How to Call Out of Work by Text (5+ Sample Messages When Sick)

Here's how to call out of work by text message. "Hello, (insert your boss's name)," for example. Today I'm not feeling well, so I'm going to take the day off. I'll be at work the next day. Thank you (insert your name here)."

If you need to take more than a few days off due to a significant illness or accident, the best choice is to include more details or talk with your supervisor.

How to call out of work text

How do you inform your supervisor that you are feeling sick?

First and foremost, notify your manager as soon as possible that you are ill. Give your employer as much notice as possible so that you and your boss can plan how to handle your absence. Besides, giving notice is kind and appreciated, regardless of whether your absence will significantly impact the day's work.

Next, remember that less is more when notifying your manager that you are unwell and unable to work. Don't tell your supervisor about your stuffy nose and unsanitary bowel habits. No one needs to know what you look like on your deathbed; they need to know how you feel, so you can't make it to work.

You don't need to write a long email to your supervisor asking permission to stay at home when you're unwell. Instead, it would help if you informed your supervisor that you have a fever and cannot come into the office. If necessary and possible, offer to produce a doctor's letter as proof.

How to call out of work text

What's more essential than figuring out what's wrong with you is figuring out what you will do about it. Don't just abandon your employer and coworkers while you're away. Contact your team to see if you can acquire some help and delegate some of your day's chores. If you can't, have a strategy in place for how you'll catch up when you return to work — and convince your supervisor that you've got your workload under control. You may be out for the count, but the show must go on, and it is your responsibility to assure that it can and will do so without you.

How do you compose an email requesting sick leave?

An email requesting the sick leave can be brief and to the point. Again, don't delve into the specifics of your morning spent trapped in the bathroom. Inform your manager of your predicament and request that they take a sick day to deal with it.

Following up on your request, let them know how you intend to handle your job - whether you'll delegate it or tackle it when you return to the office.

Don't start making a million excuses or oversharing, whatever you do. You don't want your boss to think you're lying about being unwell, and your boss isn't going to listen to your sob tale (sorry, but it's real!). So make your email as clear and direct as possible, detailed as necessary, and reassuring as possible.

How to call out of work text

Here's an example of an email message (sick email example):

Hello, [Name of Boss],

I'm sick today and will need to take the day off to go to the doctor and relax. I hope to feel better by tomorrow, but I'll let you know how I'm doing after my checkup. In the interim, [Coworker's Name] has offered to cover my shift for the day. I appreciate your patience.


[Your Name Here]

What do you put in the email subject line when you're unwell?

Your email calling out sick should have a clear and professional subject line. "[Your Name] - Calling in Sick" or "Not Feeling Well Today" are examples of good subject lines. Your supervisor will know what your email is about before they read it, and it will ideally capture their attention faster than a generic subject line, so you won't have to worry about them missing it.

How to text into work sick

While phoning in sick is the most popular method of reporting an unplanned absence from work, some employers allow employees to email or text in sick. Texting in ill may be okay if you frequently text your supervisor about your work schedule.

Some workplaces, however, prohibit texting while sick and instead ask you to phone in, record your absence online, and show a doctor's note when you return.

For detailed information, check your boss, your company's human resources department, or your employee handbook.

If texting while unwell is against your company's policy and you send a text regardless, you might be punished or fired.

If you're permitted to text when you're unwell, it's best to make your message short and sweet. When writing your text, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Directly contact your boss/supervisor/manager. Don't rely on a coworker to deliver the message.
  • Make contact with your manager as soon as feasible. If you're in charge of finding a successor, include this information. If you text sooner rather than later, your manager will have more time to assign any critical duties and locate someone to cover your shift.
  • Don't provide too much information. Your supervisor doesn't require a detailed account of your ailment. It only takes a few sentences to explain that you're too unwell to do your job correctly and when they can expect you to return to work.
  • Maintain a professional tone. Though texting is typically a casual mode of communication, it's ideal to complete whole sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation when messaging your supervisor. Your message should get written in the style of a brief email, not a text message to a buddy.
  • If your manager doesn't respond to your message within a reasonable time, phone them. It's possible that text messages could fail or that your boss's phone will be turned off. You should ensure that your absence gets reported.
  • If you have a serious ailment, you should probably speak with your supervisor instead, either over the phone or in-person (if possible). A significant sickness or injury might cause you to miss several days, weeks, or months of work, and you may be able to file a disability or workers' compensation claim as a result.
  • Don't provide too many details. Keep the message short and precise. Avoid using sick day excuses. Believable sick day excuses include not feeling well, having a family emergency, and needing a mental health day. These are all acceptable reasons to call in sick (or text in sick).

