24 Best Excuses To Miss Work (+ How To Do It) [2020 Updated]
Needing to get out of work and informing your employer about it can be a tricky process. At times you might not feel entirely comfortable sharing the truth. And so you need a “white lie” to tell that doesn’t hurt your standing of being a good employee. But also gets you out for the day.
Let’s start with what makes up a good excuse and what makes up a bad excuse.
Table of Contents
- Good Excuses VS. Bad Excuses
- The Best Last Minute Excuses
- What If I Need To Take Off In Advance
- All Excuses to Miss Work
- What To Do After Getting Approval Of Taking A Day Off
- How To Inform Your Manager or Boss
- How To Tell Your Colleages
Good Excuses vs. Bad Excuses
A good excuse is something that is believable. And won’t require you to continue to tell a lie over time in order for your employer to believe it.
For example, a bad excuse would be a death in the family. This is a bad excuse to get out of work because your employer will most likely care about the fact that someone passed away in your family. And will follow-up with you regarding it. This means you’ll have to tell more lies in the future, which isn’t great.
A good excuse is one that is relatable, believable and somewhat honest. It is something that has an expiration on it.
For example, a good excuse would be telling your employer that you simply aren’t feeling well. This can be the best way to get out of work last minute. And even if you needed to take the day off in advance, you could tell your employer that you aren’t feeling well last minute.
If they follow-up with you and ask why you don’t sound stuffy or something along those lines, just explain what type of illness or bug it was, and then move on.
Best Excuses to Miss Work for 2020
If you want to get out of work last minute, here are the best excuses to use and how you might be able to tell them to your employer.
Not feeling well
Say something like, “I woke up this morning and didn’t feel well. I’m not sure what’s wrong. But I was hoping I could take a day off today.” Be sure that you inform everyone on your team that you’re taking the day off. And move all of your appointments.
If you aren't sure how to describe why you aren't feeling well, use one of the following:
- Feeling like you are nauseous.
- Feeling like you have back pain.
- Feeling like you have diahhrea.
- Feeling like you have cramping.
- Feeling like you might have a fever.
- Feeling like you are sluggish.
- Feeling like you are about to vomit.
- Feeling like you can't stand up.
- Feeling like you have body aches.
- Feeling like you have neck or back pain.
- Feeling like you are "cloudy" or not in the right mindset to work.
Family member is in need
Say something like, “My mother needs me today for some family matters. It seems like today would be a good day to take off. If it has to be one of my vacation days, I’m okay with that as well.” Be sure you inform all members of your team, as well.
Need to care for your animal
This doesn’t just have to be an animal, it could be that you simply have a lot of personal appointments. Like a dentist's appointment or a veterinarian appointment. Bring up that you have a few of these on this day and it’s better that you simply take the day off. Say something like, “I have a dentist and veterinarian appointment that I forgot about. They happened to both be on the same day. Is it okay if I use this as a vacation day?”
Mental health day
This isn’t a bad excuse. Most employers and team members will understand. But when you inform everyone about a mental health day, be sure you only express this to your manager or boss vs. your colleagues. Colleagues might not need to know this information. Simply say, “I’m not feeling myself today. Is it okay if I take a vacation day today?”
What If I Need to Take Off in Advance
If you need to get out of work in the future and you know the date, you can either use a last-minute excuse the day that you need to use it or decide that it’s better to take a vacation day or unpaid workday.
Most employers will be okay with a last-minute vacation day. And if you don’t receive vacation days, they’ll be okay with last-minute needs you have to address.
Employers have changed their policies dramatically about this. Flexibility is one of the top benefits that Generation-Z and Millennials appreciate in the workforce. This has caused a shift in the workplace. Making it more common for employees to be seeking time off and last minute flexibility.
The point is, don’t overthink it. The need to take time off is okay. And it is understandable that sometimes you don’t need to share the reasoning.
All Excuses to Miss Work
While the list above is some of your best options for missing work, you might just need a few more ideas. Here are more ideas and reasons for missing work:
- Having a doctor's appointment and not being able to reschedule.
