In today’s busy and fast-paced professional world, it is given that you must always “be available”. Whether it is to your members, your clients or your partners, they all expect that they can reach you whenever they need you.

However, nobody can “be available” all the time – yet still, this is expected. So how can you handle this dilemma?

One solution could of course be to inform all your clients, partners or members that “for the next two weeks I will not be available”, e.g. by providing this information in the email auto-reply and/or calling them with that info.

This would, however, make some of them feel less valued and lead them to believe that you don’t prioritise their needs. Moreover, why tell a lot of people that you are not available if they actually don’t need you during that period?

A better way might, therefore, be to not only focus on your availability but to combine this with the needs of your clients, members or partners. While it is obvious that you should try to be available when you are needed, the trick is to not be needed when you are not available.  You can do this in various ways, including:

  • Make sure that everything is delivered from your side before you are unavailable
  • Fix the next meeting or delivery for when you are back
  • Signal that no decisions or actions will be needed for the coming weeks

So if you make sure that you are not needed, nobody will care about your availability.

BCW Sports practice is the sport unit of global advisory firm Burson-Marsteller. We provide strategy and communication advice for sport clients around the world. For more information: