OFF Work- The Meaning and Its Uses

OFF Work - The Meaning and Its Uses

We use different words every day that convey similar meanings yet feel distinct. The colloquial usages and phrasal words have enriched the vocabulary to convey our thoughts better.  But many times, we tend to misinterpret the meaning just from the tone of the words, So it’s better to be sure before using words officially. ‘Off work’ is such a word that might come in handy for many of us. Here, in this blog, let’s know about OFF Work- The Meaning and Its Uses.

What Is The Meaning Of Off Work?

Off work means – not working. It implies that you are not ready to take up any responsibilities or will not carry out your duty at the specific moment. This could also convey that you are free to schedule with your colleagues or friends as you don’t work that day.

Know More 

Off work is a basic term mostly focussed by officials for conveying their unavailability. It cut short the lengthy sentences used in olden times.  Even though the underlying meaning does not change, the usage is distinctly relevant in each situation. The word can be used to convey that you are taking a break at the moment, but use it wisely as it should not imply to be a  break in your career. 

Different Meanings 

The term ‘Off work’ usually means a temporary break from your routine, though, in certain circumstances, it can convey your unemployment. In some cases, it could also express that you are between jobs or just being lazy. 

Where to use ‘Off-work’?

  1. Short Messages – When you are in a hurry for your Doctors appointment and you want your colleague to take over your work, you could mention ‘I am off work, Could you please fill in the shift?’.  Text your colleague or peer member ‘I am off work’ If he or she messages you with official matters during your vacation.
  2. Status of Availability – Conveying your availability through status in social media platforms or any common communication platform makes it easier to spread the message to many at a time. Put your WhatsApp status “off work” if you don’t want to get interrupted with office work in your private time. 
  3. Conveying Availability – On the contrary, when your friends or family is planning for a party or a trip and you want to fit it, you could tell them, ‘Yes, I will come for the party tomorrow, ‘am off work ‘.

Know These Before You Start Using the Word

Phrasal words help us express with the right tone if used under proper circumstances. But we should be aware of the real meaning before using it.  So let us try to understand the word a little deeper.


A common doubt arises between the word ‘of’ and ‘off.’ Remember, to say that you are not doing something, always use ‘ OFF.’ whereas ‘OF’ indicates a duration, quantity, or characteristics. 

E.g.: ‘ Can I take a week off? I need to visit my Grand Parents”. 

‘Make the best  use of the day, as you may not get another.”

OFF and OFF To

Now, this is a tricky part. As mentioned, we use OFF to indicate an idle state of being. But ‘OFF to” contradicts this. ‘OFF to’ always refers to the beginning of a journey or event.

E.g., I am off to school. 

I am off to the bank.

I am off to work

That is, avoid using any prepositions in between words that are combined to form a single meaning.

Off – As Adverb and Adjective

‘A small word, too many usages can cause you confusion. Let us understand it more vividly.  When used as an adverb, it conveys the beginning of travel or work. 

E.g., The flight took off early in the morning.

 But when it is an adjective, it conveys an idle state. More like a negative impact

E.g., I took a day off.

So make sure you use the word ‘off work’ in a sentence that conveys the right meaning. 

Look Out For These Words

  1. Work Off – It implies repaying your debt or gratitude with your efforts rather than money. This is entirely the opposite of ‘off work’.

E.g., He had no other go than to work off his debts.

  1. Time Off From Work – This denotes a very large break from the current position or job, probably even for a career change.

E.g., She decided to take some time off from work and focus on charity works.

  1. Get Off Work / Be Off Work

Be off: It indicates you have finished your work and are leaving the office. It may also convey a short break from your work.

E.g: I will be off work next week

Get off: It is similar to ‘Be Off,’ but it is used when any authority sanctions the break.

E.g., I get off work late on Fridays, as my boss leaves early.

Some Bonus Points

Knowing all these, let us dig a little deeper around this word and see more similar words and examples on where to use it properly.

Similar Words

Let us take a look at phrases that can replace “off work” without changing the context. Off work can be replaced with ‘off duty, which unalters the purpose. Out of work’ or ‘Out of officeare similar usages that could be used in official letters or emails. To convey that you are free, ‘ at liberty, ‘not tied up,‘disengaged’ are some of the alternatives. 

How to Use in Sentences

Though the phrase ‘off work’ implies a single meaning, we may make few changes to beautify the expression when used in sentences. So it will be handy to know some of them.

Here are some examples:

  • I think it is Sam’s day off work, he seems relaxed.
  • Anna’s Doctor signed her off work to regain her health.
  • I had the week off work so that I could visit my Grandmother
  • I am planning my vacation and to be off work.
  • I should probably reach early before my wife gets off work. 

The English language is a toddler among other languages in the World, yet popularly used throughout. And we know it has become an inevitable mode of communication. Keeping up with the trends and new words is important to showcase your interest and intellect. Read more books and articles to improve your vocabulary and know where to use the words more precisely. 

Improving vocabulary doesn’t always mean learning and, by heart, many difficult words. It refers to being aware of the words that you use in their complete form. So next time when you hear a word and do not know the meaning, refer to any dictionary before adding it to your thesaurus. Unlike in the past, learning is no more a challenge with the internet and many other resources. You could plan someday to invest time in learning new words and widening your knowledge. Unfortunately, many of us will have excuses to avoid these. 

Don’t hesitate. Take ‘off work’ and enrich your English dictionary. Then, now that you have learned a new word, use it whenever possible and make others envy your skills, right? 

OFF Work- The Meaning and Its Uses

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