Setting up effective out-of-office messages can significantly support your wellbeing by creating boundaries between work and personal life.

Consider the following examples:

“I’m currently out of the office on annual leave, returning X date, I will get back to you as soon as I can. If urgent please call me on my mobile.”
You’re on holiday but will be regularly checking your work emails and responding to work calls


“I’m currently out of the office on annual leave, returning X date. I will not be checking my emails. If urgent please contact colleague’s email or phone number.”
You’re on holiday but don’t have to worry about checking your work emails or responding to work calls

Research regularly cites that many of us struggle to switch off from work whilst on annual leave. We know that we need to allow ourselves to fully switch off to reduce fatigue and risk of burnout in the long run. Here’s how:

1. Combat Burnout: Recent findings from The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health (GBC), highlighted 55% of UK employees are dealing with ongoing mental health issues or have faced them in the past. 68% of Gen Z and 60% of Millennials acknowledging current or past mental health challenges. 85% of neurodivergent individuals, 77% of those with disabilities and 62% of LGBTQIA+ employees reporting such struggles. Work-related stress is a significant factor, 45% of UK workers citing stress at work and 28% saying their workload undermines their mental health. Mental health issues also directly impact workplace performance, leading to reduced productivity, motivation, and increased desire to quit among affected employees.

2. Create Boundaries: With emails and messages so easily accessible on phones or laptops 24/7 it can be difficult to switch off from checking through these, even though you are supposed to be on holiday. Particularly for those working on a hybrid or remote basis boundary lines can become increasingly blurred.

3. Prioritize Mental Health: By setting clear guidelines on the duration you will be absent, whether you can or can’t be contacted or who can be contacted in your absence it allows you the opportunity to control how responsive and available you are able to be during your period of leave. It may not always be possible to delegate to a colleague, but it is vital to allow yourself time off to unwind and destress, to not always be available and allow time to enjoy life outside of work.

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