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Social media is fuelling our out of office bragging

Experts aplenty have given their take on current workplace trends, predicting casual office attire and a "we" not "me" leadership mentality. Then there’s the rise of out of office bragging – didn't see that one coming, did you?
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The out of office message is usually a sober affair – quick and vague. Along the lines of: “I’m not at work, but will check my email once I return.” Sometimes the “if it’s an emergency here’s an alternative contact” line is thrown in for good measure.

Not anymore, LondonOffices.com has revealed. Having looked through an assortment of out of office messages, the team noticed a rising trend.

We’ve taken to bragging about our time off, with most details revealed when it comes to holidays, sporting events, weddings and new babies – some even attach photos. Such messages, LondonOffices claimed, were “increasingly being used to communicate to contacts how wonderful the worker’s life is.”

It hints that numerous employees don’t stop to consider who this information is sent out to – a concept LondonOffices CEO Chris Meredith discusses at length.

He places part of the blame on social media, explaining: “We are all used to seeing people share details of how incredible their lives are on social media and many of us feel a need to compete or keep up with others who seem to be leading a more perfect life than we are.

“That trend is now spilling over into business communications and the out of office message is a great example of that. People are increasingly divulging private information such as where they are going, what they will do once there and how fun it will be. But an auto-responder will send this email to everyone who drops you a line for the next two weeks.”

Of course, the company didn’t leave us empty handed. It offered a sample of auto-responses for our viewing pleasure. Here are a few:

“Thanks for the email, I’ve been very lucky and managed to get tickets to Wimbledon so won’t be back in the office now until Friday the 7th.”

“I am currently soaking up the sun and eating allllll the feta cheese in Greece.”

“I’m taking a long weekend to reorganise my stamp collection.”

“Last autumn, my wife and I started working on a little project. It got off to an exciting start; then things got a bit bumpy; but we’ve even managed to deliver on our objective two weeks early. I hope you’ll be as pleased with the results as we are… (Picture of baby) I’m off for a couple of weeks for a thorough debrief.”

“I’ve abandoned London, flown across the pond and set up camp in NYC for the summer to work for a cool magazine, drink cocktails and eat bagels.”

“I am away at a festival meditating, walking mindfully, eating lovely vegan food, meeting new and old friends, recharging and enjoying the sunflowers in France.”

“Something old, new, borrowed and blue,
My friend’s about to say ‘I do’,
So as I walk her down the aisle,
I won’t check emails for a while.”

“Here’s some news: I’ve bid adieu to this job in order to variously pursue projects of my own and to trek off to Sri Lanka for a volunteering venture.”

“I’m on a trip trying to find Komodo Dragons in Indonesia.”

Do any of these sound familiar?

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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