Taking time off from work is essential to maintaining an excellent work-life balance. The excuses that come with these breaks can vary from the most genuine to the most bizarre.
It’s pretty normal to have some days where you don’t feel productive or don’t have the physical and mental energy to work at the office. For days like these, most companies or offices have a policy about taking leave from work.
However, some days you might need an extra day or two more than the mandated leaves for which you need legit excuses to get out of work.
For some people, it’s pretty easy to come up with foolproof excuses midway through sentences and get out of work the day. In contrast, it can be terrifying for others, even if you have a legitimate excuse.
If you struggle with coming up with legit excuses to get out of work, we are here to help. This article will highlight the best, foolproof excuses you can use to convince your boss for a break.
It will also discuss a few excuses that are not the best and may be overused, so you’ll probably get caught weaving a lie.
Read the full article to know the 10 best and worst excuses to get out of work.
Best Excuses To Get Out Of Work
Whether you love your job or not, you’ll eventually face a day when you need some time off. Taking a day or two off from work is almost unavoidable for family or personal business.
Of course, it’s not a crime or illegal to call in unavailable for the day but if you feel like you need a solid excuse, something that doesn’t end with losing the trust of your boss; then take a look at the 10 examples of reasonable excuses below:
You Made An Important Medical Appointment:
Since more medical institutions like clinics and hospitals also operate during working hours, it’s plausible that you can take the day off for your appointment.
Health is wealth so you can only be a valuable asset to the company if you’re in good health. So if you have to go to the doctor, your employer probably won’t stop you from seeing your doctor.
Since scheduling a doctor’s appointment is at least 80% your decision, it might be a good idea to talk to your boss and work out a day or time that would be most appropriate for both parties.
Showing such common courtesy will go a long way toward deciding whether your boss thinks it’s okay for you to take the whole day off or ask you to come to work after the appointment.
Calling In Sick:
The most common, legitimate excuse to miss work is calling in for a sick day. You don’t need to over-think it and worry that your boss will think you are lying because illness doesn’t have any telltale signs. You could be okay one day and sick the next.
The unpredictability of illness makes this the perfect excuse to get off work, even at the last minute. Plus, you’re doing the office a favor by not coming to work and spreading your germs.
If anything, your boss should be happy to keep you away from the company until your sickness fades.
According to your office protocol, you can phone in with your reason for missing the office or leave an email with the company.
Ideally, if you call in sick with the flu or fever, you’re entitled to 2-3 days off until your body returns to normal. However, if you call for other medical reasons, like visiting the dentist, you might have to go to work after your appointment.
In The Event Of An Emergency:
There are essentially two types of emergency excuses you can make to get off from work.
A family emergency is considered one of the most legit excuses when calling off work for the day. The main reason is that your company will likely try to give you privacy and won’t be too keen on asking for many details.
They also don’t want to seem insensitive to the situation, so they will probably give you as much time as you need to deal with it before you head back to the office.
However, the disadvantage of using this excuse is that you will have to carry on the lie for a while. Especially if you have taken a week or more days off for a “family emergency.”
This will make it seem like the problem was more significant than necessary, prompting your colleagues and officials to ask more questions about the situation. You’ll get caught if you can’t keep up with the lies.
Other than this detail, family emergencies are legit, and you can quickly get away from working at the office on very short notice.
You can always go for a home emergency if you’re scared about faking a family medical emergency or don’t find it ethical. For example, if the plumbing is off in your house or your chimney collapsed, the garage door won’t open, etc., all these are home emergencies that can prevent you from getting to work.
On the other hand, not getting a babysitter for your children or if school is canceled last minute and you need to figure out how to go about the rest of the day are also legit excuses to miss work.
When you excuse a home emergency, make the situation sound as urgent as possible. It should be a situation that you need to take care of immediately, and that’s why you cannot come to work.
Most employers tend to understand these emergencies as they do not occur with a warning.
You Are Injured:
Injuries are never planned. At least the legitimate ones! Suffering from an injury, whether self-inflicted or an accident, is still a valid excuse to get off work. If you’re injured, you’re most likely in a lot of pain, which will require special medical attention or at least strong doses of medication that may hamper your productivity at work.
Hence, going to work with an injury is a no-no. Share as much information as you can with your boss and get the leave approved for the time you will require rest and recovery.
