At the end of today, I will switch on my out of office message and leave for three weeks of vacation. But colleagues who reach out to me will still have a fair chance to get the help they need and their questions answered.
Not by me, though. By my internal network.
In IBM, where I work, we have a huge internal social network. Like here on LinkedIn but within the firewall (plus blogs, easy web publishing, social bookmarks, forums, ideation and some other things that you have to combine from different providers on the public web). It’s called IBM Connections and is my major source for work efficiency, effectiveness, inspiration …. and help.
So, instead of the usual OOO telling you that I’m gone, that I’ll be back on 14 August and leaving you waiting until then, my message says: “I’m on vacation until 14 August. If you post your question on my board in IBM Connections instead <link>, my helpful network of about 1800 IBM’ers will have a chance to help you in the meantime (unless it’s about something sensitive or confidential of course. If it is, and urgent too, please send me a text message and I will try to get back to you.)”
This way, colleagues in need of help have a good chance of getting it and there will be fewer urgent things overloading my inbox on my return. Win-win!
And OOO that not only tells you when people will return, but that actually solves problems too! How’s that for a personal and business benefit of having and using an #ESN, Enterprise Social Network?