Team Zeus Blog

Motivational musings from Mount Olympus and beyond.


“Say ‘Goodbye’ to Auto Reply emails when you go on holidays and say ‘Hello’ to more transparency with the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ Status”

Before going on a holiday, like most people, you will be busy finishing all the remaining tasks left on your to-do list and creating a handover so that work can be handled by colleagues during your absence.

Before their vacation even starts, the idea of having to come back to an overloaded inbox on their return causes anxiety for most office workers. For this reason, some may prefer to access their email whilst they are away, so they can manage their inbox as emails arrive. What workaholics may not understand though is the true meaning of a ‘holiday’ and how detrimental it can be to not fully switch off – holidays should be a time to rest!

Many people opt for setting up an automatic ‘out of office’ (OoO) reply, so that when people send them an email, the sender is notified of the recipient’s absence and will know when they are returning. However, though this option may seem practical, we would recommend to refrain from using this feature.

Here are the many reasons why we would advise against using an automatic ‘OoO’ response:


Despite the fact that an ‘OoO’ reply cleverly informs people who are emailing you that you are unreachable for the time being, this doesn’t actually stop new people from sending you an email. Thus, the auto reply will only discourage the same sender from sending further emails until you come back to the office.


Additionally, out of all the emails you receive on a daily basis, only a small percentage will be relevant to you as you have to ignore spam, sales email and emails that were sent to you via a list that you were incorrectly added into. Therefore, not all the emails in your inbox will require a response from you, meaning that the ‘OoO’ reply is unnecessary as a blanket solution.


One of the risks of applying the auto-reply function is that it will confirm to spammers that your email address is active. As a consequence, you are facing the possibility of being added to other unwanted mailing lists, which will multiply the amount of spam that is sent to your email address.


Finally, people often make the mistake of providing too much information in their ‘OoO’ email, which could be re-used to carry out Social Engineering Attacks. Elements such as your precise location, your private contact details and the name and email address of a work colleague to whom enquiries can be relayed are all valuable data for cyber criminals. For instance, they could send a convincing message to your colleague, using the data you provided in your auto-reply to achieve their devious goals and cause damage to your company.

But what if there was a better solution to the OoO automated reply?



Team Zeus provides a more effective alternative to the Out-of-Office automated reply for internal use: the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ online user status. Team Zeus users can notify their colleagues that they are away on holidays with only a few clicks, simply by changing their online status to ‘Vacation’.

The ‘Vacation’ user status displays a blue circle under your profile picture, enabling other users to see at a glance that you are on leave – providing more transparency. As a result, this eliminates the need for your teammates to send you shot-in-the-dark messages and it also reduces noise on your Team Zeus account.

Furthermore, when you select the vacation status, you are prompted to select the date and time of your return, so your colleagues know when you are back and will not disturb you during your break.


Unlike the ‘OoO’ reply, the Team Zeus ‘Vacation’ status doesn’t put your security at risk as all data is encrypted at source on Team Zeus and access is limited to staff only.

But what should you do as far as external communication is concerned? A more secure and professional approach to using the ‘OoO’ reply would be to send a personal email to clients with whom you correspond, providing them with the name of a person they can contact when you are away, as well as the contact details for that person.

Last but not least, Team Zeus provides plenty of other solutions to help you enjoy a stress-free holiday this summer, read the following article to uncover all of them: 9 tips for using Team Zeus to ease back into work after a holiday.

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