How to Leave a Vacation Message on Work Voice Mail

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When it's finally time for you to take a well deserved vacation from work, it's important to make sure the reason you're away is no mystery to co-workers, clients and the like. The easiest way to let everyone know you're out for a brief sojourn is to leave a vacation message on your work voice mail. A good vacation message will very briefly explain that you are out of the office, indicate for how long and provide contact information for a person, place or service that can help in your absence. But that message won't do any good if you don't know how to put it on your voice mail. Here's a general guide for even the most technologically challenged to ensure that you get that voice mail right.

  • Access the voice mail box on your work phone, either by hitting the voice mail button, entering the voice mail extension number or other method of accessing your voice mail given to you. If and when prompted, enter your password.

  • Listen to the options given to you. Different voice mail systems can offer different options, but listen to prompts for "personal options," "voice mail options" or options that ask if you would like to record or change your greeting. Most often, the voice mail editing features are found under "personal options."

  • Select the option that enables you to change your voice mail greeting. Listen to the prompts, and at the beep begin speaking to leave your vacation message. Be sure to indicate the span of time you will be on vacation and when you will return.

  • Press the pound (#) key to activate your new greeting. To make sure it is working, either call your work phone from a cell phone or access your voice mail box again to play the assigned greeting.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid any confusion, be sure to switch back to a more generic greeting once you return from vacation.
  • When giving the time span that you will be on vacation, include specific dates, such as "Monday, October 13 to Friday, October 17" instead of just saying "Monday through Friday."
  • Be sure to leave contact information for a person who might be able to help in your absence, such as a secretary or coworker.
  • Make sure your voice mail is working properly to ensure your co-workers are not under the impression that you are still at work. Just in case, program your work email to automatically reply with a message detailing the dates you will be out of the office.
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