Home » How To Politely Ask to Leave Work Early?

How To Politely Ask to Leave Work Early?

You have set hours for your work and are used to coming and going from your office at a particular time. However, there might be cases where you have to leave early from your work someday.

This can happen in two ways- you already know you have some personal obligation due to which you have to leave early on a particular day, which could be a few days away. Or, a sudden emergency could have arisen, and once you are notified about it by your friends and family, you would have to leave as soon as possible.

In either case, you would have to ask your senior if you can leave work early. It would be best if you did so with the utmost professionalism so that your request is granted and does not hinder the day’s work. Clearly communicating your reasons is the most important thing here, and unless something serious is going on in the office, your boss is most likely to grant your request.

You need to remember that no matter how severe your reasons might be, you cannot leave without following formal channels. Informing your boss is the first step, and if required by your workplace, you would have to submit a written request. It would be best if you kept some things in mind while asking to leave early.

Reasons Why You Should Ask Permission to Leave Work Early?

Reasons Why You Should Ask Permission to Leave Work Early
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Here are some of the reasons why it is imperative that you must inform and ask your boss about leaving early.

1. Allows Your Boss to Reassign Your Work

Although it is understandable that your reasons for leaving early are valid enough, there might be some assignments that cannot wait, and work has to continue even in your absence.

When you ask your employer about leaving early, they can reassign your work, and someone else can take over. It just shows that you are mindful of your responsibility and gave some thought to your unfinished work for the day. Your employer will appreciate you for it.

If you do not give your employer enough time, your request might be rejected or result in unnecessary chaos.

2. Improves Communication

improves communication
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When your employer sees that you are communicating openly and ensuring that the work remains unhindered despite your obligations, it will strengthen your relationship with the employer. You will come across as a transparent employee. It will positively impact your work record and will not hinder the day’s productivity at the office.

3. No Need to Worry About Disciplinary Actions

Some employees, especially in offices where the workforce is large, make the mistake of trying to sneak out early, assuming their bosses might be busy. This makes matters difficult as your absence will be noticed- you can be sure of that.

This will make matters worse, and you might even have to face disciplinary actions. When you ask your employer about leaving early, you do not have to worry about any of these issues and tend to your obligations with complete peace of mind.

Things to Consider While Asking Your Boss About Leaving Work Early

Things to Consider While Asking Your Boss About Leaving Work Early
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Here are some things you must consider while placing a request to your boss about leaving work early. It is better to put it in writing so that there is a record that you maintain all formalities in case of absence.

1. Select a Format For Your Request

You might be thinking about how to ask to leave work early when you get a message of an emergency in your home or family? So, depending on your workplace requirements, the best way would be to select a format for asking to leave early.

It would be best if you also mentioned what amount of work will remain unfinished and offered to complete it the next day. If your boss thinks the work can wait, they will inform you accordingly or reschedule.

In some cases, you have to formally write an email stating your reasons for leaving early and at what time you would leave. But, etiquette demands that even if you write an email, you still approach your manager or supervisor and inform them in person. If you are working remotely, you can do so through a video call or a phone call.

On the other hand, you can also approach your HR manager and ask them to include your leaving early under PTO or Paid Time Off. This will be included under the company database and will also include your manager reviews. You can then also speak to your manager and gain their approval.

2. Give Proper Reasons

While asking to leave early, you need to cite proper reasons for doing so. Most of the time, it is due to some family obligations. Here are some reasons that are commonly accepted.

1. Attend Children’s PTM

Your children have their Parent-Teacher Meeting at school, and as a responsible parent, you need to show up. Since you will come to know well in advance about the PTM dates, you will have ample time to inform your boss and reschedule your work. Most employers will understand this obligation.

2. Keeping a Doctor’s Appointment

No matter how important work is, health always comes first. If you do not take care of your illnesses or injuries on time, it could lead to bigger complications and pose even bigger threats to your work, as it could mean taking indefinite leaves for recuperation.

It is better to nip the problem in the bud by keeping your appointment. Since doctors too need to relax over the weekends, the chances are that your appointment timing will overlap with the work hours, so you should inform your boss accordingly.

3. Meeting a Technician at Home

Meeting a Technician at Home
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It could be that some critical appliance in your home has broken down and you need to get it repaired urgently. Or, there could be a problem with your water or electricity connections. In any case, these are essential matters and could cause you to be late for work. Hence, leaving early to tend to these matters is vital, and you should inform your boss as soon as the technician confirms the time.

4. Attending a Family Problem 

There might be specific scenarios in the family that demand your attention. For example, a relative might be sick, and you have to visit them at the hospital. You might have to pick up your child early from school on a particular day. Or, your parents might be visiting and if they are new to the city, you need to go to the airport to pick them up. It could also be that your pet is sick, and you may have to take it to the vet.

Taking care of these matters shows that you have an excellent work-life balance, and keeping your boss updated if you need to leave early will help you balance both.

3. Wording Your Request

Rather than only informing your boss that you will be leaving early, it is more courteous if you ask permission to leave early. This is more professional and will most likely increase your chances of getting your request granted. It would be best if you also waited for the right time to place your request.

Even if your date of leaving early is not until a few days later, avoid placing your request when things are hectic at the office, or your boss is in a particularly bad mood. Be prepared to answer any follow-up questions as well. You can also offer to come in early the next day or leave later and catch up on the work.

4. Remain Polite

Even if things do not go your way, it is important to remain polite throughout. For example, you might have asked your boss whether you could leave at 1 pm in the afternoon, whereas you get permission to leave at 2:30 pm and not before that. You could try explaining the matter, but you should remain courteous in case your boss disagrees.

Examples of How to Ask Your Manager to Leave Work Early

Example of how to ask your manager to leave work early
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Here are some examples of how you can ask your manager about leaving work earlier than usual.

Example 1

Dear Sir,

I would have to attend my child’s PTM on Monday, August 12th at 2 pm. Could I kindly leave early work on that day, at 1 pm? I will return to work again at 4 pm, complete the work I missed during those three hours, and deliver the project at night. It would be most gracious of you to grant my request.

Thank you
Your name

Example 2

Dear Sir,

I would have to appear for a doctor’s appointment at 4 pm on Friday, December 6th. This is due to the old sports injury I had sustained in college, and lately, my knee has been giving me a lot of trouble. I want to take care of the matter at the earliest before my knee pain worsens, which could mean prolonged leaves later. Hence, could I leave work early on the said date to meet my doctor? I will come in early the following day and submit the report on the due date.

Thank you
Your name


Most workplaces today believe in providing a holistic work environment for their employees and hence, will not begrudge you leaving early if matters are pressing. If you are professional and polite with your request and already have a good reputation for your work, then there is no reason that your employer will not grant your request. Give your employer enough time to make the necessary changes and always fulfill your promises of catching up on the missed hours, and you will be fine.