Jobs: Take care with those out of office emails

editorial image

A GREAT out of office email can have a positive effect on relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers, reveals a new report.

But a survey by office products company Staples UK found spelling or grammatical errors in messages can leave a lasting negative impression, with 65 per cent of people saying they would see this as ‘shoddy’ and ‘have no faith’ in the sender.

Some 58 per cent of office workers said they felt irritated and wouldn’t do business with people who took annual leave and failed to leave any out of office message at all as it showed a lack of professionalism and care.

But Staples UK says there is a way absence can help a business when it comes to emails.

Amee Chande, Staples UK MD, said: “People read out of office more often than you think. Beyond the basics, why not take the opportunity to communicate your own personality or that of your company by being creative, humorous and thoughtful.”

The survey also found 46 per cent of UK businessmen and women named rude or abrupt out of office message as one of the biggest workplace irritations.

Despite the need to keep clients and co-workers informed, a majority of companies have no policy on out of office emails, with 52 per cent of business workers left to their own devices and 18 per cent never bothering to use the option at all.

The Staples Business Report was carried out by ONEPoll of 1,000 respondents, in July.

It also revealed a list of grievances when it comes to emails, including kisses and smiley faces on emails to clients, terms of endearment to clients such as ‘honey’ or ‘dear’, abbreviations such as ‘OMG’, cheesy lines such as ‘Happy Friday’ and asking clients about plans for the weekend.