9 Real Reasons to Call Off Work When Working Remotely

9 Real Reasons to Call Off Work When Working Remotely

One of the advantages of remote work is that it’s less likely you’ll encounter the same challenges an in-person employee might face. You don’t have to worry about the train running late or your car having a flat tire because you can work at home. 

However, one of the challenges of working remotely is maintaining a boundary between work and personal time. For example, you may feel like you should work during the time you used to commute instead of using that time to walk the dog.

Similarly, you may feel that there aren’t any real reasons to call off work when working remotely. You already have a ton of flexibility, so beyond a vacation here and there, you shouldn’t need to take an unexpected day off, right?

Sometimes though, life happens, and it necessitates you call off even when you work remotely. Here are nine very valid reasons to take an unexpected day off of work.

9 Real Reasons to Call Off Work When Working Remotely

1. You’re Sick

One of the advantages of working at home is that you aren’t exposed to other people’s germs. And when you’re sick, you’re not spreading whatever it is you’ve got!

When you work remotely, you may think that despite feeling under the weather, you should still work. If it’s a case of the sniffles and you’re feeling up to it, you can choose to work. But if it’s something more—no matter what it is—taking the day off to rest and recuperate is perfectly OK. Better to lose one day of work by calling off than turning in three days worth of work that has to be redone because you tried to work with a headache.

2. Doctor’s Appointment

Speaking of being sick, sometimes a trip to the doctor is in order. But even when you’re feeling just fine, you’ll still visit the doctor for an annual checkup, see the dentist twice a year, go to the eye doctor…you get the idea.

If you’re certain your appointment will be quick, there’s probably no reason to call off from work for the whole day or even half of it. But unless you can guarantee your appointment will start on time and only last about an hour, take time off to ensure you aren’t feeling rushed or stressed because you have to get back to work.

3. Family Emergency

Emergencies have a funny way of popping up when you least expect them! Instead of trying to balance focusing on work with handling a family emergency, call off work and focus on the emergency. Dealing with whatever it is can help you put it to rest and come back fully focused on your job.

4. Someone Else Is Sick

Remote work often comes with a lot of flexibility in where, when, and how you work. And as the person with that level of flexibility, you may find yourself taking care of a sick family member.

Sometimes, that means heating up some soup or checking a fever while your patient lays in bed and streams movies all day. If that’s the case and you feel you can get work done, then go for it. But if your nursing duties are more intense or you find that patient care is taking up most of your time, call off work so you don’t fall behind.

5. A Funeral

Losing a loved one is a very valid reason to call off work when working remotely. While you might want the distraction that work can provide, your performance may suffer. Take some time to grieve before returning to your professional responsibilities.

6. Household Emergency

Did a storm blow through last night and take some of your roof with it or knock your fence over? Did the water heater give up in the middle of the night, and now there’s water everywhere?

It’s perfectly acceptable to call off of work to deal with these emergencies. From calling the insurance company to dealing with contractors, replacements and repairs will have to be made, so give yourself the space to focus on that without worrying about work too.

7. Bad Weather

Another advantage of remote work is that when the weather gets rough, you can skip the commute and work at home. However, if that weather is very rough, working from home, a coworking space, or even a coffee shop may not be an option.

For example, if the power is out, you likely won’t be able to log in to any cloud-based platforms. And while you could hot spot with your phone, that could get expensive, and your phone will run out of power eventually. You might have to drive for miles just to find electricity, presuming it’s safe to drive anywhere.

If the weather prevents you from doing your job, it’s better to play it safe and call off from remote work that day.

8. Mental Health Day

Sometimes life can be a little overwhelming. Between work, home, and everything going on in the world, some days you reach your limit and need a little downtime.

Taking a mental health day is a perfectly valid reason to call off when working remotely. It can help you reset, refresh, and return to work ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

9. A Job Interview

Searching for a job while you have a job is something you may want to keep under your hat. And while it may be simple to have a virtual interview when you work remotely, you may still want to call off from work that day.

You never know when a work emergency might pop up, and your boss needs your help right now. If you’re ignoring their calls or messages, you may find yourself in a situation you’d rather not.

You Can (and Should) Call Off Sometimes

A flexible schedule is often a part of working remotely. But sometimes, a flexible schedule isn’t enough to help you tackle the unexpected. If one of the above reasons pop up, it’s OK to call off work. It will give you the time to deal with whatever it is and come back to work ready to go.

For more remote work tips, check out our articles.

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By Rachel Pelta | October 18, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely


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