If you know you’re going to be out of the office for any length of time you should set up an Automatic Reply that will let colleagues and Clients know how long you will be away for and possibly who to contact in your absence. If you’re using Outlook 2010 (or later) you can even send a different message to colleagues and Clients.
In Outlook, click the File menu and then click the Automatic Replies button.
The Automatic Replies dialog box will be displayed. If an Automatic Reply is not currently being sent the ‘Do not send automatic replies’ option will be selected.
Click the ‘Send automatic replies’ option – you will now be able to enter your message.
If you only want the message to be sent during certain dates and times you can tick the ‘Only send during this time range’ and then specify the date and time range.
Click the ‘Inside My Organization’ tab and enter the text you want to be sent to colleagues, click the ‘Outside My Organization’ tab and enter the text you want to be sent to Clients (and any other external email addresses) – everything you type on either tab will be sent to the email originator when an email is received in your Inbox.
If you don’t want to send an external Automatic Reply, remove the tick from the ‘Auto-reply to people outside my organisation’.
Once you’ve completed both tabs click OK. If Automatic Replies are being sent a notification message will be displayed at the top of the Home ribbon. You can quickly turn off the Automatic Reply by clicking the Turn off button.