I had the chance to share ideas on how to write an effective out of office response for your email in the Manager Tools forum.

There were many interesting answers, some company best practices, a lot of good common sense and, as usual, Mark gave as a great hint to think about: why do we need an out of office message?

For a single reason: because email is misused. Because we tend to feel that if we don’t answer immediately, we are doing something wrong.

But email is not that stuff: it’s not a synchronous media! We cannot assume that the receiver of our email is there, sitting at his desk, just waiting for a new email to answer.

That’s way the concept of URGENT email (how many time did you read/write the word URGENT in the subject 🙂 ?) is wrong: if it’s urgent, PICK UP THE PHONE!

If it’s not urgent, and you just want to push … just give me a break! 🙂