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Adding a Splash of Happiness to Work with Out-of-Office Email

Who says your out of office email has to be as dull as a rainy Monday morning? Let's face it: We've all hit that 'OOO' auto-reply with the same old text that's as exciting as watching paint dry. Why not spice it up and sprinkle joy into these mundane messages? I've teamed up with the clever bots at ChatGPT, and guess what? We’re turning the out of office email into a mini-party in your inbox! Imagine that – leaving a sparkle of your personality behind and fostering worthwhile connections, even when you're sipping cocktails on a beach or cozied up at home. Ready to ditch the boring for something that’ll make your colleagues smile? Let's dive into the world of fun, quirky, and oh-so-you out of office emails!


Cartoon woman getting hit with out of office email

The Standard OOO and its Limitations


Okay, let's talk about the usual out of office email. Picture this: You send an email, eagerly awaiting a response and ping! Back comes the robotic reply, "I am out of the office with no access to email." Snooze-fest, right? These standard replies are the plain bagels of the email world – they do the job, but where's the flavor?

Here's the deal: while we all need that escape from the email avalanche, there's a bit of a tightrope walk here. Many of us worry that if our OOO message sounds too fun or too "off-duty," we might come across as unprofessional or – gasp – a slacker. Plus, no one wants to miss out on opportunities just because they dared to enjoy their off-the-grid time, right?


Enter Michelle Gielan and her article from Good Think. She's all about disconnecting to recharge and says it actually makes us less stressed and more productive. But, and it's a big but, most of us stick to that same old safe and snoozy out of office email. Why? We're scared of rocking the boat. So, what if we could find a way to add a sprinkle of personality to our out of office email without setting off alarm bells of unprofessionalism?


Personalizing Your OOO – a Step Toward Happiness & Connection


Imagine an out of office email that not only sets clear boundaries (because, let’s face it, we all deserve uninterrupted me-time) but also leaves a smile on the face of the person on the other end. It’s all about balancing professionalism and showcasing a bit of the human behind the email. This isn’t just a hope; Gielan's research even suggests that a touch of personal flair in our message can boost our work relationships! It turns out that a little window into our personal world (like mentioning beach time or chasing after kids at home) can make our colleagues and clients feel more connected to us. It’s about turning an automated response into a mini moment of connection, a sneak peek into who we are beyond the office walls.

"Out of office" written on a sticky note with sky background

So, while we might think sticking to the 'I’m not here, contact XYZ for emergencies' script is playing it safe, we’re missing out on a chance to deepen connections and sprinkle some positive vibes.


Now, we're about to dive into how you can craft these magical messages that are all you and still oh-so-professional.


How to Craft Your Personalized OOO with ChatGPT


Together, let’s put a twist on the classic out of office email and make it a fun, happy little note that’s uniquely you! I’m going to let you in on my little experiment with this. Last December, I decided my out of office email was going to be more 'me' and less 'automated robot.' So, I sat down with my new bestie, ChatGPT, and together, we jazzed up my usual message. Here’s what we came up with:


"I'm officially grabbing an eggnog, and diving headfirst into chasing sugar plum fairies with the family. Well …. Almost.   Should you need something urgently, please call or text me at XXX-XXX-XXXX as I will be delayed in responding to emails through January 2nd. Here's to a season filled with belly laughs, twinkling lights, and enough joy to power Santa's sleigh. I’m looking forward to reconnecting in 2024, geared up for a year of abundance, inspiring initiatives, and more happiness than a spontaneous sleigh ride with a team of spirited reindeer! Wishing you a season as bright as twinkle lights!"

Cute, right? It’s got a bit of holiday cheer, a pinch of humor, and all the essential info. But here’s the kicker – I crafted this with the help of AI, then added my personal touch. It’s like baking a cake with a little help from a mix and then throwing in your favorite flavors.


