If you are late for work, it’s best to tell your boss the truth and get the situation under control early on. But there might be situations where telling a little white lie is a better solution to the problem.
For example, suppose you accidentally spend 30 mins catching up on your new favorite show instead of getting ready on time. In that case, you cannot expect your boss to be understanding about such a situation.
It’s always good to give a valid excuse for why you’re late to work. Therefore, we have compiled 20 best excuses for being late to work to help you in these situations.
Sickness In The Family
Taking care of a sick person in the family is a valid excuse for being late to work. Your employer will often show sympathy if you say that a family member is not doing well.
However, the truth is, engaged employees don’t make any excuses. They generally show up for work. Great job security and communication are key principles that make this happen and Solitaired improved employee engagement by 24% by acting on these tenets.
It is best to let your boss know about the situation as soon as possible so that they know you’re late for a valid reason. Of course, sometimes the ailments might be sudden, so you may not have the time to inform your supervisor at work, but when you can, and if possible, always let them know in advance that you’re running late.
Finding A Babysitter For The Kids
This is also another excuse that works well with bosses. If you are a parent of toddlers, you probably need a babysitter all the time while you’re at work.
Your nanny might have caught a cold or have a personal emergency preventing them from coming over to look after your kids. Finding a last-minute babysitter is a massive task that any parent understands.
If your boss is also a parent, maybe they will understand your issue at a greater length and let you off the hook. Just remember to inform them in advance so that you can work from home or take the day off if you are unsuccessful in finding a babysitter.
There Was A Lot Of Traffic
One of the most common excuses people use for being late to work. Since a considerable portion of the population is trying to get to work or school simultaneously, there is a lot of chance for high traffic, which ultimately makes you arrive late to work.
It’s also a situation that is out of your and your boss’ control, so your employer has no reason to question your lateness in working.However, while the situation can be actual, it’s often so overused that most people don’t buy it. So, it is best to be very frugal with this excuse, so your boss trusts you whenever you use the traffic excuse.
The more frequently you use this excuse, the more the possibility that your boss will think you’re lying to get out of your unprofessional tardy behavior.Make use of this excuse only when it is necessary.
Almost everyone these days takes their vehicle to work. It’s almost impossible to find someone who does not commute to work via car, so if your car breaks down suddenly, it can be a valid excuse to be late for work.
This is typically one of the more believable excuses you can make since anyone who owns a car knows how much of an issue this causes. Hence your boss will believe you when you make this excuse.
There are so many problems that can occur when you have a car. From changing a punctured tire to a broken seat belt or an engine that won’t start, unforeseen problems can occur in the morning, potentially making you late for work.
Remember to let your boss know about the delay if you have the time to explain while taking care of the problem.
Getting Pulled Over By The Police
You could very well be on your way to work on time but got late because of the law. And this is as perfect an excuse as any to give. Especially given that you can’t just disobey an officer of the law, you had to stop when asked and wait while the police explained the reasons to you.
If you’re making this excuse as part of a white lie, make sure you avoid telling them that you were stopped for running a red light. In most places, traffic signals have cameras that record you as you speed past the stop signal. So, your employer might ask for proof.
Instead, say that you were pulled over for no reason or were part of random checks on the highway. This lets you get away with showing proof of tickets or other documentation to support your story. Know your rights before you make the excuse of getting pulled over by a cop so you know exactly what to say to your boss.
You Were Feeling Sick
Illness is also one of the excuses that you can get away with, with virtually no repercussions. It’s something that you can never predict, so for those mornings that you don’t feel like going to work, your sickness can be used as a reason to stay out of the office.
However, telling your supervisor or boss that you cannot come to work because you’re feeling ill is best. You can throw in some of the symptoms you’re feeling to make it more valid.
In most cases, your employer will ask you not to come to work until you feel better for your own sake and the office. No one wants their office to be contaminated with a contagious sickness that can put many workers out of the office for a few days.
If you’re just late, you can tell your manager that you woke up feeling nauseous or had a terrible headache, so you had to wait for your body to feel better before coming to work.
Your Pet Ran Away From Home
Every pet parent knows how frustrating it can be when you’re just trying to get to work on time but get dragged because you must run after your dog or cat that ran out while grabbing your keys.
While it might sound a little unprofessional and odd, it’s still a valid reason why you would be late to work. Especially if you know that your boss is also a pet lover, this excuse works excellently.
Make sure you don’t randomly bring up this excuse at your convenience. This type of excuse works best if your boss already knows that you have a pet and are accustomed to you talking about your pet at work.
You can also use the excuse of your pet falling sick or getting lost as an excuse to get out of work. Maybe you must go out and paste missing posters of your pet or take them to the vet. These are all legit excuses that you can give your employer.
You Lost Your Bag, Purse, Or Wallet
On your way home from work the day before, you might have run into some bad company and got your wallet or bad stolen. Perhaps, you left it in the cab or the train, and now you must trace it by going to the transportation office.
