If you work from home, you know the struggle. You wake up feeling sick and you drag yourself to your computer anyway because there's no one around to tell you to take the day off, but wouldn't it be great if you had that option?
Good news: You do! 🙌🏽
Remote workers need to remember if they get sick, or if their wifi and power go out, or even if there's a big storm and they need to work from a coffee shop for a few days, all of these (and more) are legitimate reasons to call out from work. But most people don't think they can!
How do you justify taking time off work when you’re going to sit at home all day anyway? Easy. Here are 7 legitimate reasons to call out when you work from home:
- There’s an emergency.
- There’s a natural disaster.
- A loved one passed away.
- You’re sick.
- You need a day for yourself.
- You have an appointment.
- You’re job hunting.
There’s an emergency.
Family is more important than work. God forbid you have a loved one in the hospital or you need to rush your pet to the vet. Things come up, life happens. Sometimes your spouse is stranded on the freeway and needs help to change a flat tire, your basement is flooded, or your child or parent is ill. Take care of your home first then get back to work.
There’s a natural disaster.
Along the same vein, if there’s a hurricane, tornado, snowstorm, or fire in your area, you have bigger things to worry about than work. Make that last-minute trip to the grocery store or go pick up that spare generator or fuel. Take the time you need to bunker down or get your family to safety.
Pro tip: If the power goes out, the decision is made for you.
Once, there was a huge storm in my area that knocked down power lines including one on my block. I felt so guilty about not working that day. The next day—instead of worrying about the food spoiling in my fridge—I drove to my aunt’s house about 30 minutes away to discover my manager already found someone to cover for me. Our power came back the next day. Don’t ever feel guilty for calling out. Trust me, it’s not worth it. 😤
A loved one passed away.
Having a loved one pass away is the realest of real reasons to call off work. Grief casts a shadow on every aspect of your life. It causes depression, insomnia, and mental and physical sluggishness, among other things. None of which is conducive to a healthy work-life. Only you know when you’re ready to get back to the normal routine. Take as long as you need.
I shouldn’t have to say this but if you have a fever, sore throat, or devastating cough, don’t work. Don’t do it. Please.
Remote work is still work. What you need is rest. Send your boss a note then get back in bed, stinky head!
You need a day for yourself.
Life is hard.
Whether it’s a global pandemic, a war in Ukraine, or your toast burnt 3 days in a row and you can’t stop crying about it, burnout is no joke. It’s okay to take a day to get back to homeostasis. Go for a run, meditate, do whatever you need to do to feel better then go back to work.
You have an appointment.
One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility to choose when and where you work. It makes scheduling appointments (and flights) a whole lot easier. You shouldn’t have to wait 3 months to get your cavity filled when the next available appointment is tomorrow at noon. You can catch up on work when you get home. After a hot bath and a warm drink. ☕
You’re job hunting.
Last but not least, it is okay to call out if you’re interviewing for a new job.
The best time to look for a new job is when you have a job. If your current work situation doesn’t suit your needs, take time off to explore new opportunities. You'll feel less pressure knowing you have a source of income, and you'll only apply to and interview for jobs you actually want.
You can tell your manager when you give notice. For now, say you have an appointment.😉
Working from home makes you feel so comfortable that it's difficult to justify taking time off work. You don't worry about getting in late, what to wear, or if anyone will notice the unusual amount of bathroom breaks you take.😅 That doesn't mean you need to be available 24/7.
If you're struggling to focus because you're sick, someone you love is sick, or your cat is stuck in a tree, there’s no shame in calling out. I hope you don't feel guilty the next time you need to call in sick. I don't. 🤗
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