This honest e-mail autoreply speaks to parents in the home office from the heart


No time right now?

Chaos, stress and distraction – this is often everyday life between home office and homeschooling. A working mother makes no secret of it and dares to be transparent in the e-mail autoreply.

Magdalena Rogl’s children are at an age where they no longer want to spend 24 hours and 7 days a week with their parents. And yet: In the current pandemic, the time together comes pretty close. The Munich resident has been working from home for a year, like all of her colleagues from Microsoft Germany. Their children also spend a lot of time at home these days – sometimes before, during and after school. Four children between the ages of 11 and 18. “I always say 50 shades of puberty,” Rogl said in an interview with t3n. Anyone who has already raised children in this phase of life certainly knows about the special challenge. It almost doesn’t matter that every child has their own room.

Transparency in the autoreply: “Dear sender, …”

Magdalena Rogl has been working from home for a year – with six people. (Photo: Thomas Dashuber)

The working mother has plenty to do, as she also lets know in her email auto-reply who is currently is eagerly shared on Twitter: “Dear sender, I work from home,” she begins her automatically sent reply to incoming e-mails. What then comes is an explanation of what that currently means for you and your family and which speaks to all parents in the home office from the soul. “At home”, she writes, is a place full of pubescent children or parents who are confronted with life crises. “Work” currently means that she reads every incoming e-mail several times until she understands the content, and that she needs several attempts to reply. Who doesn’t know it, think many working mothers and fathers now.

“We have space, and everyone is well looked after technically. Many families don’t have any of that. “

“We are incredibly privileged and any whining would be at an extremely high level,” the Microsoft employee said in the t3n conversation, but there are still a few things that are annoying at Rogl. “We have space, and everyone is well looked after technically. In addition, both my husband and I were able to work from home from the start – many families don’t have any of that. Nevertheless, it is of course not easy to work at home with six people, ”says Magdalena Rogl. When it comes to homeschooling, she is often of no help, because math knowledge stops with her in the 6th grade. She herself works at the kitchen table, where it feels like a child comes by every two minutes to get something to eat. “Just teenagers,” she smiles.

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Also interesting: “What a mother advises parents to make home office and homeschooling work”

In her autoreply she makes the challenge transparent. And is strengthened by it on the net. To date, the tweet has collected a total of 850 retweets, favs and replies. The tweet statistics also show that almost 10,000 people interacted with the tweet in some way. This also includes clicks on the screenshot or on your marked profile. “So far, I’ve only used auto-replies for vacations or real absences,” says Rogl. “In the home office I work every day – but sometimes with longer interruptions and, above all, unfortunately often not as effectively as I would actually like to do.” It was important to her to make this transparent and to ensure the patience of the person sending it to thank.

Transparency, empathy and a wink

Many people do not even know from their colleagues what it looks like in their home office, whether they have children, whether they have to look after others, says Rogl. “In the current situation, I think transparency, empathy and a wink in between are particularly important.” And that’s what she tries to show through the automatic e-mail. When asked whether other people should do the same, she still doesn’t give a blanket answer. “It is a personal decision how much you want and can share. In many companies, the culture forbids so much transparency. And yet: It doesn’t have to be a public auto-reply, sometimes a discussion within the team helps.

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Continuing education: The Udacity app is a free online academy for iOS and Android. Together with partners such as Google and Salesforce, courses are being developed that combine classic education with technical professional skills. (Graphic: t3n / dunnnk)

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