Dodging The Dangers Of Standardized 'Out Of Office' Replies

Out of office replies have long been a staple and necessary aspect of business operations. After all, letting clients know that it’ll be awhile before they hear back is better than radio silence! 

As we move deeper into the inter-connected age, though, many people are calling out the evils that can be inherent in out of office replies. As can be seen from articles like this one on, there’s a host of problems with this now-outdated system. Risks of security breaches and annoyance alone can wreak havoc if you aren’t careful. 

That’s why many companies are doing what they can to reduce the need for notifications like these. And, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can do the same. 

Incorporate improved remote processes

Image by Charlotte: CC0 License

Often, employees set up out of office notifications as soon as they step out, even if they’re attending business meetings, or traveling for other company purposes. This is because, once upon a time, being out of the office meant being largely uncontactable. But that needn’t be the case any longer. If you consider remote-working capabilities like the VoIP phone systems outlined on, then being physically out of the office needn’t prevent team members from being within easy reach. Even better, the ability to contact the employee in question on your office number ensures that out of office approaches never need to inconvenience your clients again. 

Delegate to someone else where you can

In some cases, of course, team members will be off on annual leave or trapped in meetings that altogether make them non-contactable. In this instance, delegating their incoming contacts to another member of the same team could be best. Admittedly, some clients will want to deal with just one colleague, but given the collaborative processes of most modern workforces, there’s no reason to operate in silos. By instead offering an alternative and informed point of contact, you should find the majority of clients are far more satisfied than they would be if they simply had to wait until their usual communicator returned. 

Be clear on timings

Image by Tim Mossholder: CC0 License

Given that out of office replies are most often relevant outside of work hours, it’s also worth being clear on your business timings at all costs. After all, the less ‘out of work’ messages your company has to send, the less risk of damage as a result. Instead, be sure to list timings on every ‘contact us’ listing you incorporate. As well as ensuring clients know the best times to contact you for a reply, this ensures even those who do send messages in the dead of night aren’t left expecting a reply that doesn’t come. This, alone, should reduce annoyance a great deal, thus removing much of the harm out of office messages could cause otherwise. 

Do you need to do away with OOOs altogether? Perhaps not. But, eliminating them from your processes as much as possible could certainly lead to smoother business operations, and clients that are more satisfied on the whole.

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Why Should You Start Cycling to Work?


Considering biking to work? There are so many great reasons why you should- here’s why you need to dust off your bicycle from the shed. 

Health benefits

There’s no denying the health benefits of cycling. It works out your heart and lungs giving you a great cardiovascular workout which improves endurance, and the pedal action also sculpts and tones the glutes, calves and thighs- also the arms and back to a lesser extent. It’s low impact meaning unlike jogging you won’t irritate muscles, joints or ligaments and it’s something that most people can do providing they own a bike. If you’re looking to lose weight, tone up or just improve your fitness levels then hopping on your bike and cycling to and from work is a great option to consider.

Gets your morning off to a good start

The way we start our morning can really impact the way the rest of the day seems to go. Spend your day standing waiting for late buses or on a crowded commuter train then your stress levels will probably be through the roof by the time you get into the office. Hop on your bike and take a relaxed ride to work and you’ll boost endorphins and energise yourself, providing your route isn’t overly challenging. Lots of workplaces encourage cycling to work and will let you shower once you arrive if you’re worried about turning up sweaty, speak to your manager about this. 

Eco benefits

Driving to work of course has negative impacts on the environment, you only need to take a look at any busy area at rush hour to realise just how many cars are on the road and to think of all of the pollution they’re pumping out. By cycling to work you’re doing your small bit to reduce pollution from these journeys, it might not seem much in the grand scheme of things but all any of us can do is be responsible for our own carbon footprint. As more and more people start getting on board with these kinds of things, the joint effort all adds up in a huge way to help the planet. 

A word of warningCycling has so many benefits, but it’s important to weigh up the risks too. If your route involves lots of busy roads at rush hour for example then it might not be the best option for you. It doesn’t take a trucking crash expert to realise that any collision between a bicycle and heavy vehicle is going to have disasterous consequences for the cyclist so do be careful. If it’s still dark when you leave for work your bike will need a light, wear a hi vis jacket and always wear a helmet. If your route seems especially dangerous then maybe consider other options for getting to work instead

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