Remember to leave an out-of-office message so everyone knows you're away counting tiny fingers and toes
Babies can bring so much joy into your life - and a lot of work, too! You can minimize some of this work by ensuring you're not being bombarded by work emails and voicemails when you're busy changing diapers. Having an out-of-office message automatically available to people who contact you while you're on maternity or paternity leave can also allow them to leave well-wishes, congratulations, and support.
It's simple to set up maternity leave out-of-office messages on your email and voicemail, but the simplicity of it also means that it's forgotten a lot. In order to help you check something off your massive to-do list, we've compiled 10 professional maternity leave out-of-office messages that let your coworkers and clients know you're temporarily unavailable.
Staying connected vs work-life balance
The concept that new parents get very little sleep is 100% true! Sleep-deprived nights require that you establish clear boundaries between work and life as you welcome a new little bundle into your family.
Your work may be something that you're passionate about, so leaving it for the amount of time you're allowed might give you some anxiety. You may even be in the middle of a massive project, and feel guilty pushing off on your coworkers to stay home with the little one.
That anxiety and guilt may compel you to keep an eye on things even through the haze of exhaustion. Finding that balance may be overwhelming, especially with how easy it is to work from home in most roles, but if you can do it then you'll be able to fully embrace the joys of parenthood without compromising your professional well-being.
What should you write on a maternity leave out-of-office message?
One of the most crucial things to remember is that you want your maternity leave out-of-office message to be personal as well as professional. Writing a canned message with stuffy language isn't going to get the attention it needs and could be deleted before the recipient of your out-of-office email reads all of it. This could cause a problem, especially if part of your out-of-office message contains critical information, like who to contact while you're out.
Additionally, personalizing it adds a human touch that fosters a positive connection with your recipient. You don't want to be gone for 12 weeks of maternity leave and come back to clients or coworkers who are distant because they perceived your out-of-office message as a generic formality – something you threw together at the last second without a thought for how it would be received.
What should I write on my maternity leave out-of-office reply?
What should you include in your maternity out-of-office message? Here are the things to include:
Out-of-office subject line
A thank you greeting
An acknowledgment of your absence (and when it ends)
Whether you'll be checking your emails and how frequently
What people should do in the event they have something urgent
10 sample maternity leave out-of-office messages
Before you head off on your journey of bottles and bouncy seats, take a moment to figure out what you want people to see or hear when they email you or call you while you're out. This is also the time to consider whether you want people to know you're on maternity leave or if you want to be more private about the reason you're not around. You're under no obligation to tell people why you are taking time off.
Don't forget, though, that you need maternity out-of-office messages for your email and your voicemail. With that said, here are five examples of each type of out-of-office message:
Sample maternity leave out-of-office messages for your email
Your email out-of-office messages can range from cute to funny to professional, depending on your personality. The key thing to remember is that you need to write in a way that allows you to create a seamless transition from you being in the office to you being away. You do that by keeping your recipient in mind. Think about your relationships with the people who'll get your emails and use the types of interactions you normally have with them to shape your maternity leave out-of-office messages.
Email maternity leave out-of-office message example 1:
Subject: Welcoming a new addition
Your email has been received; however, I am unavailable as we are welcoming a new addition to our family.
I will be taking the next few weeks off to cherish precious moments. During this time, my email won't be checked. I know that can be frustrating, but I really appreciate your understanding. If you have something that must be attended to right now, please feel free to reach out to [name] and [email address].
If your message can be tended to when I return on [date], please reach out to me again at that time. I look forward to reconnecting when I return.
Email maternity leave out-of-office message example 2:
Subject: Short absence for major milestone
Thank you for reaching out, it's always a pleasure to hear from you. I'm going to be out of the office until [return date] and won't be able to respond to your message. But, because your email is important to me, I made sure to set up a secondary contact for you during my time away.
Please reach out to [name] at [email]. He will be able to assist you until I return.
