of office message, and I understand that you are currently away until [Date]. I greatly appreciate your note informing me of your absence.

I am reaching out today regarding [briefly explain the purpose of your email]. If possible, I kindly request your guidance or assistance in [specific request]. However, if this matter requires immediate attention, please let me know if there is an alternative contact or department I should reach out to in your absence.

Thank you for your attention and understanding. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Note: Please customize the email template according to your specific situation and the recipient’s preferences.


By following these guidelines, you can effectively reply to out of office emails and maintain clear communication even when the intended recipient is away. Remember to acknowledge the person’s absence, state the purpose of your email concisely, and express gratitude for their attention. Additionally, assessing the urgency of your message and gathering relevant information beforehand will help ensure a successful outcome.

Lastly, be mindful of the recipient’s time and availability, as they may not be able to respond immediately. Patience and understanding go a long way in building professional relationships.

We hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights on how to reply to out of office emails. Happy emailing!