Pro Athlete’s Take on Out-of-Office Messages
Don’t you hate that feeling when you email someone needing something and a few seconds after you hit send on your email you receive an auto responder “out of office” message?
Yes, there are “out of office” messages that are written well, but there are also some that deserve a little scrutiny. For example, if someone sets up their “out of office” message while they are on vacation because they will not have internet access for the next two weeks. First of all, I can’t imagine too many places that have no internet access. Secondly, now the person who sent the original email might feel bad that they sent you an email while on vacation even though they didn’t remember you were on vacation.
At Pro Athlete, we are an internet company, and we know the internet never sleeps. That doesn’t mean you have to be waiting anxiously by your phone all the time, but it means that we have customers from all over the country in different times zones with different needs that shouldn’t be burdened because someone here is on vacation or unavailable. We simply like to apply that same approach to our internal operations.
Think about this. You go on vacation and set your “out of office” message to say you will get back with everyone in two weeks when you return. So if that is the case, you would be fine if the person who runs payroll at your business did the same, right? You email the Payroll Specialist to say you didn’t get paid and get an “out of office” email saying they will get you paid in two weeks when they return. It’s basically the same thing, but that never happens, right? So why is it ok the other way?
Here, we know that your phone is with you 24/7. To pretend like a vacation would be ruined if you have to answer an email or two during your downtime is pretty far fetched. We don’t expect you to do a big project proposal on vacation, but we believe it’s reasonable to respond to an email inquiry without an “out of office” email to keep that personal touch. Just let that person know you might be slightly delayed, but you’ll do your best to help them.
Please don't take this the wrong way after reading the paragraph above. We encourage our employees to take vacations and time off with our Unlimited PTO plan along with our flex-time program. We just work to make this place extra special, so if someone does need you on vacation or after hours that it never feels like a burden, in fact, it feels kind of good knowing you get the chance to help someone. That's all we are saying with this. If you build it right, it won't feel like work or a burden to help someone when you are doing something else.
We know a lot of people and companies use the “out of office” method for communication, and we are fine with it. At Pro Athlete, it just doesn’t make as much sense or fit into the way we do business. Our motto for our JustBats.com website is “Always there for you FROM CLICK TO HIT,” and we want to carry that out with our vendors and partners as well.