Though there are many legitimate reasons to schedule a day (or days) off of work (vacation, annual checkup, oil change), there are just as many legitimate reasons to call out of work for the unexpected.
Here are 10 times when it’s OK to call out of work unexpectedly.
1. You’re Sick
It could be the sniffles, a lingering cough, or you just plain feel icky. But if you wake up feeling sick (or you’re at work and suddenly feel unwell), an illness is easily the top legitimate reason to call out of work.
Even if you feel OK and up to working, you’re better off taking the day and resting up so you can return to work healthy. If nothing else, you could be contagious and infect your coworkers!
The same goes if you have a remote or hybrid job. Just because you can work from home when you’re sick doesn’t mean you should. Instead, call out of work, eat some chicken soup, and take a nap, then return to work when you’ve recovered.
2. Someone Else Is Sick
While you may be feeling perfectly fine, someone that you’re the caregiver for isn’t. That means you’re on duty!
Even when you think you can balance work with patient care, you never know what the day will bring. It’s better to focus on caregiving instead of trying to fit in some work between taking a temperature and heating up soup.
3. A Doctor’s Appointment
While most medical (and other) appointments are scheduled in advance, giving you plenty of time to notify your supervisor, sometimes life happens. Perhaps you cracked a tooth and need to see the dentist right now. Or, you’ve been on the waitlist for a specialist, and an appointment opened today.
Last-minute appointments are always a perfectly legitimate excuse to call out of work.
4. A Family Emergency
Life can happen in unexpected ways. And when it throws a family emergency at you, you should definitely call out of work.
Similar to a family illness, it’s better to focus your attention on the emergency until it’s resolved instead of trying to split your attention between work and the emergency.
5. A Household Emergency
Another type of emergency that merits calling out of work is a household one.
A busted pipe, a broken window, or wind damage from last night’s storm can wreak havoc on your home. Calling out of work lets you deal with the immediate damage and schedule the rest of the repairs as soon as possible.
6. You Suffer a Loss
Taking the time to grieve a loss is important to your overall wellness and a very valid reason to call out of work.
Though you might find it helpful to work during this stressful time, unless you’re truly able to give work your all, taking some time away from the job is the best choice.
7. Bad Weather
The weather can interfere with work in expected and unexpected ways, and that interference is an acceptable reason to call off of work.
If you commute to a job, snowstorms, flooding, and even extreme wind can make it hard, if not dangerous, to get to work. Likewise, the weather and your internet connection may not always play nice. If you work remotely and can’t connect, calling out of work may be your only option.
8. The Commute Is Too Much
When a commute is part of your daily routine and working from home isn’t an option, but you can’t get to the job, you have a valid excuse to call out of work.
For example, if your car dies, you may have no way to get to the office. Even when you have access to public transportation, it’s not always an option (your train is stuck). Sometimes it’s the roads being closed to a major accident that makes it impossible to get to work.
9. A Job Interview
While you likely won’t have a last-minute job interview, when you’re searching for a new job, taking random days off (or even a few hours here and there) can start to look suspicious. If you’re concerned that your job hunting could affect your current employment status, you can consider calling out of work to attend your job interview.
And though an interview is a valid reason to call out of work, do so carefully. Just like taking random days off can raise suspicion, so can calling out of work too frequently.
10. You Need a Mental Health Day
Finally, having a case of the Monday blahs is a very legitimate reason to call out of work.
Everyone needs to play hooky every now and then. It’s a chance to refresh and reset so you can return to work energized and engaged. But if you find that every Monday needs to be a mental health day, it may be time to look for a new job!
Take Your Time
Calling out of work at the last minute happens, and these 10 reasons are perfectly valid reasons to tell your boss you can’t work that day. Make sure you take enough time off to address your circumstances so you can return to work as focused as possible.
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