How to tell your boss you can’t work today?

How to Tell Your Boss You Can't Work Today

Have you ever thought of the answer to the question ‘How to Tell Your Boss You Can’t Work Today?’. Interesting. This is an article about that.

Work can be exhausting for all of us at some point in our lives. Even if it isn’t, there might be times when we need to request a leave or just some time off to relax and refresh ourselves. And asking for some time off… That does sound terrifying. Too many questions around it and a bit too much anxiety for the employee. If you’re currently in that situation – looking through Google for help then you’ve selected the right article. We’ll be dealing with one of the scariest situations in a job – informing your boss that you won’t be able to work today. Relax and continue reading to calm your nerves and find the perfect way to do the job or rather to not do the job. 

Experimenting With Excuses

You’ve decided that you need a day off from work. But why? What prompted you to take a leave? What reason are you going to give to your boss? The reason or the excuse to request a leave is one of the first things that an employer pays attention to. Even if you aren’t able to communicate things according to the protocol, if your excuse is genuine, you are more likely to be given the leave. This is why before thinking about how to tell your boss, you need to think about what to tell your boss. In other words, what is a good reason to miss work and what is considered not to be a good reason?

Good Excuses 

Here are a few reasons that are accepted by employers for missing work

  • Ill HealthIt is considered best to not work while you’re sick. Not only does your sickness affect your productivity, but it could also be contagious and affect your colleagues as well. In such a situation, any employer lets you take the day off to rest and recover. You should contact the employer again if you need more time to recover to keep them informed and be professional. 
  • Sickness of a Family Member You might not be in a position to work or give the best of your ability if there is an emergency to someone in your families such as any mishap or a serious health issue. In such a case, it becomes necessary to inform your employer about the emergency and keep them updated about your availability in the next few days. 
  • Unexpected/Out of Control Situations – Maybe you weren’t planning to take a day off and you were leaving for work. However, some unexpected circumstances like a car breakdown or some damage in your home need your urgent attention, holding you back from work. In this scenario, it is best to inform your employer about the same and offer to work from home or start work later in the day. 
  • Loss of someone close to you – Experiencing grief and bereavement is debilitating. Working in times like these becomes near to impossible. Bringing yourself back together requires time. Keeping your employer informed about what has happened and checking about bereavement policies that your company might have, is the best solution.

Bad Excuses 

Not all reasons that an employee might have are acceptable to the companies. Here are a few excuses that you would not want to state while asking for a leave.

  • Tiredness – Although you might feel exhausted on a particular day and not feel like working, stating the same as a reason to work is not usually accepted. Telling your boss that you feel tired and so do not want to work today, comes across as unprofessional and irresponsible. However, if there is a genuine reason why you feel tired (being awake all night as you were sick), you should mention that while asking for a leave.
  • Job Dissatisfaction It seems a viable solution to skip work when you are unhappy with your job, a project you’ve been working on, or your colleagues. Yet, it is not a good option when considering your professionalism and standing in the corporate world. A better way to tackle a situation wherein you’re unhappy with your job is to discuss the issues with your colleagues or your seniors and find a way out. 
  • Avoidable Troubles We have considered unexpected situations as a good excuse to miss work for a day. Nevertheless, using such excuses regularly might affect your position in a company. For instance, being late because of traffic or some car trouble can be a one-off case. Using this as a regular excuse for being late to work could make you seem like an unmotivated person. A way out of this scenario would be to plan your commute and manage your time better regularly. 

The Correct Way to Call Off

After reading the previous section, you should be clear about when can you ask for a day off. Now suppose you are in a situation where you have a good excuse to call off work. But you’re still panicky. Why? Because, how do you send the message across? Do you send an email? Do you send a text? Should it be vague or detailed? And the list of questions goes on and on… All you’re wondering about is the correct way to call off from work. Saving you from such panicky moments is my job. So here I am with some tips for asking for a leave from your boss. 

Choosing the contact 

It is necessary to think about the form of contact you’re using to inform your boss about your leave. This is because the mode of communication decides whether the information will be relayed or not. 

  • It is advised to check and read the company’s policy about calling off from work and asking for leaves. If there is a policy and a protocol for the employee, then that should be followed without any further thought on the mode of communication.
  • If there is no standard policy then you need to think about your regular modes of communication with your boss and your team members. There are some companies that prefer the use of email for all kinds of communication and updates. In this case, a message about not being able to work on a particular day would be read by the employer quicker on an email than via any other way.
  • The use of email might seem outdated to some though. Especially with the use of free messaging apps that allow forming groups and communicating quicker than mail. If that is the scenario in your company then you should preferably send a text to your employer informing them that you won’t be able to work, with the appropriate reason for it. 
  • Some other companies and employees might prefer a phone call over any other mode of communication. It avoids any confusion and delays in relaying the message. There are no chances of your boss ‘not seeing the message’ and ‘not being informed by you’. It also saves you from any miscommunication. A call might also be useful in cases where even though you use mail for formal communication, your boss might not have immediate access to it. 

Selecting what to say

Even if the mode of contact is clear to you, how do you form the perfect calling it an off-work message? What do you say what do you not say? When do you send the message? Thinking about all these will create more panic. And when you’re already tensed about taking a day off, I don’t want you worried about the framing of it also. This is why I have some tips about writing a message to your boss explaining that you can’t work today. 

  • It is important to be timely in sending a message about your absence from work. Not only does prior informing put across a professional and sincere outlook towards your work, but it also gives your employer time to get your work covered by others in time. Even if you decide to take a day off on the day itself, inform your boss as soon as you can. 
  • While drafting a message or a mail or preparing what to say on call, make sure that your message is brief and to the point. It is better to send a short message explaining the reason behind your absence including some basic details, but not the entire story. Your boss might want to know that you’re sick but not the gross details about how it’s making you feel. Still, your message does not end after the reason. It is also expected that you mention the day or time you will be back to work. It helps your boss plan your work better. 
  • If it is possible for you to be available via call or email on your day off, it is also advised that you mention the same. Once again, such a step makes you come across as sincere and hardworking and helps your colleagues and your employers work better while you’re away. If it is not possible for you to be in contact with your colleagues, inform them of any work that they should be doing in your absence. 

Illustrating Through Instances

I have given you all the tips to write a good message to call off from work. But the best way to learn is through examples. To complete this guide, here I have a couple of examples using all the tips mentioned above. 

Personal Emergency 

I am writing to inform you that I will be unable to come to work today. I had a minor electrical fire in my house this morning. I need to call the repairman as soon as possible. The repairing might take some time. I might not have electricity till tomorrow. I will still be available via text and call. I have informed my colleague to follow up on the recent client lead that we have. I will get back to him to know their response and call them myself if need be. 

I will see you tomorrow.

Family Sickness 

I am writing to let you know that I need a few days off to care for my husband who had a car accident yesterday. I will have to stay at the hospital all day. I am not sure about when I will be able to join work again but I will keep you informed. 

The Ending Note

Don’t let the heading confuse you. No, there are no special guidelines about how to end your email/message for the day off. This is my ending note for you all. After all, I have given you all the tips you need. Through this article, you have also come to know about the employer’s perspective. Therefore, the next time you want to call your day off, do it like a professional but take some personal time off. Let’s not be professional always. So that is me signing out – Enjoy your day off everyone…

How to tell your boss you can’t work today?

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