9 Acceptable Reasons To Call Off Work

reasons to call off work

You could be the best employee of the year. But even you’d probably be looking for reasons to call off work.

However, contrary to popular belief, many employees shy away from taking leave off work even for legitimate reasons. An interesting 2019 study in the US found that a total of 768 million vacation days went unused in 2018. A whopping 55% of workers reported that they didn’t use their time off. It amounted to a total of $65.5 billion in lost benefits.

If you’re among those who think that taking a legitimate day off work is a crime, we’re here to break that myth. In this article, we’ll explore nine reasons to call off work. We’ll also find out if we can/ should take a break without cause. But first, let’s understand why taking a break is essential.

Why Is It Important To Take a Break?

Staying connected with work night and day blurs the line between life and work, causing mental and physical problems. It may reduce your work output and job satisfaction. Apart from this, it may also harm your family and social life.

Most employers today welcome legitimate reasons for leave from work. They understand the importance of taking a break from work.

Here are some reasons to call off work.

9 Acceptable Reasons To Call Off Work

1.    You’re Sick

While most employee-employer agreements include sick leaves, many people hesitate to take a leave when they’re sick. Since remote workers don’t commute, they’re hesitant to take a day off. However, in most countries, employers are obliged to offer paid sick leave to their employees.

Why Should You Take Sick leave?

  1. Sick leaves give you much-needed rest and help you get better.
  2. They allow you to go to visit the doctor and seek help.

Take care to use sick leaves only when you feel ill. Taking a sick leave otherwise dilutes its importance.

     2. You Need a Mental Health Day

Mental health is as important as your physical health. Most creative professions like content writing, video editing, graphic designing, and others require you to be in the best of your health. Even other less creative jobs require optimal mental health.

While many employers don’t have designated mental health days, most of them understand the importance of mental health.

Are you going through a divorce or a breakup? Or is it just one of those days where you feel blue or burnout? Then, it’s time to take things slower.

Why Should You Take a Mental Health Day?

  1. Mental health day gives you time to unwind and relax.
  2. You’ll come back to work better than ever.
  3. Your work output will improve when you take a day off.

According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety costs the global economy US $1 trillion every year. Roughly 12 billion working days are lost due to anxiety and depression alone. Therefore, recognition of problems with mental health at work makes the workplace not just healthy, but also productive.

3. You’re Moving Residences/You’re Having a Home Improvement

Moving houses is a nightmare for most  of us. From finding the right movers to arranging your furniture in your new place, it takes an immense amount of time. It is understandable if you need a few days off during these times.

Why Should You Take a Day off?

  1. Moving residences takes a lot of time. Your personal life is as important as your work life.
  2. If you’re staying with your family, it is crucial to help them out during these times.

  4. You Have a Wedding

Your employer will understand whether it’s your wedding or your brother or sister. A couple of days off will allow you to travel, attend, and meet your close family.

Why Taking Days Off For Weddings is Important?

  1. Family is important. Weddings are the best way to meet your family which you haven’t met for a long time.
  2. Weddings give you a much-needed break from your busy schedule.
  3. You’ll come back rejuvenated.
  4. You prioritize what truly matters to you.

    5. A Family Member Died/ Sick

Your employer knows how important your family can be. You can ask for a leave from work, not just for the event of the death of a close family member but also for the grieving period.

Losing someone close can impact your mental health, affecting your work output.

Why is Taking a Day Off Important?

  1. Grieving periods are essential for your mental health. 
  2. You’ll need some time to be with  your family.

   6. You’re Graduating

Graduation is an important milestone in everyone’s life. If you’re one of those who went back to school after starting work, you’ll need a few days off for graduation.

Why Should You Take a Few Days Off during Graduation?

  1. Graduation allows you to meet your friends from university and spend quality time with them.
  2. A few days off helps you take a break and rejuvenate.
  3. Celebrate your wins.

   7. Computer Broke Down/You’ve Connectivity Issues

As a remote worker, your computer is your office. You’ll also need a healthy internet connection to make work happen. If you’ve neither, taking a day off is inevitable.

Convince your boss that your connectivity issue and technical problems are only temporary and will be resolved at the earliest. If they’re infrequent, your employer is sure to understand.

   8. There’s a Power Cut

While power cuts are rare in the developed world, they can be expected, especially if you’re traveling in the developing world. If you find yourself in such awkward situations, your employer will understand (as long as they’re not frequent).

However, make sure to stay equipped for such situations. Carrying backup power banks is always a good idea. If you reside in a place that faces repeated power outages, buying a backup UPS is a good investment. If nothing else works, take a day off. Keep in mind not to overuse it.

   9. You’re a Digital Nomad

If your company has a policy for digital nomads, that’s great! But if you’re in a company that accepts remote work but is ambiguous to nomadism, you might have to plan your journeys accordingly. Most remote-first companies allow their employees to travel while working.

A wise thing to do is to plan your journeys on weekends. However, if something unforeseen happens, for example, if you miss your train or plane, you might have to travel even on work days. On such days, you’d have to take a day off.


  1. Plan your trips in a way that they don’t overlap with work.
  2. Give preference to your work when you travel.
  3. Don’t frequently call a day off for the same reason.

Why Should You Take a Few Days Off?

  1. Juggling work when you’re traveling can be tricky. It’s wise to take a few days off when you’re in transit and get back when you reach your destination.
  2. Digital nomadism is a lifestyle choice. Contrary to popular belief, even digital nomads need a few days off.

So those were nine acceptable reasons to call off work. However, even for the best of us, we have a few days we cannot make it to work. Finding reasons for such days to take a day off may be difficult.

Can We Take a Day Off Without Reason?

The short answer is no. You generally should have a solid reason not to go to work. However, if you cannot work on any particular day, you can ask for a mental health day. If you’re unable to work, it’s mostly because you need some rest- some time to unwind.

While most employers allow employees to take days off from work, it shouldn’t be misused. There are also some ways to ask your employers for a day off. Here are some ways you shouldn’t ask for a leave.

How Not To Ask For a Day Off

1.    I’m not in the mood

You cannot have the same zest to work every day. Nobody can. However, generic reasons like an absence of mood are a lousy excuse. Try to be more specific.

2.    I have a terrible hangover

Everyone likes to have a great weekend. But make sure that your happy hours don’t infringe on your work hours. Even if they do, take a day off by calling for sick leave. Remember not to make it frequent.

3.    My alarm didn’t go off

Most of us are immune to our alarms. We often sleep till 5 minutes before our work starts. But calling a day off or arriving late to work frequently is a bad sign. Calibrate your sleep cycle according to work. If your company has flexible work schedules, inform your employers about your working hours.

Final Tips

Taking a few days off work is important. It helps you recoup, and come back fresh. Whether it is a sick leave or leave for travel, a few days off, will give you some much needed break from your daily grind. Nevertheless, remember to not take leaves very frequently. Also, try having genuine reasons to take a day off.


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