Sick text message examples (for calling out of work)

Here are text message examples to use when missing work for not feeling well:

Example text messages when you're sick:

Following the above guidelines, we've provided a few examples you can use to text in sick. Start the text with a greeting – a simple "Hello, (your boss's name)" should work.

As a gesture of gratitude, sign the text with "Thanks, (your name)," or "Thank you for understanding, (your name)."

"I have (the flu/a cold/etc.) and need to take a sick day," you might say if you need a day off. (Coworker's name) has agreed to cover my shift today, and I should be well enough to be at work tomorrow."

"I'm sick today and don't believe I'll be able to accomplish my work effectively." "I'm going to have to take the day off."

"I'm not feeling well today and need to take the day off."

"I'm not feeling well and need to use a sick day, but I'll be back at work tomorrow."

"I started feeling ill last night and am not feeling any better today, so I need to take the day off."

If you need several days off: "I have (the flu/a cold/etc.) and need to take the rest of the week off. (Coworker's name) will cover my shifts today and tomorrow, and I plan to return on Monday."

"I'm sick with (the flu/a cold/ etc.), and my doctor has recommended taking a few days off. I will return to work on (day of the week you plan to return)."

"I need to take today and tomorrow off from work. I visited the doctor and have (the flu/a cold/etc.)."

"I'm very sick and need to take a few days off. I hope to be well enough to return on (day of the week you plan to return)."

"I won't be able to make it in today or tomorrow due to an unexpected illness."

If you're unsure how long you'll need:

"I am sick and won't be able to make it today. I hope I'll be well enough to come in tomorrow, but I may need to take an extra day. I'll keep you posted."

"I have a fever and think I may be coming down with something, so I need to take a sick day today. I hope I'm feeling well enough to come in tomorrow, but I'll check in later to let you know."

"I need to take a sick day today and maybe tomorrow. I am not feeling well enough to work and don't want to get anyone else sick."

"I need to take a sick day or possibly a few days off. I started feeling ill yesterday and am feeling worse today. I'll keep you posted to let you know if I'm feeling well enough to come in tomorrow."

"I need to take a few days off for health reasons. I hope to return to work on (the day of the week you plan to return). I will keep you posted."

If you're unsure how long you'll need and plan to visit the doctor:

"I am sick and going to the doctor, so I won't be able to make it today. I may need to take the rest of the week off. I'll check back in after my appointment."

"I'm feeling ill and worried I may be coming down with something, so I'm going to the doctor. I will not be able to make it in today, but (coworker's name) is available to cover my shift."

"I'm not feeling well and won't be able to make it in today. I'm going to the doctor. I hope to return to work tomorrow. I'll keep you posted."

"I need to take today off. I'm not feeling well and have made a doctor's appointment. I'm hoping it's just a 24-hour bug, but I will keep you posted." "I will not be able to make it today. I think I have (the flu/cold/etc.) and have made an appointment with my doctor. I'll check in later to let you know if I need to take additional sick days."

Texting in when sick isn't acceptable in every working environment. Keep your message clear and straightforward if your boss approves of texting when sick.

If there's a family emergency:

"I'm having an issue at my home today. Is it okay if I take the day off? I wouldn't ask if this was not an emergency."

"My child is having some issues today. Is it possible to take today off? I wouldn't ask if this wasn't a serious issue." Thank you in advance.

When you need a mental health day:

"Hey there, I wouldn't ask if this wasn't necessary. But I'm not feeling great today. Can I take a mental health day?"

"I'm feeling pretty burnt out. Is it possible for me to miss work today and make up for it tomorrow?"

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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