Curious how I did it? Here are the prompts I made up:


“I want to send a message to my email list that tells them I am taking time off for the holidays, returning January 3rd. I'm simply taking this time to breathe, reflect on the wonders of 2023, and to consider the possibilities of 2024. So, as I recharge amid festive twinkle lights and the laughter of loved ones, I invite you to consider what would make your December truly unforgettable."


Chat GPT did a pretty good job, but I added another prompt:


"Can you re-write this with more humor and whit?"


Then, I took what it gave me and picked the best parts, made it my own, and voilà, that's the out of office email everyone got when they sent me an email the last 2 weeks of December. Guess what? The responses were amazing! People loved the personal touch and the festive vibes. It turned a standard OOO into a mini-celebration of the season. It’s like sending a little holiday card with every auto-reply, spreading cheer and leaving a lasting impression.


Out of Office Email Examples from a Pro Copywriter


Of course, this isn’t a brand-new idea, and I’m not the only one who jumped on this bandwagon. My copywriter, Chelsey, has also used ChatGPT to save her brain on writing creatively for her own business. Here are a few examples of her out of office emails.


#1: Holiday Break OOO


This first one was for her business’s holiday break. Hers was significantly longer than mine, but she is a copywriter, so words are her thing!


"Hey there! Chelsey here from Crystal Clear Copy. I’m writing to you not from the depths of our word-filled office but from the comfort of my holiday hideaway! Yes, you read that right – we're officially on a holiday break! We're out of the office, soaking up the festive spirit and will be back, recharged and ready to tackle your copywriting needs on Monday, January 8th. Here’s the deal: During this joyous time, I’m trading keyboards for gingerbread, and conference calls for Christmas movies. I'll be focusing on spending time with family, friends, and those dear to me. So, I'll only be peeking at emails like a child sneaks a peek at their holiday gifts – only occasionally! Got something pressing that just can’t wait? Fear not! My amazing VA, Doreen, is your go-to. She's like Santa's most efficient elf, but for emails. You can reach her at XXXXXXX@gmail.com. She’s got the magic touch to notify me of anything that absolutely, positively, cannot wait until my return. As we wrap up the year (see what I did there? 😄), I want to extend a heartfelt wish for you and yours to have a fabulous holiday season and a sparkling start to the new year. May your days be merry, bright, and filled with delightful surprises. Happy Holidays, and see you in the New Year! Warmest regards, Chelsey"

Chelsey's out of office email was a hit! It perfectly captured the essence of the holiday spirit while maintaining a professional yet warm and inviting tone. Her clients and colleagues received all the necessary information about her availability and a glimpse of her joyful holiday plans. This approach to out of office emails humanized the interaction, making Chelsey more relatable and approachable. It turned a simple automated response into an opportunity for connection and left recipients with a smile, proving that even the smallest details in our professional communication can make a big difference in fostering positive relationships.


"Out of Office" written on a sandy beach

#2: Bachelorette Party Out of Country


Here's another creative example from Chelsey, showing that out of office email responders aren't just for holidays. They can also beautifully capture the essence of important trips, like her bachelorette party in Mexico. Let's take a look!


“Hola Amigos! This is Chelsey from Crystal Clear Copy, and I'm taking a little detour from the world of words to the vibrant heart of Mexico! From Thursday, January 18th, through Wednesday, January 24th, I'm swapping my keyboard for a beach towel and celebrating my upcoming nuptials with my fabulous bride tribe. 🍹💃 I'm making a bold move for this special occasion - no laptop and a digital detox! That's right, my cell will only whisper sweet notifications when it finds a cozy Wi-Fi spot. So, expect zero responses as I embrace the art of living in the moment and detaching from modern woes. While I'm sipping margaritas and lying in the warmth of the Mexican sun, my amazing VA, Doreen, will be your guardian angel for anything urgent. You can reach her at XXXXXX@gmail.com., and she'll ensure I get the message whenever I deign to check my emails. For everything else, rest assured, I’ll circle back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy when I return to work on January 25th. Thank you for your understanding as I take this time to celebrate a significant milestone in my life. I promise to return with a heart full of memories and a mind ready to create more crystal-clear content for you! Hasta la vista! Chelsey 🌺 (Your Chief Copywriter in Celebration Mode) Crystal Clear Copy 🎉✨”