This can cause a significant barrier in your morning routine, eventually causing your lateness to work. Maybe you can’t even afford to get to work since your wallet and cards were all stolen or lost.
If this is a legit excuse, tell your employer or anyone at the office you can get in touch with about your situation. It’s better to have the news transmitted to someone at the office so if you’re missing from work in the morning, someone can inform your boss on your behalf.
If you’re looking for an excuse for being late, you don’t have to mention that you lost your wallet because then you must keep up with the lie and give fresh updates about your quest to find your lost items.
Instead, mention that you lose your house keys or your car keys. These are lost items that are important enough for you to miss work but also not so severe that you will have to file a police complaint and go through a whole ordeal.
There Was A Problem With The Plumbing
Plumbing problems are indeed a big problem that you cannot ignore. The worst part is that it can happen at any time. A burst pipe is a sudden and undoubtedly frustrating event that can take up a big chunk of your day if you must take care of it on your own.
You might even call a plumber or a handyperson to come to fix it, but now you have to wait for them to show up and leave so that you can lock your doors and get to work.
This right here is a classic legit excuse for being late to work. These are circumstances that are unavoidable and hence, valid.This excuse works with gas leakages, holes in the roof, blocked driveways, you name it. All home emergencies are ground for valid excuses for being late to work.
If you know that you’re going to be late, always let your employer know as soon as possible so they can arrange for a substitute in case you have important meetings at work.
Lousy Weather Conditions Preventing You From Getting To Work On Time
Weather is also another common unpredictable force of nature. You might have enjoyed a bright and sunny day yesterday, but today might be filled with thunder, clouds, and rain.
This can cause significant issues on your way to work with the traffic and road conditions. Especially in the case of a storm, there might even be roadblocks or flooding in some areas that prevent you from taking your usual route to work.
Bad weather conditions are an excellent excuse for being late to work. As long as you know that your boss lives far away from you, you can always come up with climate change excuses that will get you out of trouble most of the time.
Death Of A Loved One
Death can creep up on us unknowingly. And it’s primarily a sensitive topic when it happens to a family member or a close loved one. Usually, when there is a death in the family, you get to request time off work so that you can focus on healing and being with the family.
It’s quite a dramatic excuse, but it’s still valid. However, for moral and ethical reasons, it’s best to keep this one for the genuine excuses list instead of something that you throw on your boss whenever you’re late for work.
If you use this excuse, your boss will surely not question anything since it’s a situation where you need to show a lot of sympathy and support.
Public Transport Issues
If you’re someone who takes public transportation to commute to work, the bus or subway breaking down or being out of order is a great excuse. Because then you have to deviate from your usual routine and find an alternative to get to work. This will surely cost you valuable time and make you late for work.
In some cases, you might even find no better alternatives to get to work, so you can inform your boss about the situation and get out of work for that day. These are problems beyond your control, so it makes no sense for your employer to trouble you with scolding or get reprimanded for your actions.
Your House Was Robbed Or Burgled
Getting your house burgled sounds like an excellent excuse to be late for work. This calls for a significant law enforcement intervention, so only use this excuse when it’s real.
The police could come to your house early the following day, assuming that your house was robbed at night. They might spend some time asking you questions and thoroughly investigating the house.
This will probably take up a lot of time, so you can call your boss or leave an email stating why you are not at work on time.
You could dig a giant hole if you lie about this and have to keep lying to make up for the first one until it’s too difficult to keep up with it. So it’s best to leave this one for genuine excuses.
You Had A Doctor’s Appointment
Everyone agrees that health is wealth, so if you have to meet with your doctor before you get to the office, your employer should have no problem excusing you for being late with such an excuse.
Since a doctor’s office operates around the same time as an office and would, it makes sense that your doctor’s appointment would coincide with your office hours.
The only thing you must remember is that doctor’s appointments are usually made days in advance, so you must inform your boss that you’ll be coming in late on the day of the appointment.
Also, it’s understandable even if you’re late for work since hospitals tend to have massive crowds or long waiting lists.
You Were In A Car Accident
If you’re like one of the many people who drive to work, this is an incident that can happen to you anytime. Even if you don’t drive your car, The cab you take or the bus could get into an accident, and you’ll have to deal with your boss at work for being late.
Being in a car accident is as good an excuse as any other for your lateness. You don’t have to go as far as to claim the accident as fatal, but you have to take care of the damages, check for any injuries and maybe help anyone else involved in the accident.
This could take up a lot of your time, so make sure you call your boss and let them know your situation.
You Lost Your Car Keys
How would you get to work without the car keys supposed to get you to work? So, then you might have to find another way to reach the office, which will take up a little time from your usual morning routine.
