Should I answer emails when I’m on vacation? My automatic reply states who to reach out to if anything but wondering if I should forward the email to that specific person or just answer it myself.

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I wouldn’t answer them. No one is indispensable. The way I see it, if it’s THAT urgent my Senior Manager will call me. If it’s not, the team will figure it out. To date my Senior Manager has never called me during my vacation. Everyone has survived and the firm is still standing. The moment you start responding to emails, it’d be expected that you do so all the time and people won’t respect your time off. If it helps, delete the email app off your phone or turn off notifications and enjoy our time away!

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If you want to work

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I wish my office would leave me the hell alone when I'm on vacation. Emails, pings, texts, and calls really? It's just BS.

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It depends on what you feel like doing. You might be setting expectations tho, if you respond to emails, but your OOO says you’re unavailable - that could extend to other aspects of your work. At least in my personal experience.

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My team knows a wont respond. If there is a true client emergency i ask them to call me. I wont check 100 emails a day to find the one true emergency.

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Don’t respond, just forward to another team member who can handle if no one else is cc’d

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I wouldn’t, as they’d expect you to answer every email. I’d only answer client emails

Again, none of us is THAT important. You don’t need / aren’t obligated to respond when on vacation. Think of this for perspective: if you get into a tragic accident one day and have to be away for months or have to stop working due to brain damage, do you honestly think your engagement team and the firm won’t quickly think of a way to adjust and recover?! While they will be sad, they will adjust fairly quickly and your firm will not seize to exist. There might be hiccups, but they will survive. The firm will always find a way to adjust. It’s important to discuss your vacation plans with your clients before you leave. If you casually bring it up, they will for the most part ask who can be contacted while you’re away and will end up respecting that. In your out of office message, say that you will not be monitoring your email or voice or will have limited access to both and state who they should contact for immediate assistance. If for some reason you must respond and find yourself working when on vacation, charge that time and reduce it from your vacation time. After all, you did have to work.

You’re not expected to respond. When I am able, I check for urgent matters because I don’t want anything blowing up.

It depends, on most days I spend 10-15 minutes checking emails, mainly to clear out the junk and forward and necessary emails to others in the team if they weren't cc'd. I prefer this because it makes it easier for when I return, but that's me, you do you, and nobody well really care until probably Senior manager

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