Not Coming to Work: What Can Be the Excuses?

Even if you have never been late for work or missed a single working hour, this sometimes happens to anyone. You need a day off. Or several days out of office. Most probably, your organization tracks your presence in the office with passcards. You are instructed about reasons that can allow you to be away during the working hours and how those hours will be 'returned.’ 

It is crucial to find the balance between the actual necessity and unprofessional behavior when you opt to ask for a day off. There are circumstances when you really need this, and for your manager, some reasons sound excusing. But let's take a closer look at these reasons and find out how your employer can translate them.

Excusing Reasons for a Day Off

When you have symptoms of illness

Raising temperature, coughing, sneezing, and weakness may signal the flu or cold. When you feel lousy, working will be ineffective. Moreover, there is a chance that your colleagues can get the infection from you. 

So, in this case, you should better call your direct manager to ask for a day off. If you are allowed to have several days of sick leave in your company, communicate this option. Ask for a doctor's notice once you are required to show the official confirmation. 

When you face troubles with your car or emergency at home

Though transmission issues of your car or broken pipe at your house are not reasons to miss work, there may be no other option when you are stuck halfway to the office. Call your manager to warn him/her you will be later (if you know when approximately) or ask for a day off. It’s often impossible to just miss your tasks for one day, so try to sort out your work issues remotely or over the phone.

When your kids or dependents fall ill

These situations are stressful, unpleasant, and often frustrating. When someone who depends on you needs immediate assistance, you become dependent on your employer's understanding. First, you worry about your family member's health, and then you have to ask your employer for a day off. In some cases, you will be sorting out business issues while sitting in the hospital or near your child or parents. Try to ask for a full day off not to juggle several demanding tasks simultaneously.

Dubious Reasons for Asking for a Day Off

When you are tired: physically or emotionally

Of course, we all feel this from time to time. Sitting late with your reports or having a sequence of exhausting presentations can decrease your motivation to wake up and go to work another day.  But if you were implementing a new payment system or an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) the last month, and it required working after business hours, you have the right to be tired. And, consequently, ask for some rest. 

Do not be confused to ask for a deserved several days off due to overwork or burnout. Your manager is also a human, so he/she will most probably understand and approve your request. 

If you feel tired out because of some family issues you had to resolve late at night, you should try to ask for a day out of the office. Or at least half a day, or request to work remotely for a while. Remote work becomes more popular and is no more treated like a way to escape from work. With the pandemic, both employers and employees learned how to stay productive and self-motivated working from home.

When you don't like your job

It may happen that you just don't like this job and the corporate environment but have to stay in this position. Our mind can play tricks with us, 'telling' you that you are overloaded and need some rest. Be careful with these signals because your organism can even get ill to get a legit reason for spending a couple of days at home. Of course, saying to your manager that you are just tired is not a good idea. If this is not the case described in the previous paragraph, go to work even when you are frustrated and exhausted. But allow yourself some time to think about changing your current job.

When you poorly plan your schedule

If being late for a scheduled morning meeting is something that rarely happens to you, then it's okay to be late one day. For a reason, definitely. However, if you enter the room 10 minutes after the meeting starts three days out of five, stop. Your boss will hardly leave this unnoticed, and you risk having issues. Try to set reminders or wake up earlier. Let it be your little everyday challenge –– come everywhere on time.

Tips on How to Ask Your Manager for a Day Off

  • Tell the truth. Even if you want to exaggerate the circumstances to get guaranteed approval, avoid lies, even in small details. The worst thing about lying is that we forget what we say. And once, you may unintentionally expose yourself.
  • Don't tell too many details. Sometimes sharing detailed personal, medical, or legal information can be unnecessary and even overloading for your boss. Try to tell general facts so that the person sees the whole situation. If your manager needs more information, he/she will ask for it.
  • Call your manager soon. Whatever the reason for your missing work is, call your boss asap. This way, you show respect, care, and concern about the business. And keep him/her updated, but don't disturb your boss reporting every hour. 
  • Offer a plan for covering work. Your employer can be a very sympathizing person. But even though people understand your troubles, business is business. If you can, propose your manager options about who can do the most urgent task of yours. Or say that you will send the report after business hours. Or that you will call all the clients two days later. In such a way, you will show engagement in the business.

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