Once Bill Gates mentioned that he chose lazy people to get the difficult work done as he believed they would be able to find easy solutions for those problems. Procrastinators have their way of dealing with things.
However, not everyone is Bill Gates to understand the “superpowers” possessed by people who are always running late. That is why one is always answerable in the workspace for appearing late.
Coming to the workplace all the time, or almost daily, can be seen as a mark of unprofessionalism. After all, why will your boss be lenient towards you when everyone else is coming to the office on time? You should be meticulous about following a routine so that you are not late for work regularly.
However, in some cases, some last minute hurdles may make you late for work. Or, you could have some personal errands to run, but you cannot talk about it at work. Hence, you have to come up with some excuses to tell your boss why you were late at the last minute.
In most cases, you can expect them to understand why you are late to work. In other cases, you can get away by making some excuses that will work in your favor.
If you are one of those who is looking for excuses for being late to work, we have got your back. We will be discussing some last-minute excuses that will sound real and believable.
How to Make Excuses That Sound Convincing?
It does not matter what you say if you know exactly how to say it. You can use numerous ways to make your excuses appear real and sound convincing.
No one is promoting telling lies here, but in case you showed up late, you would not want to tell them that you kept your alarm on snooze and took a cozy nap right in the morning. Instead, you can tell them that you had to stay up late last night while working on an upcoming project. This way, you made an excuse and a valid one.
However, there are some basic rules that can be followed to make these excuses sound convincing. We have discussed a few below.
1. Add Details
Consider the above example; if you mention some details about the project that you were supposedly working on, then the excuse automatically becomes more convincing. This way, you manage to shift the focus from being apologetic about turning up late to your interest in the project.
It will leave a good impression on your manager/ team lead/ HR. They might overlook your lack of punctuality and get you some bonus scores for being a responsible and enthusiastic resource to their organization.
2. Be Realistic
Never overdo an excuse. It is highly recommended to never go over the top with your tall story. Mention only as many details as is important. Try to remain as close to reality as possible. Consider the same example, if you had said that you were working on a project till 5 am in the morning, it would sound highly unrealistic, and your manager might not believe you. You do not want to prove a point. You just want to digress their focus and make your excuse sound convincing.
3. Sound Convincing
If you are making an excuse about why you were late for work, you need to sound convincing. It will not do well if you fumble and keep on contradicting yourself while making the excuse. Be firm and use your tone to show that you are indeed in distress or are trying to deal with a problem, but do not overdo it. Your body language and tone can convince your employer you are speaking the truth.
One of the ways to soften the impact of being late for work is to apologize. Depending on your office rules, you may also send an email to your boss or supervisor about why you were late and also tell them that you will take care not to be late again. Also, make sure that you are not using excuses too often because sooner or later, it will start working against you.
9 Best Last-Minute Excuses
Remember the previous advice and then use the below-mentioned excuses to help you save from embarrassment on reaching late at work. You can use these excuses interchangeably. We have tried to keep the list direct and straightforward; how excuse needs to be – to the point.
1. Traffic Jam
Thanks to the heavy traffic on the roads these days, you can use this excuse. You need to ensure not to use this excuse frequently, as that would mean you do not consider the traffic time in your schedule.
Once in a while, you can easily get away by saying that your vehicle broke down and had trouble getting it fixed. These two excuses overlap and can fit into one category but, if told properly, could sound genuine and convincing.
The same is true for accidents; however, it need not have to be yours. For example, you can mention something about a road accident that slowed down the traffic, leading to a long traffic jam.
Also Read: How Far Is Too Far To Drive To Work?
2. Family Emergency
You can use family emergencies as excuses for being late, but make sure you do not use this excuse too often. For example, you can get away by saying that your spouse or your kid is not keeping well and you had to stay home to take care of them.
This excuse works best if you have young kids at home. Everyone is aware of how difficult it can get to manage time with kids and would easily be able to empathize with your situation. If not kids, you can use this excuse for your parents and siblings as well.
Often, giving an excuse based on the medical emergency can and will resonate with the concerned person, and they will understand the seriousness of the situation.
Bouns Read: 10 Bulletproof Excuses to Get Out of Work on Short Notice
Banks require a lot of paperwork and formalities, and anyone who has been to a bank knows the time bank officials will take to get your work done can be unpredictable. So you can easily use this excuse if you were late for a short time period.
4. Medical Reasons
You can easily tell them that you are unwell, but you do not want to miss a day at work. This reason works like magic, and you get attention from people around you for the upcoming days. It shows your dedication to work. It is best to use this excuse around holidays to make it look like you managed to recover by getting some rest on the days off!
5. Pet Emergency
If your boss is an animal lover, then you can cite an emergency regarding your pet. Maybe you can say that your pet ran away in the morning after it found the gate open or that your pet had developed a health issue and needed to be taken to the vet.
