No matter how much you love your work, there are days when you cannot bring yourself together to the workplace. In many instances, it could be due to an onset of flu, a slight fever, or a sore throat. In others, it might just be about your mental state of mind or a personal emergency. The requirement to excuse yourself from a workday is inevitable – even when you don’t want to trouble anyone at your workplace so that you can fulfill your responsibilities. That’s why, as a professional, it’s vital to know how to call out of work appropriately.
Know Proper Call Etiquette
Knowing the proper etiquette to call out doesn’t only show common courtesy to your coworkers and bosses, but it also gives you the peace of mind. You’re assured that your work responsibilities are not going to pile up in your absence. It lets you have the assurance that even though you were not able to make it to work, you have the support of the higher-ups. With it, the practice also gives you the much-needed feeling of job security instead of fearing that being unproductive for a day may have cost you your job performance or livelihood.
The best part about learning how to call out of work appropriately is the simplicity of the process. Instead of having to remember complex procedures, you can simply follow a few tips to present your request in a way that gets it approved. You also get to earn the support of your managers and teammates alike. Although the practice is straightforward, it is still something that needs to actively learn to make sure you are responsible for your job.
Keeping in mind the lack of resources on the subject, we are here to explain all you need to know about how to call out of work properly. Being mindful of the following points would have you become a pro at this crucial requirement.
1. Determine Whether You Even Need to Call Out of Work
This may seem like corporate talk that’s asking you to put your wellbeing at the backburner. However, it is something that will help you become more responsible for your commitments and more efficient in time management.
Level of priority
To make things clear, this doesn’t mean that you should consider going to work while running a high fever or sporting a dizzy head. If you are feeling sick due to whatsoever reason, then this practice of consideration doesn’t even need to be in place. You shouldn’t second guess yourself on putting your wellbeing first. Go ahead with the inevitable decision of having to call out of work due to the condition of your health. It’s as uncomplicated as that.
This priority approach also applies to a few other aspects. For instance, if you need a day off to deal with an emergency at home where your loved one’s health is in jeopardy, don’t hesitate to prioritize them overwork. This is also relevant when you have just lost someone close to you and need some time to grieve and take care of related affairs. While understanding how to call out of work, it is critical to determine when you should stand your ground in your right to take an emergency day off.
Not an emergency or health-related issue
However, an absence that doesn’t stem out of a health or an emergency issue, you should have a good reason for your absence at work. For instance, if you have to call out due to a personal commitment, determine if you really need a full day off to fulfill it, or if a few hours off might do the trick. This also applies to professional commitments that arise out of a second job or a part-time gig, which should be at the same level of priority as the workplace you are calling out from. Sometimes, it is a good idea to schedule such commitments before or after work hours.
By managing your schedule and fitting in these responsibilities within your usual workday, you would be able to fulfill your commitments without having to waste your vacation days or asking your bosses to do you a favor. You are aware of registering your availability ahead of time in most personal or professional commitments. Therefore, it is also a good idea to apply for personal or vacation time at work beforehand instead of calling out on an emergency basis. This is also an excellent point to keep in mind while learning how to call out of work.
2. Call the Right People and Seek Proper Approval
Once you have determined that using your time off in the form of a call out is unavoidable, you should go ahead with calling your workplace and informing them of the issue.
What is unprofessional
Remember, “calling your workplace” in this instance doesn’t mean that you should call and leave a message at the front desk for your bosses to find out about your absence. Neither does that translate to calling a peer and asking them to inform your boss. Even leaving a voicemail at your boss’ number and assuming that you are good for your day off doesn’t cut it. All of these are unprofessional ways to call out and could also land you in severe consequences.
If you are wondering why informing your workplace in these ways could be considered unprofessional, take a look at the ways mentioned above of communication and determine the common theme…
See how each of these modes of calling out only share your side of the story, and you never actually hear the manager’s take on it? That’s the actual issue which you need to avoid and keep in mind while learning how to call out of work appropriately.
The professional way
Whenever you are calling out of work, make sure that you are reaching out to the right person in the form of your immediate line manager. Also, get their approval for the emergency day off. This ensures that there are no gaps in communication, and you are fulfilling your responsibility reliably. If your bosses have any issues in granting you the day off, they could let you know right away. This will allow you to elaborate on the problem right away. This also gives you the chance to explain your side of the story before the situation turns awry. More often than not, it earns you an approved day off that doesn’t jeopardize your job.
Managing an establishment with employees can be hard work. Check out “Everything You Need to Know About Workforce Management” for a guide to establishing standards of practice at your place of business.
3. Be Concise Yet Coherent in Explaining the Issue
Whether you are calling or texting your boss to seek their approval for the call out, make sure to be concise yet coherent about the issue that is causing you to take the decision. For instance, if you are feeling sick, don’t just say, “Can’t come to work today.”
While learning how to call out of work properly, it is important to understand that the modern workplace doesn’t just heed to “can’t come to work” as an excuse. To prevent back and forth calls or texts, try to explain exactly why you are not able to report to work.
For instance, if you have a fever, you could explain that you are sick and not feeling your 100 percent. If you have to take care of a loved one at home or the hospital, then explain that in a simple sentence too. Doing so helps your bosses understand precisely why you are not able to make it to work.
Give an in-depth description
Here, you should also remember that explaining the issue and going on a rant about it are two different things. Keep it explanatory yet concise, and you should be able to prevent any miscommunication or confusion in the exchange with your line manager. It would help significantly if you already have a great rapport with your boss, or if you are actively working to improve your communication with them.
4. Be Ready For a Compromise
If you work in the service industry, then you should also be ready for your line manager to throw the classic rebuttal of having to find someone else to cover for your shift.
This doesn’t happen in cases where you are taking care of a major medical issue for yourself, acting as an emergency caregiver for a family member, or going through a serious tragedy such as the loss of a loved one. It can be quite commonplace in cases where you are still able to reach out to your coworkers to find someone to cover your shift.
Let’s not gloss it over. It is not the ideal response to hear when you are looking to take a day off. But it is necessary for the service industry, especially if you work at a restaurant or a cafe where your availability is essential for the day. This is a point you need to keep in mind while learning how to call out of work appropriately.
Always be positive
When this happens, make sure that you don’t react negatively to the suggestion. Instead, take the responsibility to reach out to your coworkers through calls or texts. If they respond, explain the issue without forcing them to cover for you. Then, convey their response to your boss.
Even when you are not able to find a replacement, the mere effort is enough in most cases for the line manager to understand that you did your best in trying to find someone to cover for you. This shows your reliability and responsibility, which helps your case. If you stand your ground and explain that you are not able to make it to work anyway, you are approved to take the day off more often than not.
Be sure to check out our piece “9 Tips to Help You Be More Positive at Work” for tips on staying positive and having a positive mindset at work.
The key here is not to be confrontational but as amiable as possible. This shows your immediate boss that you are trying to make the best out of a bad situation and feeling responsible for your work even in your absence. As long as you can keep these points in mind and learn how to call out of work properly, you would be able to take a day off of work without having to worry about the consequences.
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