I have always been annoyed quite a bit by automatic Out of Office messages. This summer was no exception. So here are my top reasons for not doing it.
- Nobody cares about your trip is Egypt really! If I am sending you an email, I am not on vacations. Do you really want to piss me off?
- Email is an asynchronous media. Nobody should expect a synchronous response. If you don't answer a message, a) you are not there b) you don't care: in both cases, there is no point in knowing you are having a good time with uncle Bobby by the lake.
- You pollute mailing lists. When someone, who probably don't even know you, send a message to a mailing list you are a member of, what do you think happen? He receives your vacations post card. Oh and since you are not the only one, he receives vacations cards from 20 other bozos as well.
- People forget to disable the out of office message. When you receive a message claiming a person is meant to be back 4 days ago, you wonder if he has been fired or is dead.
- Don't reply or send emails when you are in Out of Office Reply. There is nothing more frustrating than being asked a question by mail, reply within 5 minutes and receive a message like "I will not have access to my emails this week"
Please don't overuse this tool. If you need to set that kind of message, it means your organization has flaws.