Template Toolbox | Out of Office for Maternity, Paternity, New Parent Leave

woman kissing baby

When you’re preparing for maternity, paternity, or new parent leave, there’s a lot to get through, to say the least. You have projects to transition, loose ends to tie up, calls to make, budgets and reports to finalize, and short-term transition plans to draft. It can start to feel like you’re leaving your job, but with even more pressure to ensure that everything is left nice and neat. And since you likely have 100 things on your to-do list already, let us help you by offering these two simple templates for your pending leave.

But before we get to the templates, here are the main points to cover no matter the length of your leave or your plans for how connected you’ll stay during that period:

  • Leave end date (or thereabouts)
  • Contact information for a variety of questions/items (general, project-specific, time-sensitive, etc.)
  • Detailed information on contacts listed in the previous bullet (make it easy for folks by listing full names, titles, email addresses, and phone numbers)
  • Any information (such as a specific subject line) that an inquirer should include if reaching out to one of your suggested contacts.

Pro Tip: You’ll notice that the templates below are a fairly informal, but of course, adjust the tone depending on your organizational culture and expectations.

If you’re planning to stay connected while you’re away …

If you’re planning to keep an eye on your email, project updates, etc. while you’re out and you’re comfortable letting everyone know those plans (rather than sneaking on, incognito, every now and again), this template is for you!

Hello,

I’ll be out of the office on [MATERNITY, PATERNITY, NEW PARENT] leave until [DATE]. But don’t worry, my colleagues have you covered! See below for a quick list of who to contact about what:

  • General inquiries: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • Urgent matters: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]

I’ll be checking my email intermittently, though I’ll likely still be slow to respond (what with caring for a new human and all), so thanks for your patience!

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

If you’re going off the grid once the little one arrives …

If you’re going cold turkey on office emails and goings on during your leave, give this email template a try.

Hello,

I’ll be out of the office on [MATERNITY, PATERNITY, NEW PARENT] leave until [DATE]. But don’t worry, my colleagues have you covered! See below for a quick list of who to contact about what:

  • General inquiries: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • Urgent matters: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]
  • [PROJECT RELATED]: [NAME, TITLE, EMAIL, PHONE]

While I’m out, I’ll be doing my best to care for a brand new baby human and so I won’t be checking email during my leave. Thanks so much for your patience and I’ll look forward to reconnecting when I’m a veteran super-parent :).

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

***

Looking for additional resources to help you prepare for your leave? Let us know what you need in the comments.

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As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
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