How to respond to business calls when the company is on holiday or the person in charge is on holiday


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Holidays are a precious time to refresh and completely separate from work, but in Japanese society, there are still cases where people say, “I’m sorry to take a day off” and “It’s hard to tell business partners.” You can see it.

There are quite a few people who say, “I’m worried about calling even when I’m on vacation” or “I feel guilty about giving up answering calls during my vacation.”


What to do if the designated person in charge is absent

What’s the best way to handle a situation where the nominated person is on vacation?

Taking leave is a worker’s right, so although there is nothing to be guilt about in principle, there are times when it is difficult to openly say, “I am on vacation.”

Here, we will introduce a general way to respond, but there may be rules within your company regarding how to respond to phone calls when employees are on vacation, so be sure to check your company’s rules.

Communicate that you are on vacation and when you plan to return to work

As for the reason for your absence, it is okay to say “holiday” or “holiday” if there are no particular restrictions in the company.

  • “I’m sorry. 〇〇 is taking a day off today. I plan to come to work tomorrow.”
  • “I am very sorry, but I am on summer vacation for the rest of this week.

First, apologize for your absence, let them know that the person in charge is on vacation, and when they will be back at work.

Let them know that the person in charge will get back to you after the vacation, and if there is an urgent matter, listen to the content and respond instead, or report it to your boss and ask for instructions.

Ask for help after vacation, unless it’s an emergency

Even when I’m on vacation, I can’t relax when I get a lot of phone calls from my company.

Avoid contacting the person in charge who is on vacation unless it is extremely urgent , and ask them to check it after the vacation is over and you are back at work.

You are not obligated to read company emails on holidays, but if the person in charge says, “I read emails even when I’m on vacation,” if you send it by email, the person in charge will check it at their own timing, You can decide whether or not you need to take action.

If you are absent for a long period of time, make sure that your department understands

For the time being, it is not possible to ask the person in charge to take care of you if you are absent for a long period of time due to maternity or childcare leave, or if there is no prospect of returning to work due to medical treatment.

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In these cases, you need to decide what to do with incoming calls .

It will be smoother if you decide a substitute person in charge and tell the business partner that this person will handle it while the original person in charge is absent .

Also, it may be better not to talk about sensitive topics such as “I’m on sick leave” outside the company.

It is a good idea to discuss and unify the answers within the team when asked by business partners.

Responding to calls received while you were on vacation

Recently, it is not uncommon for companies to provide each employee with a mobile phone.

It is often said that having a mobile phone at hand has made it possible to contact people anytime, anywhere, but the boundary between work and private life has become ambiguous.

How should you respond to calls on your mobile phone on your days off?

You don’t have to answer the phone when you’re on vacation

In conclusion, it is not obligatory to answer the phone on a day off.

Responding to calls received for work is considered “labor”.

Holidays are days when you are not obligated to work, so you do not have to answer work calls .

In addition, the company must pay an allowance for work on holidays, but this is only if the work is done according to the company’s instructions.

If you respond to work calls on your own without the company’s instructions, it is not considered overtime work, so you cannot claim compensation.

Respond only when absolutely necessary

Having said that, some of you may be worried when your phone rings.

As mentioned above, whether or not to answer the phone on a day off is partly left to the discretion of the individual.

As a general rule, you don’t have to answer calls on days off, but it’s true that there are exceptions.

  • If you are a manager or person in charge, you may have to give instructions or respond directly even on days off.
  • Repeated calls may indicate an urgent matter

If you have any of the above reasons, look at the other party and the content of the call and respond only to what you deem necessary .

Follow up with people who called you after vacation

If you receive a phone call while you are on vacation, it means that the other person has something to do at work and is calling you.

Even if you miss a phone call on a holiday, you can restore your impression by following up with us after your vacation .

After apologizing for not being able to answer the phone, let’s ask about your business.

Businesses and occupations with many holidays need to review their work systems

In the case of work that must be done according to the calendar of a business partner, it is not uncommon for the other party to work even if your company is closed.

Even if your company is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, if you have many customers in the retail and service industries, you will inevitably have to deal with more work on holidays.

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In such a case, it is necessary to review the work system according to the work, such as preparing a system that allows shifts to work on holidays, or shifting to shifts on weekdays .

Answering phone calls on company holidays and outside business hours

What should I do when I receive a phone call outside of business hours?

Of course, it is not a mistake to judge that “we will not respond at all” because it is out of hours.

However, in the case of companies, the lack of phone connection can directly lead to lost sales opportunities and reduced customer satisfaction.

The worst thing is the case where the phone is not connected and you keep calling.

I don’t know if this means they’re not open or they just don’t answer the phone.

As a company, it is recommended to follow up by taking either of the following actions instead of truncating calls outside business hours .

  • Notify that it is outside business hours → The other party can call back in time
  • Create a system that allows you to receive calls even after hours → Eliminate the time when you cannot receive calls

For offices, the following services are available as after-hours telephone support.

play automatic announcements after hours

If you don’t need to receive business outside business hours, you can set it to switch to automatic announcements at a fixed time so that the phone won’t ring after hours.

  • “This is XX Co., Ltd. We are closed today. Our business hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 Monday through Friday. Please call us again during business hours.”

By announcing the time when the call will be connected, the other party will be able to call within the time from the next time .

set to answering machine

With automatic announcements alone, there is no way to know who is calling after business hours and for what purpose.

Therefore, if you set up an answering machine after business hours, the other party can record a message .

You can listen to the recorded message on the next business day, take the necessary action immediately, and contact the other party from here, which is more efficient than waiting for the other party to call you again.

Keep phone lines open even on holidays

In industries that receive calls for orders and reservations regardless of whether they are on weekdays or holidays, sales opportunities may be missed if the phone is unreachable or details are confirmed after the holidays.

In such a case, it is better to have manned support even on holidays and after hours so that the quality of phone reception is always the same as during business hours.

There are methods such as setting up shifts to work in shifts and setting up a dedicated telephone reception desk that can always respond like a call center .

use a proxy service

If it is difficult to secure the staff and equipment to handle after-hours calls in-house, consider outsourcing.

A telephone answering service is a service in which a call is forwarded to a center and the staff of the agent company responds instead.

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There are various plans, from simple brokerage only plans to services that provide Q&A support according to scripts, and the more advanced the service, the higher the fee.

forward the call

With the expansion of telework, the use of a service that forwards incoming calls to a fixed-line phone to a pre-registered mobile phone number is increasing.

You can answer company calls on your mobile phone, so you don’t have to worry about missing calls even if no one is in the office.

In addition, you can set business days and business hours and switch to automatic response after hours , so you can rest assured even if you do not want your phone to ring during holidays.

Use the automatic forwarding service for peace of mind even on holidays

If you don’t want to answer the phone during the holidays, but want to accept reservations and orders without missing anything, leave it to NEC Networks & System Integration’s call forwarding service “Canario.”

AI answers the phone on behalf of the employee, transcribes the message and sends it to the person in charge.

The accuracy of voice recognition is also high, and the message is delivered accurately, so you can leave it to me to answer phone calls on holidays with peace of mind.


Japan’s working habits are changing, with long working hours and customer-first overtime service as virtues.

From now on, I believe that there will be a shift to focus on work-life balance in order to achieve the best balance between work and private life, and to achieve a more fulfilling way of life.

While reducing phone calls on holidays, we want to avoid opportunity loss and complaints caused by not answering the phone.

Please use the AI ​​call forwarding service “Canario” for answering calls on days off.

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