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9 Valid Reasons to Call Out of Work When You Work From Home

9 Legitimate Reasons to "Call Out" When Working Remotely or from home


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When you work in an in-person office environment, nearly anything that prevents you from physically showing up to the office can be a valid reason to call out of work. Whether it’s car trouble, a bad case of the sniffles, or nasty weather, if you can’t get to your workplace and aren’t set up to work remotely, there’s not a whole lot you can do.

But when you work from home and getting to the office simply means walking down the hallway to your very own home office, there are far fewer reasons to call out of work. Ultimately, this is one of the huge benefits of remote work! With fewer variables involved with getting you to work, you can more easily stay caught up on your tasks and responsibilities.

Despite this, it’s important to remember that there will be times when you really do need to call in sick when working from home. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of nine reasons to legitimately call off work when working remotely.

1. You’re Sick

Sure, when working in an office, sometimes a monster headache is enough of a valid reason to call out of work—or at least enough to make you want to avoid the stress of a long commute. But when you’re working from home and don’t have to face an hour in anxiety-inducing traffic, pushing through your headache may feel more doable.

But, there also might be times when you’re just too sick to leave your bed. If you’re feeling that bad, what you really need is rest—not a day of working from the bedroom. To call in sick when working from home, let your manager know you’re feeling under the weather.

2. You Have a Doctor’s Appointment

The beauty of remote work is that you can often schedule doctors’ appointments during the day and still make up work without missing a beat. That said, not all appointments can be finished in under an hour.

If you’re going to have a lengthier appointment—or if the commute to and from the doctor’s office is far—it might be worth your while to call off work, at least for part of the day. That way, you can focus on your health without worrying about catching up with work later.

3. You Have a Family Emergency

Family emergencies can (and do) happen, ranging from having to rush your sick pooch to the vet to taking care of a suddenly incapacitated relative or dealing with a child’s injury. When you need time to sort through any sort of family emergency and aren’t able to make up missed work hours, it’s time to call off working remotely as you figure out how to best care for yourself and your loved ones.

4. Someone Else Is Sick

Taking care of kids (or a spouse or partner) when they’re sick can feel like a full-time job in and of itself. Between heating up soup, checking for fever, and providing soothing back rubs, your day may drift away with not much time for work tasks.

If you find that you’ll be spending most of your day playing nurse, then you should call off working remotely for the entire day. Not only do you want to be as present as you can for the person you’re taking care of, but it’s important to not overwhelm your own defenses by overworking. To stay healthy yourself, you need rest, too!

5. You Suffer a Loss

Having a loved one pass away is another one of the valid reasons to call out of work. Although some people might find work to be a much-needed distraction during times of loss, there’s a good probability that your work performance will suffer. It’s better to take the time you need to grieve before jumping back into your professional responsibilities.

6. You Have a Household Emergency

Let’s say that you woke up with a flooded basement or a leaky roof. If you have a household emergency that will require your time and attention while you call in contractors, then it’s best to call off from work for the time you’ll need to spend getting everything fixed. That way, you can deal with your emergency with a clear head and prepare your home (and your mind!) to return to work with a clean slate once the repairs are made.

7. You Need a Mental Health Day

There are bound to be days when, despite your best efforts, you’re just not in the best mindset to work. And with so many remote workers also having to juggle kids at home with online school and other new responsibilities amid the pandemic, people’s mental health is suffering.

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by the daily influx of challenges, or you just had a really, really rough night, there’s nothing wrong with taking a mental health day if you truly need it.

8. You’re Experiencing Bad Weather

Calling off work because of bad weather is something that in-office workers might legitimately have to do if they can’t physically get to the office. What about if you’re working remotely, though—the weather shouldn’t affect your ability to work, right? Not necessarily. If your area just experienced a severe snowstorm, for example, you might need to call off working remotely so you can plow your driveway or clear your sidewalks.

Or if strong winds and heavy storms whipped through your neighborhood, you might lose power or your internet connection and can’t work online. If you can find somewhere else to set up shop, that’s great, but bad weather often affects businesses all around you, leaving you stuck at home. If that’s the case, taking a day off until things return to normal may be the best plan.

9. You’re Interviewing for Another Job

Job searching when you work remotely is definitely easier than if you were in a traditional workplace. While you don’t have to worry about colleagues questioning why you’re suddenly wearing a suit (when you normally show up to work in jeans and a T-shirt), you might still have to call off work if you’re interviewing for another position.

You never know how long your interview might take or if your prospective boss might want you to interview with other team members on the spot. To give yourself enough of a time cushion without worrying about your current boss needing something from you ASAP, it might be worth it to call off work instead.

call center icon Calling in Sick When Working Remotely

When you work remotely, issues like bad weather, your car not starting, or feeling ill won’t necessarily impede your efforts to work from a home office. But there will still be days when you have a legitimate reason to call off when working remotely. Use your best judgment when you decide whether to call in sick when working from home so that you can return to your best form as soon as possible.

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