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What Are Some Good Excuses to Leave Work Early?

You may want to leave work early on a particular day for several reasons. And there is nothing wrong if you want to get off early from work on a given day, and it does not mean that you are unprofessional or negligent of your tasks.

Of course, when work is very hectic, or your team is handling a significant project, it might be unwise to suddenly get off early from work – unless there is some real emergency. However, on a regular day, you could want to get out of the office one day for several reasons.

The thing is, you cannot simply tell your boss that you are going to meet your friends at a pub or you want to catch the evening show of a much-awaited movie. Recreation is essential, but you cannot always say it upfront.

In such cases, you might have to come up with certain excuses to leave work early. They should be good enough that your boss grants you permission and you do not look unprofessional at the same time.

There can be genuine reasons why you might want to get off work early someday, or you could make an excuse to get out of the office. Here are some of the ways of doing so.

The Right Way to Making Good Excuses to Leave Work Early

If you are thinking of making some excuses to leave work early, you might as well do it correctly. Here are some tips that can help you secure much-needed permission from your superiors.

1. Talking to the Boss

Talking to the Boss
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In most cases, when things are not very hectic at work, simply asking your superior verbally if you can leave work early can be enough. You might want to leave work early that day or secure the permission a few days in advance if you have a particular day in mind when you know you need to leave early.

As long as you are polite and your leaving early will not disrupt the workflow on a regular day, chances are you will be excused.

2. Writing an Email

Writing an Email
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In addition to speaking verbally to your boss, you might be required to send an email seeking permission. You can find out about it from the policies your company has, or your boss might ask you to drop in an email after you have spoken to them.

In case your workplace is very strict about the work hours, this will go on your leave record, so you should not be taking things lightly.

Bonus Read: How To Email a Recruiter? 5 Best Examples, Tips & Templates

3. Complete the Urgent Tasks

Complete the Urgent Tasks
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One of the ways to ensure that your request to leave work early is granted is to ensure that you have completed the most urgent task. As long as your absence does not hinder the workflow and you show your manager that you are mindful of your responsibilities, you will be excused to leave early.

In case you have to excuse yourself all of a sudden and you have not been able to finish the tasks, offer to come in early the next day and complete the tasks. If neither is possible, ask a colleague to cover your tasks for the day and promise them you will do the same for them when needed.

4. Asking Early

The less abruptly you try to excuse yourself, the better are your chances of getting excused. If you do need to come up with an excuse to leave work early, do it as early as you can.

This will give your boss the impression that you are trying to organize everything and respect the company’s time, and it will give them time to reorganize everything and provide them with a chance to think about your absence.

5. Keep it Short

Keep It Short
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Do not go into a lengthy discussion while giving an excuse when you have to leave work early. Simply state that there is a medical emergency or you are not feeling well. Try to avoid details unless you are asked. This will only make things complicated if your boss tries to follow up on the excuse, and you do not want to come across as someone dishonest.

6. Talk About a Benefit

While not always applicable, you must try to state a benefit when giving an excuse to leave work early. That will increase your chances of securing permission.

For example, suppose you are excusing yourself on health issues. In that case, you can say that it is better to keep your doctor’s appointment by missing half a day of work rather than keeping the illness unattended and missing several days of work later if you fall very sick. Or, if you suspect you have something contagious, you do not want it to spread to your colleagues. This will help you secure permission.

Best Excuses You Can Use to Leave Work Early

Here are some excuses you can use if you want to take a half-day leave or leave early from your workplace on a given day. Make sure you use them with caution and customize them according to your circumstances to maximize your chances of being excused.

1. Health Issues

health issues
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One of the excuses that almost always secure permission to leave early is you are not feeling well. However, this only works if you have to go to work abruptly. This also does not require any lengthy explanation, and you could simply say that you feel nauseated or your head is feeling light.

You could also say that you are experiencing a severe headache or you have a severe tummy ache as you ate something unusual for lunch.

However, if you say your condition is too severe and needs medical follow-up, your boss might ask for the records later, so be careful about how intense you want your sickness to be.

2. You Have Errands to Run

You have Errands to Run
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If you live alone, you can always say that you have some errands to run and excuse yourself from leaving work early. For example, you might have to visit the bank, and it only stays open till a particular time. Or, you will have to be in-person to receive a package or sign some important documents as they arrive that day. These are perfectly valid excuses; if you ask politely, you will be excused from work early.

3. Tending to Your Pet

Tending to Your Pet
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Those of you, who are pet parents, will know how important it is to keep a vet appointment. Unlike humans, animals cannot express themselves if they are in distress. It is vital that you stick to the vet appointment so that they do not get sicker. If you have a pet at home, this can be a perfectly valid excuse to leave work early for the day.

4. Preparing for the Next Day

If there is something big happening in your office the following day, like an important presentation, then you may ask yourself to be excused and leave work early so that you can prepare for it and not tire yourself.

Most bosses will appreciate your dedication and will not begrudge you if you want to leave unless the work is hectic. You have to be careful that you indeed have to put in your best performance the next day so that you can justify leaving early on the previous day.

5. Keeping Your Child’s Medical Appointment or PTM

Keeping Your Child’s Medical Appointment or PTM
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If you have kids, you can excuse yourself early from work, saying that you have to be at the doctor’s clinic for your child’s appointment, and most bosses will not keep you at work for such a reason.

On the other hand, if your child is of school-going age, you can also say that you have to attend a Parent-Teacher meeting at school, and both parents need to be present for the session.

In addition, there could be several reasons you might want to spend time with your children- you might not want to miss their football match or dance recital. In any case, there is nothing wrong with wanting to spend quality time with your kids and making an excuse to leave work early is perfectly fine in such situations.

Also Read: 4 Best Last-Minute Excuses for Being Late to Work

6. Picking Up Relatives

Picking Up Relatives
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You could want to leave work early if parents or relatives are visiting you and you have to pick them up from the airport or station. Also, in case they are staying with you, you also have to let them in the apartment.

This is a perfectly good excuse, and wanting to spend time with your family should not raise eyebrows.

7. Helping your Spouse

There are so many things that need to get done around the house, and one partner alone can’t shoulder the maximum amount of domestic responsibilities, nor is it fair. Hence, in case your spouse needs help with something, it is perfectly alright to want to leave work early.

You could say that both of you need to be present to go house-hunting together, and you need to meet the realtor. Or, you might have to attend a family medical emergency, and your spouse can’t handle the stress alone while meeting the doctor. There might be several other circumstances, and you can use them as excuses.


Trying to find some good excuses to leave work early is not always impossible, but you need to be careful that you do not end up using them too often. If your office has a policy of keeping track of all the days you left work early, you need to be more careful.

Having said that, it is still alright to make excuses once in a while to leave work early- whether there is a genuine reason or you simply want to unwind. Just make sure that your excuses sound genuine, and you can back up your excuses if needed, and you can be sure of getting excused on a regular work day.