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Excuse me if someone else has already asked this; I didn't see anything discussion on this topic, and my search didn't turn anything up.

I appreciated the rules and admonitions regarding an updated voicemail message. I'm having trouble feeling comfortable leaving all of that information. I'm just very nervous announcing to any stranger that may call me that I'm away from home and it's probably vacant for the next two weeks.

Why isn't this a legitimate concern? 

tlhausmann's picture

Your concern is legitimate and don't forget the goal for the voice mail greeting is to advance work processes.

Your greeting could instead indicate you are traveling on business and to (1) contact your assistant, or (2) contact co-worker, or (3) call your cell number and provide the number [examples--don't use all three in your greeting!].  Brief your assistant or co-worker to never divulge that you are going to be out for two weeks or whatever. Instead prepare them with guidelines on which calls/messages ought to be relayed to you when on the road.

What *I* want to avoid are situations where someone calls me for information or desires action--and then proceeds to call every person in the department until someone picks up the phone. That's ineffective--that is why for urgent matters we have an established protocol.

TNoxtort's picture

I am glad you posted this. Our company also has policies on out of the office E-mails / voice mails. They have instructed us NOT to list when we will come back, for the safety reasons. Furthermore, they have asked us NOT to list contact names or project names on these out of office responders for fear of revealing too much information. The only person we are to list is the admin.

In that way, people know I'm not responding back anytime soon. If necessary, they can call the admin, who has my cell number or can direct them to the right person. Luckily for me, I'm low enough that no one needs me on an urgent basis.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Use phrases like - I am working off site instead of I am traveling.  While I hear your concern, I also think the odds of a random house burglar/sociopath randomly calling a professional work place and getting your voice mail specifically when you are traveling on business is pretty remote. 

GlennR's picture

My voice mail contains the following:

Press 1# if you want to bypass my outgoing message which contains:

  • my schedule for the week (in or out of the office. I never say where I'm traveling or if I'm traveling out of town
  • how to access another human being so that the caller doesn't get trapped in voice jail.
  • how you can email if I'm working outside the office. If I'm flying or visiting with customers, I'll say something like, "I have limited access to voice and email."

I always endeavor to keep my tone warm, friendly and professional.