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Go OOO with Confluence 😎

In the immortal words of The Go-Go's, vacation, all I ever wanted…

Taking a vacation (or staycation) is a great antidote to burnout, but especially in the age of hybrid and remote work, it can be difficult to unplug. Internally, we utilize OOO planning pages to offer stakeholders and collaborators visibility, ensure work moves forward, and most importantly, unplug from work with peace of mind.

We poked around in Confluence (#WorkOpenPerks) and drew on our own experiences to surface the tried and true methods of Atlassians for successfully PTO (not that PTO, the other one – “preparing the others” – thanks to Chris for teaching us this perfect acronym). With an OOO plan in Confluence, your stakeholders can stay informed of the status of work in flight, visualize outstanding tasks, and give async feedback while you’re away. Without further ado, our tips and tricks for creating an OOO plan that will make your coworkers say “get outta town!”.

Tip #1

If a killer OOO plan is created but no one but the creator views the Confluence page, does it really exist? 🤔 We’d say no. If you want to ensure your teammates actually read your OOO plan (versus opening the @ mention notification and proceeding to close the tab without consuming any content), add a header image. Confluence pages with header images get 12x more engagement than those without! 🤯

Tip #2

Utilize an info macro to provide summary information at a glance such as:

  • The dates you’ll be OOO

  • Your contact information in case of emergency

  • A summary of projects in flight

Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 6.37.43 PM.png

Tip #3

Use a table to outline projects in-flight along with details on their status and who to contact in your absence.

Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 6.59.10 PM.png

Tip #4

Want to ensure your OOO plan reaches relevant stakeholders? 👀 @ mention them so they’re notified!

Tip #5

Use an Action item to assign a teammate an outstanding task – be sure to @ mention them and insert a Date if the task is time-bound.

Project 1.png

Tip #6

Reduce context-switching by embedding relevant Confluence pages to bring your teammates up to speed with rich context – without ever leaving your OOO plan. 🙌

Tip #7

Give your typical away message an upgrade by linking your OOO plan. Better yet, utilize Confluence’s integrations with Slack or Microsoft Teams to share your plan in relevant communication channels. You can also use embed the page in related Trello cards and Jira issues for visibility, or in your team’s OOO notification page if you utilize one.

Bonus: If your organization uses a link shortener, create a custom link to your OOO plan that can be easily posted in your Slack or Teams status.

 Screen Shot 2022-08-23 at 12.33.05 PM.png Screen Shot 2022-08-23 at 12.33.40 PM.png

Project 2.png

Tip #8

Use the status macro to quickly communicate where a project stands.

Bonus: Use the Jira roadmap macro or link a Trello board for a dynamic overview of how a project is tracking. 💯

Project 3.png


We want to hear from you (and send you some supplies for making the most of your time OOO)! Share your best tip for going OOO with Confluence in the comments of this post or show us how you’re unplugging by sharing a picture on social of recent time you’ve enjoyed offline with hashtag #OOOwithConfluence and tag us @Confluence. 😎

15 comments

Ah @Meg Bailey that's a lovely post and ideas from you. Thoroughly liked and enjoyed.

One of my in-house admins has mentioned about this OOO template to see if it can be accommodated by my project teams. While, I made my first template announcement I parallelly created an OOO parent page. So, my RTE really liked this idea (rather she liked the OOO template) and published within her project teams to follow my team model of confluence.

Yippee, we loved it. Here the page I posted (edited the names or client information) in my organization.

 

My OOO announcement banner.png

 

It's not as vast as you posted in this article, but we all liked this concept of OOO template giving freshness, new perspective and unique voice to stakeholder's about project team adherence to Confluence tool.

Tip: We have included this OOO page URL in the Outlook auto response.

Like # people like this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Aug 23, 2022

@G subramanyam so glad to hear that you (and your team) have started utilizing an OOO template – and especially that you love it! Keep us posted on the adoption of your template 😊

Like # people like this
Andy Gladstone Community Leader Aug 25, 2022

@Meg Bailey I love this article and the fresh take on how to use a very powerful but underused template. I just returned from 2+ weeks vacation overseas and wish I had thought of this before I left.

Twitter Post

However, using this article and @G subramanyam's wonderful comment, I am ready to roll out an OOO page for the organization so we can all stay on top of who is where, when they are there, and know not to disturb them so they can enjoy their time OOO.

Thanks! 

Like # people like this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Aug 25, 2022

@Andy Gladstone thanks for sharing, looks like an incredible trip! Hopefully there will be another one on the horizon soon for you to test out the template 😄

Like # people like this
Summer.Hogan Community Leader Aug 26, 2022

@Meg Bailey - this is a wonderful article and so needed! I will be going to NYC here in a month or so and really need something like to this to "keep things moving" while I am out. Here is what I put together so far:
OOO plan.png

Like # people like this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Aug 26, 2022

This looks great @Summer_Hogan! And enjoy your trip, fall in the city is the best 😊 

Like Summer.Hogan likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader Aug 30, 2022

Good call on including a shortened link to your OOO page - for those who don't have in-house ways of shortening URLs, there are plenty of free, commercial options out there.*

Hmm, I need to start the skeleton of an OOO page for when I eventually take PTO... a guy can dream!

* Just make sure these tools are properly vetted for use, you don't want to inadvertently share sensitive info via URLs (even if the resources aren't accessible outside of VPN, your URL could include clues to upcoming products or other sensitive info you'd rather not leak).

Like # people like this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Aug 31, 2022

Great point re: link shorteners @Dave Liao! I believe bitly has a free plan and bet there are others with enterprise plans who offer a free version as well but 100% agreed, due diligence is key. 😅

And yes, start that template now so when the time comes you can take some well-deserved time off! 

Like # people like this
Sajit Nair Community Leader Sep 25, 2022

This is an amazing guide @Meg Bailey . Thank you for sharing.
Definitely leveraging this for my end of the year trip

Like Meg Bailey likes this

This is great! It would help so much if everyone in the organization did this.

Well done, and I will definitely advocate for this during my weekly team meetings. 

Like Meg Bailey likes this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Sep 26, 2022

Thank you @Sajit Nair and @Paul Wiggers, would love to hear any feedback if you & your teams implement! 

What an awesome article, @Meg Bailey ! Takk fyrir! Appreciate how well this info is presented.

Like Meg Bailey likes this
Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Sep 26, 2022

Thank you @Kristján Geir Mathiesen, I hope it's helpful! 🙂

@Meg Bailey are the Confluence, Microsoft Team, and those emojis used in this example in the Confluence Cloud "emoji's library"?


Doesn't seem to be. I suggest that at least the Atlassian product logos should be in there...

Thanks,
KGM

Meg Bailey Atlassian Team Sep 26, 2022

@Kristján Geir Mathiesen good callout! From my experience with a personal Confluence Cloud account, I believe you're correct that those logos were added to Atlassian's emoji library through the emoji insert tool. I like your idea to add Atlassian logos to our standard in-product emoji library though – I'll figure out who the internal owner is there and route that suggestion to them! 🙂

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