Thursday, June 2, 2011

When will "Out of the Office" automated emails become obsolete?

What does it mean anymore to be "out of the office"?

Has it already become unacceptable to set up your email to send that automated "out of the office" response?  Will it become unacceptable sometime soon?

Already I'm a little surprised when I see these automated responses.  You mean, you are so far away you aren't even checking email?  My response is a mixture of 1) surprise; 2) respect for the other person setting some boundaries in their life; and 3) annoyance that they are setting boundaries and not checking their email.

If you are just taking the day off at the beach, will your work colleagues, vendors, customers expect you to respond anyway? At least to urgent requests?  At least forward urgent requests to the right person?

How far away do you have to go to be considered "out of the office"?

Perhaps in the future it will only be acceptable if you add some justification: "I'm currently out of the office, hiking in the wilderness, out of cellphone range and unable to charge my smartphone in any case."

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