9 Legitimate Reasons to “Call Out” When Working Remotely


9 Legitimate Reasons to "Call Out" When Working Remotely

You woke up late. You didn’t have hot water for the shower. Your kid was sniffling. You didn’t have anything clean to wear. When you work in a regular office, just about any ol’ reason will do to call off work. But when you work remotely, many of those excuses are just that—excuses. But there will be times when you really will need to call in sick. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 9 reasons to call off work when work working remotely.

1. You’re actually sick.

Sure, sometimes a banging headache would have been enough to call off work—or enough to fake sick to avoid your commute. But there might be times when you’re just too sick to leave the bed. (And, no, you really shouldn’t try to work from your bed either.)

Just try to evaluate your illness as the day progresses; sometimes you might feel sicker in the morning and then get a second wind in the afternoon. If that’s the case, then you can try to get work done when you feel up to it.

2. You have a doctor’s appointment.

The beauty of remote work is that you can, in theory, schedule doctor’s appointments during the day and still make up work without missing a beat. That said, not all appointments can be done 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. That way, you can focus on your health without worrying about work.

3. You’re having a family emergency.

A lot of excuses can fall under the family emergency umbrella. Family emergencies can (and do) happen, ranging from having to rush your sick pooch to the vet, to your hubby’s car breaking down on the way to work. When you don’t necessarily want to go into explicit detail about what’s happening with your family, calling off work for a family emergency is sometimes necessary.

4. Someone else is sick.

You knew when you sent your child to school that morning that he wasn’t feeling quite right. So it was no surprise when, a couple of hours later, you got a call from the nurse’s office saying that your kid puked in P.E.

If you find that you’ll be spending most of your day playing nurse, then you should call off work for the entire day. Besides, if your kid is sick, chances are it’s just a matter of time before the whole household catches the cooties, too. Might as well try to rest up a bit beforehand!

5. You suffer a loss.

If someone you love passes away, you should definitely call in. Although some people might find work is a much-needed distraction, 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 is going to require your time and attention while you call in contractors, then it’s best to call off from work. That way, you can deal with your emergency and prepare yourself to work 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. It might be that you are having personal problems that are plaguing you, or you just had a really, really rough night. There’s nothing wrong with taking a mental health day if you truly need it. But try to limit them for when it’s absolutely necessary.

8. You’re experiencing bad weather.

Calling off work because of bad weather is something that in-office workers might have to do. After all, if you’re working remotely, the weather shouldn’t affect your ability to work, right? Not necessarily. If your area just experienced a severe snowstorm, you might need to call off work so you can plow your driveway or clear your sidewalks. Or if strong winds whipped through your neighborhood, it might take time to clear downed trees so that you can actually leave your house. Even for remote workers, the weather can impact your performance.

And even if you live in an apartment, bad weather can wreak havoc with your Wi-Fi. So if your Internet isn’t working, you might need to call off work—or find somewhere else to set up shop.

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 nosy 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.

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 not work. So use your best judgment when it comes to calling in sick so that you can return to your best form.

Looking for more info on working remotely? Be sure to consistently visit our blog for the latest tips & tricks, news, and more!


Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com

A version of this article was originally published on Nov. 20, 2016.