I'm leaving my employer (on good terms) at the end of the year. I've set up an automatic reply to people in my organisation who email me that I've left the business and whom to contact in my absence.

How long should I set the automated message for? A few weeks? Forever?

closed as off-topic by Dukeling, JasonJ, Michael Grubey, gnat, Dmitry Grigoryev Dec 13 '17 at 13:09

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  • 42
    your account should be shut down the moment you leave, so my response would be, after you are gone there is nothing to worry about – Homerothompson Dec 12 '17 at 16:07
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    Most company's just forward emails to another coworker that's inheriting your responsibilities/customers. Are you sure this isn't the case? And like @Homerothompson commented, it isn't really something you should focus on after you're gone. – JoeCo Dec 12 '17 at 16:18
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    What's the disadvantage of setting it to forever? If someone wants to turn it off, they can. – DJClayworth Dec 12 '17 at 16:27
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    @QckLrner Yep, that's my experience too which is why in my answer I say it's something his IT needs to handle but smaller companies don't always have one. – Chris E Dec 12 '17 at 16:40
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    Is this even up to you? It seems like the company will have a policy regarding how this is handled. – Dukeling Dec 12 '17 at 17:47

Leave it on forever.

1) People should stop contacting you if they read it

2) The business will eventually (if not immediately) forward your email and shut down your account

  • 6
    I worked for a company for nearly 3 years and even in my last week of employment I was still getting emails addressed to the guy I replaced. – mickburkejnr Dec 13 '17 at 10:48

I don't agree that the account should be shut down because if a client or customer emails you (as opposed to those just in your organization), the last thing you want is the email to bounce.

Regardless, this is a matter for your IT department (if you have one). If not, change your password to something new and give that password to your manager and tell them they should change it themselves.

But once you leave, it's not your responsibility anymore and doing this, you'll have done all that anyone could do in your position.

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    I would not give the password to the manager. Yes, the company owns the mail servers etc., and anything that is related to work, but not your identity. – AnoE Dec 13 '17 at 10:37

Don't leave an out-of-office notice on your email. Notify the people you need to notify (and do this directly, not with an out-of-office).

When you leave, emails for your account should be auto-forwarded to your manager who will then forward/reply as appropriate until those incoming emails dry up (i.e. everyone is notified that you're gone).


I can only speak of my last company, but what they did was whenever someone left, the email would simply forward to my manager.

If you can, I would tell a manager to have the IT staff to forward all emails over to him. If not, perhaps set up a rule in your mail to auto forward to your boss. That way he can reply if needed.

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