Work is an inseparable part of our lives, but work needs to balance our personal life. This means that we all have to take time off work at one point or another. There are quite a few occasions that, over the course of your career, that may lead to you missing work. Most firms have policies regarding leaves in place. Also, they are highly particular that team members have their time off pre-approved by their managers. However, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, there will be times when employees take leaves without prior notice. This piece will look at excuses to get out of work and address such issues.
Common/Good Excuses to Get Out of Work
Let us take a detailed look at some of the most common excuses to get out of work in this section.
A dental appointment, general health check-up, or a doctor’s appointment for a specific illness is one of the most common reasons employees use to get out of work.
In most cases, managers would show genuine concern and ask about a person’s health. But, certain managers can be distrusting and want proof of the appointment. You can always say that the appointment was fixed last minute.
Several illnesses make the ideal excuse to get off work—starting this one off with a fever. We all know that a fever can be a symptom of many contagious diseases, and no employer would like to take a chance.
However, some other conditions are just as good. Moreover, they help you describe how you are feeling. Some of these are:
- Body ache
- Eye infections
- Chronic back pain
- Muscle pain/cramps
But, you informed your manager immediately that you cannot work as you are unwell. Also, do let him know how you would take to recover. Do not try to power yourself through work on a sick day, as your productivity would take a hit. Not to mention, your illness would also get aggravated.
3) Family emergency
Helping out a family member is always a legit excuse to take some time off work. You could be attending to your ailing grandmother or assisting your relative who sustained an injury. It could also be that your parents wanted some heavy objects delivered to home. And, of course, you need to be around to help them.
4) Home Emergency
There could be issues with the heating at home, a gas leak, or a water pipe burst. Yes, we have all been there. Let your manager know once you figure out an important enough to make you miss work. After the work has been completed, you can return to the office in the latter half of the day or the next day.
5) Need to take care of a pet
This is a special category of emergencies. You may have to take care of your pet if he is unwell. Also, you may need to take him to the vet. Make sure that you clarify to your manager that this is for your pet. If he is fond of animals, he will likely understand your situation.
6) Death in the family
The death of a loved one is definitely a situation where you need to take time off work. This is essential as you need time to greave. Additionally, there are also funeral arrangements to handle.
Employees have to inform their manager about the unfortunate event. But, in this case, they need not go into details. However, employees must tell their manager about the number of days they intend to take leave.
7) Loss of child care
Being a working parent is a tricky job. There are many challenging situations that one has to navigate. If you have young children, there will be quite a few occasions that you will have to miss work to take care of them. This is absolutely normal. All one needs is an understanding manager.
Some More Good Excuses to Get Out Of Work
8) Religious event / Celebration
Whenever there is a festival or a religious holiday that is not recognized locally but happens to be one that you observe is a perfectly valid reason to take some time off work. Moreover, this will be welcomed as diversity in the workforce has become more common worldwide.
9) Loss of Personal Belongings
Losing your phone, keys, wallet, or important documents is a miserable experience. These are items contain sensitive personal information that cannot be compromised at any cost. So you need to make sure that your identity is not stolen before you return to work.
If you and your family are moving to a different part of town, it is natural to take a couple of days off to get things in order. Do inform your manager, and they will definitely understand.
11) School schedule conflict
One of the most common excuses to get out of work is that something has come up in your kid’s school, and you have to be present there for them. An important project, a play, a football match, you name it!
And almost all managers will understand how important these moments are for any family. It is always better to notify your manager beforehand of your absence.
12) New baby in the family.
A close family member celebrating the arrival of their bundle of joy? That certainly calls for a celebration. And this makes it one among the list of perfect and common excuses to get out of work. Do share and spread the joy with your work colleagues as well.
13) Mental health Day
This is a perfectly valid excuse. However, it is advisable to show restraint while sharing this information with your colleagues. But if your co-workers ask, you can always tell that something came up. So go ahead and inform your manager.
Poor Excuses to Get Out Of Work
As seen above, it is perfectly okay to miss work every once in a while. However, one must remember that not all reasons to miss work are considered valid. So, here we look at a few poor common excuses to get out of work.
14) You are interviewing for another job.
This is a reason one must never tell upfront to their manager. If your manager deems fit, he may release you from the team. However, if you decide to pursue opportunities outside the firm, be sure to come up with a good excuse.
15) You are feeling tired.
This is generally not considered a good excuse to get out of work. One can see this as the opposite of taking a mental health day. On the other hand, if work pressure is genuinely overwhelming you, it is essential to discuss your responsibilities with your manager.
16) You are unhappy about your job.
Dissatisfaction or arguments with co-workers is never a good reason to take time off work. If you face a conflict with your colleagues, it is advisable to take it up with your manager. However, if you are having issues with your manager, take it up with the HR head of the department.
Important Tips to Remember When Taking Time off Work
While it is acceptable to take some time off work, it is necessary to bear a few things in mind before doing so:
1) Consider the excuse first.
All the reasons discussed above (and a few more) are possible reasons to get out of work. However, it is best to have proof with you because your manager may ask for it.
Try to get a doctor’s note for an illness and similar assurances for other reasons, wherever possible. Moreover, it is essential to remember that all relationships are built on trust. So, it is best not to lie to your manager and be found out later.
Also, if you cannot work at the office for some reason, you can always ask to work remotely till your situation returns to normal.
