DOD’s blog: Am I really that out of date?

Time to save the holiday out-of-office email reply

I am a bit of a fan of the Lucy Kellaway problem column in the Financial Times, but this Wednesday’s one really threw me.

Her view was that using an out-of-office autoreply for your emails while away on holiday was “so 1990s”. These days, she explained, you should check your work emails while on holiday and reply to the most urgent/important.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Holidays are a benefit given to all staff (by law a minimum of 20 days plus bank holidays) so we can have a proper break, and not a breakdown.

I know the lines between work and play are increasingly blurred and I am more than happy to work/play like that. But at least once a year I need a complete break from everythng to do with work.

In fact, don’t we all?

Very few of us in paid employment is so crucial to our business that all will crumble if we disappear for a well-earned break.

I am hugely privileged to work with an excellent team where everyone can cover for others, and the chance to do so is an opportunity to develop skills and experience.

So my out-of-office autoreply policy might be 1990s, but I believe it is sending a good business message, not a bad one.

My campaign to save the out-of-office autoreply starts here.

Debi O’Donovan
Employee Benefits

Twitter: @DebiODonovan