Chelsey's out of office email for her bachelorette party in Mexico was a masterclass in balancing professionalism with personal joy. Instead of merely informing her clients that she would be unavailable, she invited them into the excitement of her once-in-a-lifetime event. The email highlighted her journey to marriage and the bonding time with her friends, emphasizing the importance of these life moments.


Her approach was brilliantly executed, ensuring her clients didn’t feel left in the lurch during her mid-January absence. By explaining her digital detox and the presence of her dependable VA, Doreen, she managed to set clear expectations while also sharing her personal joy. This humanized her absence, making it not just a break from work but a celebration of a pivotal life chapter.


Chelsey’s email struck the perfect chord between personal celebration and professional responsibility. By embracing this pivotal moment with such grace and openness, Chelsey turned a standard out of office email into a vibrant story of love, friendship, and celebration, leaving her clients feeling connected and genuinely happy for her to take the time off.


The Impact of a Well-Crafted OOO


A well-crafted out of office email does more than notify others of your absence; it fosters stronger connections, brings a smile to the reader's face, and enhances your personal brand. It's a small yet impactful way to show you're more than just a work machine - you're a person with a life full of rich experiences. By setting clear expectations for your availability, you also demonstrate respect for others' time and needs while ensuring your own peace of mind during your time off.


Key Elements to Include in Your OOO:


·    Your Return Date: Let recipients know when you’ll be back and available.

·    Emergency Contact: Provide an alternative contact for urgent matters.

·    A Personal Touch: Add a snippet about your plans or a light-hearted comment.

·    Professional Tone: Keep it friendly yet professional.

·    Gratitude or Well Wishes: A thank you or a positive note to leave a good impression.

·    Brief and To-the-Point: Be concise but informative.


Incorporating these elements into your out of office email will not only set clear boundaries but also add a dash of joy and personal connection to an otherwise routine communication.


How to Craft Your Unique OOO with ChatGPT


Now, how about we get you started crafting your own unforgettable out of office email? With ChatGPT, you can add that personal zest to your message effortlessly. Start by reflecting on what you want your out of office email to convey – is it the excitement of a particular company conference, the tranquility of a break, or just a fun twist on routine auto-replies? Share your thoughts with ChatGPT, and it'll help weave your ideas into a delightful message.


Remember, it's all about blending your unique personality with professional etiquette. So, go ahead, give it a whirl, and create an out of office email that's as fabulous as you are! With ChatGPT, you can easily mix humor, warmth, and crucial information, crafting an out of office email that leaves a lasting, positive impression. It's time to break the mold and show off a bit of your sparkle, even when you're away from your desk!  


Embrace the Joy of Every Out Office of Email


In a world where work often blends with personal life, a creatively crafted out of office email can be a breath of fresh air. It's a simple yet powerful way to infuse joy into everyday professional interactions. So, next time you plan to step away, whether for a holiday, a special occasion, or just some much-needed downtime, remember to add a touch of 'you' to your OOO message. It's these small details that make work life a little brighter and more human.


By the way, have you written a fun out of office email? I encourage you to add it to the comments below – I would love to be inspired by it. Just make sure to “X” out your personal details like your full name, email address, company name, and phone number. There’s no need to give those cyber goblins easy access to your life!


To continue on this path of personal and professional growth, I invite you to sign up for our Happiness Newsletter. Twice a month, you'll receive a dose of inspiration, practical tips, and insights to help you nurture a happier work-life. Let these newsletters be your guide and companion in making each day at work more enjoyable and meaningful.


Don't wait for happiness to find you; take the initiative to create it. Sign up now, and let's embark on this journey together, with a dose of happiness delivered right to your email.



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