2) Honesty is the best policy.
It is always ideal to be honest about why you are taking time off from work. However, you may constantly find yourself making excuses to skip work. If so, ask yourself – Why is it so?
It may so happen that your team is understaffed, and you feel fatigued and burnt out. In this scenario, the best thing to do is approach your manager and discuss your workload. Also, if you find yourself unhappy in your job, it may be time to look for other opportunities.
3) Do not overshare.
Many times you could be missing work for personal reasons. So you may not be comfortable sharing all the details with your manager. These may include family issues, health issues, or legal concerns. It is only necessary to tell your manager what they need to know.
4) Let your manager know.
Whenever you have to miss work for some reason, always inform your manager as early as possible. When taking time from work, it is an excellent practice to follow the established processes of the firm.
For instance, applying for PTO in the company portal and so on. Also, after dropping a text to your manager, send an email as well. This way, the request stays on the record.
5) Have a plan to catch up with work.
Creating a plan indicates that you are aware of your work responsibilities. Fill in your teammates' details of all the critical tasks that need closed. If you have to miss work for some unexpected reason, have a backup plan of how things will run in your absence.
6) Share updates as needed.
Sometimes when you are away from work, it is not possible to say when you will be able to come back. A typical example of this is when someone in your family is ill. In this case, keep your manager notified about the situation. You may even have to talk about taking an extended leave of absence if needed.
How To Deal With Missing Work
So far, we have looked at many common excuses to get out of work that are perfectly understandable and happen to all of us from time to time. But some of us might need more time off than others due to unavoidable commitments.
Let us understand how you can balance taking time off work for personal commitments and ensuring that your absence causes minimal disruption of the day-to-day activities.
1) Follow the attendance policy of the firm.
The first step in dealing with absenteeism is to follow the official attendance policy. You must be made aware of it. When people know the rules, fewer transgressions take place. You must adhere to the policy.
An attendance policy helps set the ground rules for expected behavior in the workplace and disciplinary action. The employees must be aware of the different rules for varied instances, such as frequent unscheduled absenteeism and late coming.
The policy must spell out the rules and consequences without any ambiguity, and you must familiarize yourself with all aspects of the document.
2) Comply with the attendance policy.
Everyone knows that it is one thing to have an attendance policy and a completely different thing to enforce it diligently.
To handle employee absenteeism successfully, companies must consistently implement the attendance policy. But this does not mean that it shows a lack of empathy towards genuine employee concerns.
And remember, showing up late or giving a valid reason for taking time off is different from not showing up at all.
3) Be aware that the attendance policy is being enforced.
The company might have an attendance policy, but, sometimes employees tend to take things lightly.
As an employee, you must always take cognizance of the fact that all your actions are tracked. So, the first thing you must do when you take time off is informing your manager. Also, you must make sure that your time off does not exceed the total allotted number of leaves.
Keep track of your absences.
There could be a situation where your manager points out that you are taking too many days off. In such cases, ensure that you have enough data to prove otherwise. Also, make sure all your leaves are logged in the system. This helps prevent an unpleasant discussion with senior leadership or your manager.
Make sure the employer hears your side of the story.
Always make sure that the employer is aware of your situation. You could be a working parent with young kids. In such a scenario, you can ask your employer to look at a couple of alternatives depending on the firm. These could be allowing for flexible hours or instituting a work-from-home policy.
A flexible work policy boosts employee productivity and morale. It improves employee retention as well. Additionally, it can help fix any attendance issues as well.
Often, employees may take time off because they have some additional chores at home or care for a loved one. Such employees would reap the benefits of a liberal work from home policy.
Make sure you are not faking the root cause
Many fake excuses to get out of the work follow a pattern. For instance, sometimes you may take Mondays or Fridays off. Other people may be unavailable every Wednesday. When employees take time off for a non-valid reason, there may be a common behavior in their absences.
If you have a legit reason, it is often best to inform your manager that you will be unavailable on certain days of the week or coming in late on a particular day every week. In fact, you can work on an alternate schedule with your employer that can accommodate your requirements as well.
Look for PTO in a firm (Paid Time Offs)
Not providing sufficient PTO is one to solve the problem of employee absenteeism. As an employee, you must look for firms that provide adequate time for families, friends, and hobbies.
Having a good PTO policy can be a major factor in attracting talent for a firm. It will also increase employee productivity and employee engagement. Most companies have a couple of weeks of PTO, which may not be enough for emergencies.
Situations could arise where all the measures listed above could fail. You or any other employee could be repeatedly late to work. Or worse, you could have many unexplained absences from work. If this behavior continues, it is bound to harm your co-workers.
As an employee, you must be aware of the consequences and repercussions of tardy behavior at the workplace, as outlined in the company policy. You must know that frequent absenteeism makes you liable to face disciplinary action.
Employees are human, after all, and they will face challenges and unforeseen circumstances that make them miss work. However, taking off too many times from work will be viewed negatively by any employer.
For an employee, it is about being genuine about their reasons for missing work. At the same time, an employer has to balance between being too lenient and taking a human-centric approach.
In the end, the focus should be ensuring collaboration between the various teams. Also, the management can look at a performance-oriented approach where your results matter irrespective of the hours clocked in. This is the way forward as firms look to build a future workforce and reduce the instances of employees coming up with common excuses to get out of work.