I thought this HBR article had some interesting ideas for Entrepreneurial Businesses - rather than set a generic 'out of office' message why not see it as an opportunity to connect with customers, contacts and colleagues? Michelle Gielan framed it in a really neat way
- share the meaning for why you are away from the office (this is a great conversation starter for the next time you connect);
- share a resource that your audience will appreciate (whether an interesting/ useful article or the best person for them to contact in your absence) and;
- customise your message (for internal and external audiences).
Let your 'out of office' reflect your business's brand and values.
Sharing a small piece of information about you, your trip, or your company’s product or service can serve to deepen a business relationship or the connection a client feels toward your company. Research finds that social connection, which adds meaning and depth to our relationships, is the greatest predictor of long-term levels of happiness, and can be a major contributing factor to our performance at work. When people feel positively linked to us, they are more likely to want to do business with us, and will be more likely to want to figure out solutions to problems together. Connection comes from feeling like you really know someone.