- Having food poisoning and letting your employer know you need time to recover.
- Having jury duty and informing your employer that you'll need to attend by law.
- Having a sick child and informing your employer that they will be home from school or daycare.
- Having a flat tire and informing your employer you'd like to work from home or miss today's work.
- Having general car issues and informing your employer you won't be able to attend work.
- Having pink eye and informing your employer that you'll need to stay home.
- Having a car accident.
- Having to attend the dentist for extended periods of time during the day.
- Having to attend the optometrist for extended periods of time during the day.
- Having to be part of your church group during the day.
- Having to be part of your volunteer work during the day.
- Having to stay at home for cable service.
- Having to stay at home for a delivery that requires a signature.
- Having internet service outages which are preventing you from working from home.
- Having to attend a veterinarian appointment which could take the entire day.
- Having to have your computer looked at or serviced.
- Having to have your car serviced.
- Having to travel for extended periods during the day.
- Having to perform annual accounting which can take up large portions of your day.
- Having a general emergency, when this is the case you might not need to explain what it is to your boss and mention it is private.
- Having to run personal errands all day.
- Having to take a sick leave day.
While all of these are decent reasons or a good excuse for missing work. Try to keep them plausible. Keep in mind that your employer may ask for proof. This means a doctor's note from your doctor or a photograph of your car accident from the service agent. Additionally, it is always better not to lie to your employer in order to develop better relationships with them. If you can, try not to lie.
It's always best to say that you aren't feeling well versus using a fake reason just for playing hooky. If you don't feel like you need to miss work, you can always suggest to work remotely until you feel well enough to return to work in office.
What to Do After Getting Approval of Taking a Day Off
If you get approval from your manager or boss about taking a day off, don’t forget to inform your team. This can be a way to ensure that you get future days off. If your day off happens to disrupt the rest of the productivity in the workplace, your employer might be less willing to give you time off in the future.
The way to handle this is by informing each of your colleagues that you will be taking the day off. Moving any scheduled meetings that you are leading. Or informing those meetings that you will not be in attendance, but will have someone fill in for you instead.
If you are not feeling well, be sure to inform those who were in attendance at the meeting of that reason. All you have to say is, “I’m moving this meeting due to the fact that I’m feeling under the weather and don’t feel like I’ll be able to create a productive meeting for everyone. Let me know if this alternative time works instead.”
How to Inform Your Manager or Boss
Choosing the right venue to inform your manager or boss is important. The best time to inform them is as soon as you can. For example, if you know the night before that you aren't feeling well (or plan to not feel well the next day), inform them that night. They won't be available or online at the time, but that's okay.
If your company uses the instant messaging service Slack, or any other type of instant messaging service to communicate, send your manage or boss a direct message through that. If you aren't sure they'll be on Slack the next day, send them an email.
If they don't use any of these tools, you might have to make a phone call early in the morning. Ideally, they don't pick up and you'll be forced to leave a voice message, which might benefit you anyway.
How to Tell Your Colleages
As mentioned, informing your colleagues and attendees to meetings is a critical part of taking the day off. Here's what you'll want to do:
- Contact them on Slack or email (or both).
- Inform them of the reason you'll be taking a day off (from the list above).
- Inform them of your plan to catch up with your work the next day or of anything that they might need in order to keep up productivity (like someone who can fill in for you).
- Change any meetings that you are planning. Or inform meeting holders that you will not be attending due to being out of office.
- Then propose ways to solve the fact that you will be missing meetings. For example, having someone fill in for you to take notes. Or following up with the meeting holder, manager, or boss the day you're back to get a recap of what happened in the meeting.
Other Time Off Resources
- Learn about the best excuses to take time off work and how to tell your employer - 4 Best Excuses To Miss Work & How To Do It
- Learn how to write a sick day email - 4 Sick Day Email Templates You Can Copy + Paste
- Learn about excuses to get out of work early - 15 Excuses To Leave Work Early And Still Look Professional
- Learn what to say when you have to call in sick to work - 5 Examples Of What To Say When Calling In Sick
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