“We’re all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two.”
So sang the original…er…bachelor boy 😉 Cliff Richard in the 1962 pop hit and film of the same name ‘Summer Holiday’. In the sixties, seventies, eighties and the majority of the nineties, most of us did just that, take a holiday, which was a full on break from work for a week or two.
Then, in the late nineties came mobile phones, and work started to impinge on our breaks as we were easily contactable. Too easily in fact.
Fast forward to the early noughties and Blackberrys heralded 24 hour access to the internet and the onset of the connected era. But, the advantage of mobile access to the internet meant people couldn’t switch off, or weren’t expected to switch off. The launch of the iPhone in 2007 brought the Smartphone era and with it social media. Things got even worse.
The graph below pretty sums up the most people’s holidays these days.
But, help may be at hand. A backlash has started. There is a movement, led by the most-forwarding thinking companies in the tech sector, as most things are these days, where staff are also taking an ’email holiday’. Yes email holidays are now a thing, as in a proper old school holidays like Sir Cliff used to have.
Case in point, one of our customer’s out of office response this summer read “I am on holiday until the 18th July, 2016. When I return all unread emails in my in-box will be deleted. Please email when I am back. If your enquiry is urgent then please contact my colleague….”.
What a great out of office message. It makes so much sense. Any urgent emails shouldn’t be waiting about in their in-box, they should be handled by a colleague in their absence.
Anything that’s not urgent can be delayed sent, so that it arrives when they are back. Plus there’ll be a load of Spam that its not worth trawling through. When you are back from holiday you need to get into the swing of things as soon as possible, so no one has time to sit sifting through two weeks of emails. So just delete the lot and start again. If anyone has issues then it’s their own fault for reading the Out Of Office message properly.
If you do come across an out of office message like this and don’t want to forget to send the email when the person is back then here is how to send a delayed an email Gmail (other emails have similar procedures).