Nervous about telling your boss you can’t work tomorrow?
As long as you have a legitimate reason for not going to work, you shouldn’t feel bad at all.
It’s easy to feel guilty or like you’re letting people down, but things happen and taking time off work isn’t exactly out of the ordinary!
As long as you act professionally and cover your bases (and aren’t off all the time), your boss should (has to) be fine with it.
Here is how to tell your boss you can’t work tomorrow and what to expect:
How to Tell Your Boss You Can’t Work Tomorrow
If you’re stuck on how to word telling your boss you can’t work tomorrow, you can just simply say something like:
- “Hi, just texting/calling to let you know that I won’t be in tomorrow. Please note me as taking a sick day.”
- “Hey boss, I’m not feeling well so I won’t be able to come in tomorrow. I’ve made sure my tasks are covered”
- “I’m not going to be able to come in tomorrow due to ____. Please note me down as taking a sick day.”
- “Sorry to drop this so late in the day but I need to take a sick day tomorrow, thanks.”
- “Hi, unfortunately, I’m going to need to take tomorrow off as a personal/sick day.”
- “Hi, I wouldn’t ask this late unless it was totally necessary, but I need to take tomorrow off, thanks”
Once you’ve contacted your boss and let them know you’re not going to be in, you’ll have to react accordingly based on how they reply.
If they’re difficult about it, just stay firm and tell them that you have to have the day off.
If you cave in and change your plans just because your boss puts pressure on you, it’ll set the tone for them to push you around in future.
Do You Have to Tell Your Boss Why You’re Not Coming In?
This comes as a surprise to most, but you don’t have to tell your employer why you’re taking a day off if you’re using up your personal, vacation, or sick days.
In most cases, employers will ask but they can’t force you to tell them.
If your boss does start to pry, you can just say that it’s a personal matter and you’d rather not discuss it.
Or, if you don’t want to lie, you can tell them that you’d rather not say because it’s embarrassing (if that’s the truth).
The important thing is that you’re following the correct company guidelines in how you’re notifying your boss.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your boss’s tone or reply, you’ll have to escalate the issue to your HR department if you have one.
Covering Your Bases when Calling in Sick
The reason we find it difficult to call in sick or because we can’t work for some other reason is that we feel like we’re letting our coworkers and boss down.
If you’re responsible for arranging cover on your days off, of course, you should do that if possible.
But you should never feel bad for taking a day off.
We all need time to rest and recharge at times, and if you’re feeling under the weather, it’s better for everyone that you stay home.
Or maybe something important has come up that you absolutely have to attend to tomorrow.
That’s fine, our jobs are important but you shouldn’t put your life on hold.
In an emergency, your boss will understand.
How to Deal with A Boss Who Doesn’t Like You Taking Days Off
If you have a boss who seems to get angry or upset every time you take a day off, it might be worth having a chat with them about it.
It could just be that they’re struggling to manage everything and your absences are making it more difficult for them.
If that’s the case, see if there’s anything you can do to help them out or make their life easier by arranging cover if you’re off.
On the other hand, it could be that they’re just a control freak or not great at interacting with people and feel the need to try and manage people with force.
In that case, you might need to have a discussion with your HR department if you have one, or if not seek some independent legal advice.
Your boss shouldn’t make you feel bad for taking a day off and you have some rights that protect you from being mistreated.
Almost everyone has to take time off now and then if they’re sick or have some personal matters come up, and you should never be made to feel bad about it.
So, if you need tomorrow off, stop dwelling on it and feeling bad about it – pick up the phone and tell your boss you’re not going to be right away!
Image credits – Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.