Paul Hebert is one of my favorite writers here at FOT. He wrote this piece suggesting out of office emails are a subtle sign of disengagement.
I’m going to encourage you to keep using them. I use them. Usually by the time I use them, it’s for an extended break, like Thanksgiving. I’m usually at the point where I need a digital shut-down. I still check in, I can’t help myself. And my boss knows it, my team knows it. They know I’m the goof-ball sitting at Starbucks at 5 am answering emails. But I like knowing I’ve set the expectation that I am away. And I’m not looking at email. And I’d like you to go ahead and stay on the “out of office” party train AND I’d like you to drop in Cindy Lou’s name and job title as my alternate contact while you’re away.
Shoot, give me three people, especially if they all are handling different components of your job. That happens.
Why? Why would I be happy to get those? They’re what I refer to as a “tier 2” search strategy. After I’ve done my initial searching and dropped my first round of contact emails, I may need another resource.
And your out of office emails giving me a name, and title, are just perfect.
So thank you. And don’t listen to Hebert, he may just be giving you advice that protects your organization from the likes of me.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.