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If you work with clients, you know that taking time off—whether for vacation, for being sick, or even to travel for work—can get tricky. Throw in a client (or several) who’s extra demanding, and suddenly that time away has you feeling anxious and checking your inbox every 10 seconds (even though you swore you’d unplug).

The key to salvaging your vacation is to prepare your clients for your absence beforehand. This can be as easy mentioning when you’ll be out of office the next time you’re chatting on the phone and then following up with that information in an email late that day.

You can say something along the lines of, “I also want to let you know that from [date] to [date] I’ll be out of office for [reason]. So, if you have any concerns about your account while I’m out you can reach out to my colleague, [Name], who’s CC’d here” or “Just a reminder that I’m on vacation next week and so [Name and email address] will be reaching out to you while I’m gone.”

Of course, before you can send this information, it’s important to find a co-worker (or two) who can take over while you’re out. To be respectful of your colleagues’ time, make sure you’ve covered all urgent matters before you leave and let them know what clients they should be aware of—thus leaving them only with the task of handling any emergencies or unexpected requests that pop up.

Once that’s set, all that’s left is crafting an OOO message. It might look something like this:


Thank you for your email. I’m currently out of office for [reason] and will be returning [date].

Until then, you can reach out to the following people for any immediate concerns:

For [specialty], contact [Name] at [email address]
For [specialty], contact [Name] at [email address]
For [specialty], contact [Name] at [email address]

Or, if it’s urgent, please respond with URGENT in the subject line and I’ll make sure to get to it as soon as I return.

Thank you!

[Your Name]

If you’re feeling super productive, you could throw in something along the lines of:

While you’re here, check out this awesome video we just created for [Client’s Name]: [link] or To keep you entertained while I’m gone, here’s some more information on [one of your products]: [link].

This can be a great (and easy) way to educate clients, keep them informed on the latest company updates, and maybe inspire them to want to invest in other products—and .

Now you can sit back and relax knowing that your clients are covered no matter what—and actually enjoy your time off.

Updated 6/19/2020