With the wide adoption of the Internet and systems like email and social media, it’s become widely expected that many businesses are more or less available 24/7. When you receive an email the sender expects a prompt response and many deserve one. The problem comes when you go on vacation and emails sit unanswered for days or even weeks. One common courtesy is to set an automatic reply for when you will be out of the office. Luckily, for users of Office 365’s Outlook Web App, this is easy to put in place.
Here is an overview of the different types of automatic reply available for the Outlook Web App and how to set a response up.
About auto reply
If you are going to be out of the office for an extended period and likely won’t be checking your email, setting an auto reply makes sense. Outlook’s auto replies are highly customizable and can be set up quickly and easily.
When you set an auto reply, you are able to pick the length of time it is active for, who will receive the message (either internal, external, or all contacts), and even schedule the reminder to turn off automatically.
Setting an auto reply
If you are going to be away or not checking your email you can set an auto reply by:
- Logging into the Outlook Web App portal on your Web browser. This will either be mail.office365.com or mail.yourcompany.com.
- Clicking on Options which is located in the right, above your emails, followed by Tell people you’re on vacation.
- Selecting Send automatic replies and set a start and end time for your reply.
- Entering a message you would like to send to your contacts when they email you. It is best to keep your message short, saying you will be out of the office and stating the time and dates you will be gone, as well as who the sender should contact should they need emergency help.
- OPTIONAL: Ticking Send automatic reply message to external contacts if you want the message to be sent to contacts who are not part of your organization.
- OPTIONAL: Entering a message in the body that you want people who email you from outside the organization to receive.
- Clicking Save followed by My mail to return to the main Inbox.
If you use auto reply, it is advisable to always set a start and end date and time, as this will ensure that the reply will not be sent while you are in the office and causes confusion for all concerned, as well as making you look unprofessional. If you don’t set these dates the automatic reply will also start as soon as you hit save. Looking to learn more about the Outlook Web App or any of the other Office 365 programs? Why not call us, we can give you the lowdown and some valuable tips.