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Heading on Vacation? Let Iceland’s Horses Write Your Out-of-Office Message For You

Ellen Gutoskey
Meet your new office assistant.
Meet your new office assistant. / Visit Iceland
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With remote work on the rise and email so easily accessible on smartphones, it’s become increasingly difficult to feel like you can truly unplug from your job—even when you’re on vacation.

In a recent U.S. survey conducted by Visit Iceland, 45 percent of participants confessed to checking their work email during vacation. And because Visit Iceland doesn’t want you to check your work email during your Icelandic getaway, the organization has enlisted a few of the peaceful country’s most adorable horses to make sure you don’t.

First, team members created a fully functional QWERTY keyboard that was large enough for the horses to prance across—and then they let them do exactly that. Afterwards, they used the nonsensical messages to create an “OutHorse Your Email” service. Basically, you hire one of three hoofed office assistants available on the site. There’s Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti, a chestnut beauty who “types fast, but might take a nap”; Hrímnir frá Hvammi, an “assertive” and “efficient” shiny-haired gray horse; and Hekla frá Þorkellshóli, a “friendly” pinto horse who boasts an impressive knowledge of corporate buzzwords (not to mention an eye-catching black and white mane).

icelandic horse types on giant keyboard
But who writes their OOO messages? / Visit Iceland

Once you choose a horse, all you have to do is enter your name, your email address, and the date of your final vacation day—and Outhorse Your Email will email you an out-of-office message partially written by your new Icelandic assistant. When you turn on automatic replies, copy and paste the message into the text box and put all work out of your mind.

outhorse your email OOO message
Your email correspondents would love to receive this. / Ellen Gutoskey/Visit Iceland

“Our talented horses took naturally to the OutHorse Your Email service, tölting and galloping their way across the fields and creating a range of unique emails that will help holidaymakers enjoy their trip without any interruptions,” Horses of Iceland project manager Jelena Ohm said in a press release. “From curiosity, intelligence and independence, our horses are special for many reasons, and so now we can add email responders too.”

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