Julie Tucker
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10 of the best excuses for being late for work

Being late for work – we’ve all done it. Roughly 590,000 workers are late every day. You run into a problem or get delayed, and suddenly you’re half an hour late to the office. Managers usually understand a one-time occurrence, but multiple late entries to your job tend to rub them up the wrong way.

If you’re after an excuse for being late, you need a good one – something which is plausible and doesn’t irritate your employer any further. Ideally, you aren’t late in the first place because your productivity goes down and the number of tasks you can do falls with it, but if the situation is unavoidable, here are 10 of the best excuses.

1. Poor weather conditions

Bad weather can slow your commute and can happen a lot in winter. Icy roads, fallen trees due to storms, flooding; they’re all standing between you and the office. If you know you’re going to be late, ring ahead. It’s better to let your boss know before you’re meant to be at your desk.

2. Traffic jams

It’s just a sad fact that there are too many cars and not enough roads. Traffic jams happen all the time, especially in towns and cities. If you’re going to be stuck for half an hour, let someone know. This is the most common reason to be late, making up 41% of cases.

3. Public transport delays

Delays to public transport are an annoying fact; sometimes the bus breaks down or you can’t get out of gridlock. It’s the same solution, however: let someone know! Like traffic jams, this is a big one – it’s responsible for 29% of cases.

4. My alarm didn’t go off

Sleeping in is a completely believable excuse because to a degree you are actually accepting responsibility for being late for work. Unfortunately, if you don’t wake up at the correct time, this can often affect the rest of your working day.

5. Doctor’s appointments

If you’ve booked to see a doctor, you’ll probably need to step away from the office for an hour or two. If you wake up and need an emergency appointment, contact your employer. They can make arrangements to cover your work. If you book an appointment, let them know as early as possible.

6. Domestic emergencies

Picture this: you wake up to discover your house is two inches deep in water. You can’t go to work and leave things as they are. If you’ve got an emergency that requires professional support, it’s normal to be late. Ring and let your boss know.

7. Getting sick

Nobody likes being sick. If you’ve spent the night with your head over the bowl you’re either not going to be fit for work or you will be late as you struggle to recover. Ring and explain – 25% of all cases are due to sickness.

8. Police

If the police stop you for some reason (random checks or speeding, etc.), it’s pretty understandable to be late. While employers won’t argue with you having been stopped by the police, if it happens more than once they may start to ask questions.

9. A personal crisis

This depends on the type of workplace you’re in, but some employers understand that life is messy, and occasionally you’ll be late for personal reasons. This excuse won’t work forever, though, so if you have a personal situation, you should really try your best to solve it before it impacts your employment.

10. The kids

If you have children and they’re sick, or you’ve been called into school, most will employers understand once or twice. Children are an important part of your life, and you can’t be penalised if you need to be around to look after them.

A coworking space makes the need for excuses a thing of the past. We’re not saying we recommend being late, we’re just offering a solution for those who might need a more flexible approach to their working week!


© H_Ko / Shutterstock.com


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