Email maternity leave out-of-office message example 3:
Subject: Maternity leave notice – weekly check-ins
It's so nice to hear from you. The stork has dropped off my little bundle of joy, so I am unavailable to immediately respond to your message. However, I will be checking emails each Friday at 3:00 p.m.
If you need assistance before Friday, please reach out to [name] at [email]. Weekly email checks will return to normal when I return to the office on [date].
Your understanding is greatly appreciated and I wish you the best day possible.
Email maternity leave out-of-office message example 4:
Subject: Short sabbatical
I hope this message finds you doing well. Until [date], I am taking a brief sabbatical from work and won't be checking my emails. Fear not, though, because I understand that some things can't wait until I get back so I have arranged an alternate contact while I'm away.
If your message requires immediate attention, feel free to reach out to [name] at [email]. They know that I'm away and can help you. On the other hand, if you can wait until I return, go ahead and reach back out to me on [date] and I will get back to you then.
Thank you so much for your patience, you can't imagine how important it is to me at this time.
Email maternity leave out-of-office message example 5:
Subject: Out of Office Until [Date] to Work on Special Project
Thank you for emailing me! Right now, I'm deeply involved in a crucial project that is taking me away from regularly responding to emails. The end date for this project is [date]. In the meantime, if you have an urgent matter that requires immediate attention, please contact [name] at [email]. They know to expect some of my more urgent messages and will be able to help you.
I appreciate your understanding and will get back to you as soon as possible.
Sample maternity out-of-office messages for your voicemail
It's understandable that, if you're going to receive emails that you can't respond to, you might also have people leaving voicemails that will need immediate attention. Therefore, don't forget to create a maternity out-of-office message for people to hear when they call you.
Voicemail maternity leave out-of-office message example 1:
Hi there! I apologize for missing your call – I'm on diaper-changing duty until [date] and am not available to return your call. While there is someone who'll be checking my voicemails, the response time may be delayed. If your matter is urgent, please contact [name] at [phone number]. Thank you for your understanding, I hope you have a great day.
Voicemail maternity leave out-of-office message example 2:
Hi, you've reached the desk of [your name]. I'm on maternity leave, enjoying that new-baby smell. I'll be checking voicemails weekly; however, if you need immediate assistance, please contact [name] at [phone number]. I will return to the office on [date] and appreciate your patience during my absence. Please have the best day possible and I look forward to reconnecting upon my return.
Voicemail maternity leave out-of-office message example 3:
Hello, thank you for calling. I'm sorry that I'm not here at the moment. I'll be out of the office until [date] and have requested [name] to check my voicemails in my absence. If you need urgent assistance, you can reach out to them at [phone number]. Thank you for your understanding, I hope you have a wonderful day.
Voicemail maternity leave out-of-office message example 4:
Hi there, thank you for calling! I'm immersed in a project that is taking me away from my phone. Because of this, I won't be able to immediately respond to your call. Please leave a detailed message and I'll get back to you within [timeframe]. If you require help right now, please feel free to reach out to [name] at [phone number]. Thank you for your understanding. I hope you have a great day!
Voicemail maternity leave out-of-office message example 5:
Hello, you've reached [your name]. I'm currently out of the office until [date], but will be checking voicemails weekly. I'll return calls in the order I receive them, prioritizing the most urgent. If you need help more quickly, I have a backup helping me out. Please feel free to contact [name] at [phone number] during my absence. Thank you, I appreciate your understanding and patience.
Personal joy fused with professionalism
Expecting a new addition to your family can be a stressful time, with a long to-do list of things to get your home and your office ready. It can be easy to overlook leaving maternity out-of-office messages, but doing so will cement how much of a professional you are while giving you peace of mind that your work is being handled while you're away. Ticking this item off your list allows you to exude professionalism that extends beyond the personal joy that defines this chapter of your life.
Your career journey involves a lot of professional narratives that you'll have to navigate to ensure success! If you'll be looking for a new position when your maternity leave ends, we can help by offering you a free resume review to make sure you're prepared.