Today I sent out an email blast for my Association through our Groupsite.com email blast feature. Naturally, I started received all sorts of ‘Out of Office’ and Autoreply messages back and it made me think about when the last time was I used Out of Office.
With access to Blackberry (with all my accounts on it) and now iPad (with all my accounts on it) and a commitment to being online to learn, share and communicate every day, I now realise I only have to use my Out of Office once a year when I am on the family camping trip and in my Internet-free zone.
I am not sure I am a huge fan of the autoreply message either. If you share your email address for people to use, surely there is an implied or explicit commitment to retrieving the message and responding to it? A friend of mine makes it absolutely clear if you leave a VM for him that he will reply within the next 24 hours so at least I know where I stand and can make other arrangements or enquiries.
Some have accused me of always working when I respond to emails or messages a strange hours or when I am travelling or holidaying. Really, I am a keen communicator and I use Email, LinkedIn, Twitter regularly and learn so much from my network online that it is only right I respond and contribute all the time.
With 21st century tools provided to me I don’t think it is too much to ask that I use them effectively.