Happy New Year, and welcome back to the working world (sigh). As I’ve gotten back to business, I’ve noticed one thing that I find quite irksome: the fact that people aren’t using the auto-responders on their email appropriately!
When I go away on vacation, or am away from the office with limited access to email for any reason, I make a point of setting my email auto-responder so that anyone who tries to get in touch will know that I am out of pocket. I will mention the date when I am back in the office and will try to give an emergency contact. When I get back, I immediately switch off the auto-responder so that there is no confusion as to whether or not I’m answering emails.
But as I’ve been getting back into the swing of things for 2013, I’ve noticed that quite a few people neglect to set their auto-responders, but never respond to me, leaving me to wonder if they’re still on vacation or just being lazy. One contact finally got back to me and explained that he’d been away, but his auto-responder was never set up. If it had been, I probably could have found an alternate number for one of his colleagues who could have helped me with the issue I was having.
I don’t mind people being on vacation—it’s great! But don’t leave town without making it clear to clients and colleagues that you’re away, when you’ll be back, and who they can contact in your absence. The world doesn’t stop just because you’re off on a ski holiday!