Farewell Out Of Office Message Auto-Reply Samples

So you've said your farewells and it's time to pack up your desk before getting escorted out.

While you're there, you might as well create an out of office message to any hapless person that missed out on the news of your leaving.

Let them find out the impersonal way that you left.

final screen message

Some tips:

  • Think about whether you want to leave a forwarding email, which is helpful for dealing with any loose ends you forgot about, in the excitement of leaving.

  • Think about a soon-to-be-ex-colleague that really could do with some extra enquiries forwarded their way (call it 'paying it forward').

  • If you can, include the sender's original message in the automatic reply, to help them 'unsubscribe' you of any list or to remind them about their enquiry, which can be forwarded to someone more suitable.

  • Think about your tone and mood - you don't know who'll be getting these out of office auto reply emails so be mindful of the impression you make.   Think of the boss, the CEO, a colleague you like, family members, clients you like.  That said, there are some bridge-burner examples below to tempt you!

  • Get the time and date right for when the automatic emails start - you could choose the the moment that you actually leave the office, or some cheeky people choose an hour or two before they leave, saying that they are busy handing over or wrapping up to deal with customers or other colleagues.  They are still able to check the emails they do get anyway, to reply properly to if they want to.

  • Note that the poaching email does not have any other contact details other than the leaver's - this is to try and funnel all enquiries to the leaver as part of the poaching plan!  More tips here.

Short Automatic Replies

Subject: John Whatsisname no longer works at [insert company].

I appreciate your attempt to connect with me today, but unfortunately I am no longer available at this email, or organization.
If you need immediate assistance, please contact [insert name and email].
Thank you and goodbye,
John Whatsisname

Subject: Out of Office [Auto-subject from sender's email inserted].

Thank you for your email.  I am no longer with [company name]. Please direct enquiries to [insert name and email] or [insert name and email].

I can be contacted at [email]. 


Subject: Out of Office.

After X enjoyable years, I do not work at [company] any more.  Please contact [insert name and email] for enquiries relating to [subjects], or myself at [email] for personal matters.

Best wishes,

John Whatsisname

Auto-Reply on Retirement

Subject: John Whatsisname has retired!

If you are seeing this message, it is because I’m retired and having the time of my life.
I may be out gardening, or fishing, or on a well-earned Caribbean cruise with my wife. Something you can look forward to when you’ve reached my status and vintage.
Of course I’ll still be glad to hear from you – try me at this email: [insert email].
For any work-related enquiries, try [insert email].
Thank you and farewell!
John Whatsisname

Subject: Out of Office [Auto-subject from sender's email inserted].

John Whatsisname has retired.  Please contact [insert name and email] for enquiries relating to [subjects], or myself at [email] for personal matters.  Thank you to my colleagues and clients for your support over the years.

Best wishes,

John Whatsisname

Trying To Poach Clients Without Looking Obvious

Subject: John Whatsisname is at a new email address.

Thank you for contacting me here at Jones Consulting Group.
I understand how important it is for you to get the information and services that you need, however, I am no longer with Jones Consulting.

I apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause you, and I want you to know that I can help you rectify this if you contact me on the email or phone number below.

If you have any questions regarding our previous business together; if you need me to direct you to someone who can help you at Jones consulting; or if you would like to continue our conversation, please don’t hesitate to contact me at JohnWhatsisname@Whatsisnameconsulting.com, or by phone at [number].

Thank you for your email.
John Whatsisname

[LinkedIn address]

Burning Bridges Auto Reply Emails 
(not recommended)

Subject: Take this email off your list.

Hello there,
If you are reading this, it is because John Whatsisname cannot help you – he has left the company and no longer uses this email address.
So now this email is working overtime with the flood of enquiries, spam, well-wishes, and broken hearts.
Please take this email off your contact list or address book.

Sorry for the bother.

Subject: I am self-medicating.

Have you ever had one of those most amazing kind of days; the kind of day that you will remember when you are old and gray and telling your grandchildren stories?
Well, I seem to have those days quite often. In fact, if you’re seeing this message, it’s probably because I’m having one of those kinds of days today, and I’m not going to respond to your message.
I’m so glad not to have to work at [insert company] any more that I am literally high on life.
My last day was [date], of which I’ll be celebrating future anniversaries.
If you need any help, I'm sure that contacting anyone else in the company will also be a waste of time.
Good luck!

John Whatsisname

Subject: Whistleblowing an unethical company.

I no longer work at this company due to the misalignment with advertised company values and actual practice.  

I apologise for this blunt email, yet feel I must warn customers and   shareholders to divest yourself of any interests you hold in this company as the **** is about to hit the fan.

Good luck,

John Whatsisname

Have you sent a proper farewell email to the whole office, thanking everyone and wishing them well?  

Or would you rather entertain yourself with reading angry voices of dissent?

Have fun!

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