There’s also a chance that your boss will ask you to work from home if your injury is not too complicated. For example, if you sprained your ankle, you can still sit at a computer and work from home.
Celebration Of Religious Holidays:
Religion being such a sensitive topic, especially in big corporate workplaces, can be a legit excuse to get out of work. Because of the existence of a secular system and the freedom of expression, everyone is entitled to follow their beliefs, and religious celebrations play a significant role in that.
Even if your company does not share the same belief system, they should provide you every right to observe the holiday of your religion. Since nobody wants to be called out for discrimination against religion, you’ll probably be able to get away with making such an excuse.
However, for such reasons, you must think ahead and plan the holiday. If you’re an ardent follower of the religion, you are probably aware of when each celebration date is.
Hence, your company might require that you phone in at least a day early for your absence on the day of.
You Are Facing Some Trouble With Your Car:
In modern society, it is not uncommon to see employees driving to and from work. In most cases, people rely on their vehicles to get to work on time daily. So if your car stops working, you literally will not be able to reach the office.
Although it is a common excuse that people make and could potentially be a bad excuse, as long as you don’t abuse this, it is a solid reason you cannot attend work for the day.
Suppose it’s happening to you very often. In that case, you will have to start thinking about getting a new mode of transportation because your tardiness will reflect your overall work profile.
Again, this excuse is not plausible for those who don’t regularly commute by private cars or bikes. If you’re known for taking public transport sometimes to get to the office, your boss might ask you to do the same for the day, so think carefully before making this excuse.
You Have To Go For Jury Duty:
Jury duty is an evitable circumstance that will come knocking at your door. The good thing is that even if the authorities summoned you for jury duty, you don’t have to serve on the jury.
You’ll be required to attend the meetings to decide if you are willing to serve on the jury or check your ability to serve as a juror before making a final decision. For these reasons, you can give concrete dates for when you will be unavailable for work.
Another good thing about this excuse is that you have proof of the summoning letter to show your boss, so there’s no room for doubt.
It would be a rather unfortunate turn of events if you took a leave of absence on the pretext of jury duty when you haven’t been summoned and then got your actual summoning letter later on.
You Need A Day Off To Care For Your Mental Health:
More and more people are getting more accustomed to the importance of mental health and how essential it is to keep one’s mental state as stable as possible. More people suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, and panic attacks than we know.
According to National Institute Of Mental Health, 1 in 5 people in the United States suffer from mental illness. It’s always recommended not to take such things lightly and overwork at the risk of burnout.
Unless you work in a setting where no one and nothing is an exception, your employers will understand the need to take breaks off work for mental rejuvenation.
In many ways, it will help the company because employees with poor mental health are more prone to slacking or doing an unsatisfactory job than those who are mentally stable. It can even increase productivity if you take time off work to recharge your mind.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to talk with your employers about it and ask for a few days off to relax and unwind.
You Are Grieving:
Death is usually a sudden and unfortunate event that everyone shows respect for. So if you have to miss work for a funeral, your employer will likely grant it to you out of respect. Not just for the day of, but if you lost a very close loved one, then you can even get out of work to plan the funeral and take the time to recuperate from the loss.
When there is a death in the family, it is good to let your boss know about it immediately so they can arrange a substitute for you in your absence in the workplace.
Most employers also understand the grieving period and are sympathetic regarding such matters. So if you need time to spend with your family members and friends to deal with the loss, you can take time off from work for this as well.
The company might sometimes ask for proof, which might sound insensitive. Still, because of the possibility that some people might lie about death, however insensible it might sound, they need to follow protocol and ask you to provide the necessary documents.
It’s best to avoid faking the death of a family member or a friend to get out of work because, firstly, it is a very thoughtless deed, and secondly, your employers might offer to attend the funeral as a sign of respect. You’ll be caught in a miserable lie if the latter happens.
You Are Celebrating Your Birthday:
Although birthday celebrations seem less mandatory than the other excuses stated above, it is possible to ask your boss for a day off or at least a half day off, as it is a special day for you. Depending on your boss, you can take the chance to ask for this break.
You can even say it’s your spouse’s or a parent’s birthday. In most cases, if it’s a milestone birthday, it can be seen as an excuse to celebrate. Some employers might agree, while others might see it as an unprofessional move from your end. Either way, there’s no harm in asking.
Just make sure that you ask for this break well in advance. You cannot just spring it on your boss on the day off and say you need to celebrate a birthday. Plan it ahead and appropriately talk to your boss.
10 Bad Excuses To Get Out Of Work
The above 10 excuses were the ones that will probably get approved or accepted by your employers to get out of work.
There may be more excuses up your sleeve, but let’s look at the 10 worst excuses for missing work that might land you in more trouble or are just unbelievable.
You Think The Weather Is Too Bad Or Good For The Office:
If you wake up in the morning, look out your window and see that it’s a beautiful and sunny day, you might feel compelled to spend the day doing anything other than at the office. But this is a lousy excuse to call off work.
Instead, you can settle for enjoying the weather from your desk at work.
Likewise, even if the weather is gloomy, dark, uneventful, and making you dread going to work, it’s still not a good enough excuse to take the day off.
Unless there’s a blizzard and a state or nationwide shutdown of the roads and any other commute, it’s best to brave it up, put on your windbreakers, snow coats, or rain jackets, and get to work!
If the weather is unsafe, your company will probably ask you to work from home or call the day off, so if that’s the case, you’re good to go!
You Got Stuck In Traffic:
One of the most common excuses employers hear from their employees is that they are stuck in traffic. While getting stuck in traffic is a real deal, it just shows tardiness and unprofessionalism from your side, especially if it happens more than a few times.
You are responsible for checking traffic before you head out, or if you follow the same route every day, you probably already know how long it takes you to get to the workplace. So get out of the house on time, calculate the amount of time you might spend in traffic, and reach the office on time.
The only exception to this excuse is if you face some accident on the way. In this case, you are bound to get stuck for longer than expected, or you might not be able to reach work at all if the road gets blocked.
Feeling Scared To Leave The House:
We’ve all binged watched some horror movies or true crime documentaries and now getting out of the house seems like a terrible idea. No matter how legit your paranoia might feel to you, remember that it’s all in your head, and you don’t need to fear leaving the house.
Do whatever you have to do to desensitize yourself from the stories, but you cannot call into work saying you cannot leave the house because of some movie you watched on your own accord.
If it becomes a crippling fear, you can seek help from a friend or coworker going in the same direction as you or even consider talking to a professional if your symptoms get worse or develop into agoraphobia.
It happens to the best of us. You might wake up on your bed like any other day, but you glance at the watch and realize that you slept in too late. Now you start to panic and wonder where everything went wrong. Whether your alarm malfunctioned and didn’t go off or you didn’t hear the alarm, it’s still not an excuse to miss work.
Even if you get there late, get ready as quickly as possible and run to the office like your life depends on it. Saying you overslept and will miss work sounds like a childish excuse that no employer wants to hear.
You Feel Overwhelmed:
It’s not uncommon for workplace stress to make you feel overwhelmed about going to work, but it’s sometimes that most people, if not all the employees, collectively feel.
In a way, the type of stress keeps the company running, so you cannot call off work for that reason. Instead, if you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities at work, you can talk to your superiors and try to find a way out of the rut.
More often than not, you will always find a way around it.
If you think you need a change in work environment, check out this list of jobs that are easy to do and also pays well.
You Forgot To Check The Calendar:
Your forgetfulness is not an excuse to get out of work. Employers might see it as unprofessional to say that you don’t consider the workplace as important as your other priorities.
For example, calling in saying that you forgot the day was a Monday, and now you cannot come to work. You’ll probably get called out for mistakes and asked to come in anyway. But the mistake has been made, and you’ll have to deal with the consequences. So better not mention it in the first place.
Celebrating Your Pet’s Birthday:
It’s already a long stretch to ask for a day off on your birthday, but if you use your pet’s birthday as an excuse to get out of work, it might lead to unnecessary work stress between you and your employer.
Instead, why don’t you plan your pet’s birthday during the weekend or on a public holiday when you don’t have to go to work, and your work friends can also come to celebrate with you and your furry friend?
You Have A Bad Hair Day:
Inarguably one of the most self-centered excuses to make for missing work is saying that you have a bad hair day. If it’s that bad, take another shower and start from the top. You cannot say that your personal appearance is more important than the work that you were hired to do.
So throw in some gel, hair mask, shampoo, oil, or whatever you think will be doable, and get to work because bad hair days can come and go, but your job may be replaceable.