Or maybe, you had to get your pet vaccinated, and that was the last day. Those who have pets at home often treat them as their children, so your boss should understand the problem.
6. Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can happen anytime, and a clogged toilet or overflowing drain requires immediate attention. It is also enough to get someone late for work or even miss a day of work as one has to wait for the plumber to fix the problem.
You can also use some other problems related to home maintenance as your excuse, like a broken water heater or a clogged dishwasher. These often require emergency fixing, and they are perfectly reasonable excuses to be late for work.
7. Problems in Apartment Building or Neighborhood
If you stay in an apartment building or you have neighbors you are close to, a problem in the vicinity or building can make you late. There could have been a false fire alarm, and you had to follow the drill.
Or, someone’s home could have been broken into. Or maybe, someone was seriously taken ill. These problems might have induced you to stay back and help, making you late for work.
8. Helping a Passerby
You could have also been late for work because you stopped to help a passerby. You might have encountered a child or an elderly person on the road who needed some help, and you could have stayed back to help them.
That makes you a responsible and kind citizen, and your boss will not have much to say against it. However, do not make this excuse too often.
9. Lost Your Card or Wallet
Not locating your card or wallet before leaving home could make you late. The same goes for car keys. You could say your kid or pets misplaced them, or you did so yourself, in case you live alone.
However, that will come across as a bit of carelessness on your part, so you should be careful about using this excuse, especially if you know that your boss is also having a bad day.
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Excuses for Being Late for Online Work
If you work in different time zones from that of your main office, you may sometimes get late for work. Since many people work online from different parts of the world, you often have to be on call or submit your work remotely. Here are some excuses you can make when you are late for online work.
You need a strong internet connection when you work remotely, and saying that the Wi-Fi stopped working is a good excuse. A broken connection may have prevented you from logging in on time. However, you should not use this excuse too often, as your office will tell you to change your service provider.
The computer or tablet that you usually work on could have been malfunctioning. It might not have switched on, or there were some other technical glitches that prevented you from doing your work. Of course, it is a good idea to keep a backup device, and you can tell your boss when you apologize.
Another excuse you can make when you are late for work is your work files were corrupted due to some reason. You can also say some of your personal files were also corrupted to sound more convincing. Recovering files can take some time, and you can cite this as an excuse about why you were late for work.
Excuses to Avoid
Keeping your options open about excuses for being late to work is great, but it is equally important to know what excuses need to be avoided. These excuses listed below should not be used to avoid appearing incompetent and unworthy of the position.
Never mention anything about forgetting to reach in time. It gives an impression that you are an irresponsible worker who forgot to reach in time to work and claims to do so. Such excuses do not leave a good impression on you and jeopardize your professionalism.
2. Being Tired
A human body is bound to get tired and worked up, but this is not an acceptable excuse. Though there is nothing unacceptable about being tired, using that as an excuse is not encouraged.
If you give such an excuse, you could be asked to ask why you did not mention it beforehand. Such situations can be easily discussed and handled with the concerned person without giving an excuse.
Most people understand when it comes to understanding someone’s physical or mental health. On discussion, you can easily get a comp off if you successfully handled the previous work pressure.
3. Being too Sick
While using medical reasons as to why you were late, never say that you were too sick. Because if you were too sick, how did you immediately become better a few hours later?
Do not exaggerate your medical problems; otherwise, you might also be asked to produce medical reports. Do not talk about aggressive symptoms or symptoms that imply that you may have something contagious. In that case, you may be asked to go home and miss out on your pay.
Communication is very important as it can keep your point across. Sometimes, the concerned person might be aware of the fact that you are making an excuse, but they would like to appreciate the sincerity with which you tried to make them understand your situation.
Etiquette of How Late You Will Be
One of the things to keep in mind is that you should never be too late in informing your boss that you are going to be late. Inform them as soon as you realize that you are stuck and will not reach your office or your meeting on time. Give your boss a quick call, or send them a text if they are unavailable.
Then, after reaching the office, meet your boss and explain what happened in person and apologize for being late. You can then send an email as well. If your boss is a considerate person, they will notice that you have stayed professional throughout and might excuse you.
On your part, try to be on time as much as possible and do not use excuses frequently.
These are the few ways to handle the situation if you are late to work. However, these are only some basic last-minute excuses that need to be used in dire situations. It is advisable to treat work as a responsibility and do justice to your job by turning it up in time. However, there can be a few exceptions where you need to make some excuses. By now, we hope you would have learned to deal with such exceptions confidently.
Honesty is the best policy. If nothing works out, it is fine to tell the truth. If the reason has been genuine, then there is no way why it won’t be accepted. People are kind to those who ask for forgiveness. If you are willing to work on your punctuality and change your ways, there is no reason why you should not apologize and move on.
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