Out of Office Best Practices

Image Credit: Sonja Langford
Image Credit: Sonja Langford

By Rachel Owen, Communications Manager

We are headed full swing into the holiday season when many people will be out of the office. Do you know what the best practices are for when you are out of the office?


Update your voicemail to reflect that you will be out of the office. Don’t forget to include information about when you will be returning calls and an emergency contact number. Also, set a calendar appointment to help you remember to update your voicemail message when you return.

If your organization requires call forwarding to an associate when you are out of the office, be sure to let your associate know about any issues they may receive calls regarding (such as membership renewals).


Set your out of office email notification to indicate:

  • When you will return
  • When they can expect a response
  • An emergency contact


Thank you for your email. I am out of the office through December 30 and I will be responding to emails after I return on January 1.

If you have an immediate need please contact Staff Member Staff@fakeemail.org at 222.333.4444.

Thank you,

Your Name

For Your Associations

If your association office will be closed, such as for a holiday, update the main line voicemail to indicate the office is closed. Also, make sure to communicate to members when the office will be closed through a standalone email to members, a small “blurb” in a newsletter, or a post on social media.

For Longer Vacations

If you will be out of the office for more than a day or two around the holidays, you may need a bit more preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly while you are gone.

  • Allot a little bit of extra time to give information to any team members that may be covering for you during your absence. Make sure the rest of the team knows who is handling which concerns while you will be unavailable.
  • If you are expecting time sensitive mail or packages, make sure a team member is assigned to open any mail you receive.
  • At least two weeks prior, notify your key contacts and ask if they need anything completed before you leave.


Want to know more about association management? Contact us info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.


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