You Think That The Apocalypse Is Upon Us:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs but thinking that the end of the world is nearing is not a legit excuse not to go to work. Instead, when you make the call, your employer will either think that it’s a joke, a prank, or that you don’t care about the company’s work ethic.
Your Favorite Show Just Released A New Season:
Perhaps your employers and coworkers will understand this excuse more than the rest, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still quite a lousy excuse. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been waiting for a week, a month, or a few years for the new season to come back. You cannot miss work to binge-watch TV series.
You can still go back home after work and watch it. So cultivate some self-control and make it to the end of the day.
It doesn’t matter if you want to take a day off or a few weeks off from work. As long as you are honest about your reasons, you won’t get in much trouble.
Even if your employers don’t catch you in a lie, you’ll be stressed out from carrying the burden, so why not be upfront about it from the get-go?
This way, you’ll have all the proof and verification if your employers ever ask for one. Whether you like it or not, as long as you are working under someone, you are still answerable for your actions, so before you even make the call, consider asking if it’s vital and if the situation is unavoidable.
If you answered yes to both, you could ask for the leave, which will probably be approved, given the circumstances.
As an employer, you can try to set up a good work culture within the office to encourage more attendance and fewer turnovers.
What Is A Good Excuse To Miss Work At The Last Minute?
Among other excuses, the one that seems most valid to miss work at the last minute is if you have a family emergency. The best part about this is that you are not typically answerable to your boss or other co-workers about the situation until it has been resolved.
They will likely give you personal space without cornering you for more information. You can give as much information as possible regarding the emergency, and that’s it.
What Is A Good Excuse To Miss One Whole Week Of Work?
There are many reasons why you would need a week off from work. Some of the most common ones are:
- If you’ve been in an unfortunate car accident that requires long bed rest and a recovery period
- If your child or someone in your family has fallen sick or needs urgent medical care
- Losing a loved one
- A home emergency that doesn’t allow you to leave the house unattended
- You’re suffering from an illness that requires professional medical care
What Are Some Commonly Believable Sick Day Excuses?
The most common sick day leaves are due to different causes such as headaches, migraines, flu, fever, cold, tonsillitis, allergies, food poisoning, and UTI.
What Is A Good Excuse To Get You Out Of Work For One Day?
One-day leaves are typically granted for emergencies like family or home, medical emergencies like a dental appointment, or calling in sick.
What Are Some Excellent Family Emergency Reasons To Call Off Work?
When it comes to family emergencies, reasons like sudden medical help, hospitalization, or the death of a loved one are prevalent. It can also include little children who don’t have a babysitter for the day or are suddenly sick with the flu.
Is It Possible To Ask For A Mental Health Day At Work?
According to Mental Health First Aid, if you work at your company under a federal contract or your employer has more than 60 employees under his or her supervision, you have every right to seek a mental health day off from work.
You don’t have to worry about asking your employer to grant you leave because you are directly protected by federal labor laws that allow the punishment of any employer who discriminates against employees regarding mental health.
Should I Leave My Job If It Is Costing Me My Mental Well-Being?
If you believe that your workplace environment is not healthy for your mental state or if it is too toxic for you, you can do yourself a big favor by quitting your job.
The telltale signs can be feeling stressed out all the time, noticeable mood swings, irritability or anxiety, or you don’t think you have a life outside work.
However, you have to consider that quitting the job means you won’t have an income anymore, so if you do not have anything else to lean on while you figure out your mental state, you need to consider that before you quit your job.
Is It Possible To Continue Work Even Through Burnout?
You could attempt to work, but you will neither be productive nor creative. If you experience mental burnout, you need to rest your mind and let it recharge by taking some alone time.
If you’re experiencing physical symptoms of burnout like fatigue, muscle tension, or headaches, you can start taking care of it by exercising, getting some sleep, and eating the right food.
Can You Say No To Jury Service?
Once you get the summons letter from the court, you cannot blatantly deny going to court to fulfill your duty. If you ignore the letter, you might be subject to a criminal offense for not following a direct court order.
It is possible to say no to jury duty, but the court will only approve your claim if they find your reasons valid. Most of the time, the court’s requirement is that your claims of medical reasons, undue hardship, and work-related or personal issues should be seen as sufficient to excuse yourself from jury duty. However, most of the time, the court will grant you a change of dates, and you can come and fill in the spot when your schedule is free.