You could say that you lost your keys the previous day or couldn’t find them in the morning. Or that you have been looking for the lost car keys at home for a long time.It’s not an absurd excuse to give, especially if you have pets or little children at home who are just being playful and mischievous with household things.
You Had To Visit Your Child’s School
Another perfect excuse for being late to work is saying that you are called into your child’s school. Being there for your family, especially the kids, is a significant value that people uphold.
So when you use this excuse, your manager will probably understand the situation because you must put your family first.
Perhaps your child was sick or was having a hard time in school, or there was an incident that needed your attention. All these are valid reasons why you might be called into school and an excellent example of a valid excuse for being late to work.
You Had To Deal With A Personal Problem
The one excuse that works the best without having to look around your brain for a foolproof plan is saying that you had some personal issues to deal with.
You are not obligated to tell your boss everything that is going on in your life. So whenever there is an issue in your personal life that you have to deal with and might potentially make you late for work, you can tell your boss the same.
Hopefully, if your boss understands, there will be no further questions. Vague excuses like these aren’t always the best way to go about but once or twice is okay.
You Got Your Period And Have Terrible Cramps
This excuse is one of the more controversial ones since it’s an excuse only valid for women who menstruate. With all the negative feelings and symptoms associated with period and period cramps, the one good thing you could get out of it is an excuse for missing work or coming in late.
It’s also a natural human process, so there’s no need for your boss to double down and ask you tons of questions about your situation.
Especially if you are known for taking leaves throughout the year for your period pain and cramps, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to your boss if you have to take another leave.
But use this excuse wisely because you might need it when the time comes, but if you’ve already used it for another day, you may have to think of a new excuse for a real issue.
If you’re having trouble staying focused at work, check out these tips to help you concentrate more.
Your Clothes Got Drenched Because Of A Puddle
This might sound like a silly excuse, but it’s not something uncommon. If it had rained the previous day, there could be huge puddles of rainwater retention on the sides of the road. Inconsiderate drivers could’ve driven past them and showered you with a huge splash of puddle water. Now you have to go back into your house and change.
So, you see, it’s a valid situation, and your boss will probably be open to excusing you for your tardiness, given the situation.
It’s normal to be late. It happens to everyone. It just might become a problem if you make it into a habit and now you are known as the one who is always late.
While it is good practice to try not to be late for work, some days, you can’t help it. And these days, you want to make sure that you have a few excuses at your disposal that you know will help and will get you out of a sticky situation.
Check out this article if you want to learn more about excuses to get out of work.
Is It Considered Unprofessional If I Am Late To Work?
This depends on your work culture, but in most cases, being late is considered an unprofessional trait that is against the ethics of the workplace.
If you are always late for work, it gives people a negative impression of you, so you might be considered ill-fitted for the job. Your superiors and colleagues will probably find it disrespectful if you constantly make them wait for you.
What Happens When You’re Late To Work?
When you’re late to your job, your work piles on, you are left with less time to complete more tasks, and you disturb the teamwork ecosystem by delaying the process.
If you work in the customer service industry, your customer won’t appreciate you being late to work just as much as your employer, resulting in losing loyal clients. You also get in the bad books of everyone at your office, which might not be suitable for your personal and professional life.
Is Being Late To Work Justifiable?
When you have a valid excuse for your lateness to work, for example, bad weather, car accident, illness in the family, etc., it is understandable to run late for work. However, repeated late arrivals to work might look bad on your reputation as an employee of a company that follows strict professional rules and conduct.
Even if you’re late to work, you should be able to cover your end of the responsibilities without causing a cascading problem pyramid because of your delay.
Can A Company Fire You If You’re Late To Work?
A company can fire you based on your delay. If you think about it, a company can fire you for several reasons as long as they adhere to the company code of conduct.
In most cases, when a company fires someone for being late, the behavior is repeated often, and the employers see no improvement even over some time.
Is It Disrespectful If I Am Late All The Time?
Yes. Many people consider being late to work as a sign of disrespect. They might think that you think their time is not as important as yours, which looks arrogant and rude.
What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Tardy At The Workplace?
Employees of a company are expected to be at their workstations at a specific time and sit for the number of hours they are expected to work for the day. You are being tardy when you don’t meet these requirements, or you’re late to these already set timings.
It can be your late arrival to work in the morning or even taking longer than the specified time to return from your lunch break.
Is It That Important To Reach On Time To Work?
One of the most common requirements in most workplaces is that you need to be at the office on time. When met, it is a simple yet essential requirement that shows you respect the company policies, your colleagues, and your superiors.
It also makes you look good in front of fellow employees and your managers, who might put in a good word for you and boost your workplace success.
Can Late People Become Successful In Life?
A few research studies point to the findings that latecomers are usually more optimistic than people who arrive on time. Hence, they have a higher chance of success because of their happy-go-lucky personalities. The studies believe that latecomers tend to have a more positive outlook in life, fitting in more tasks to do throughout the day, eventually making them late for work.