Knowing how to tell your boss you are sick the correct way could make a world of difference in your career - truth be told, it can make or break your professional life!

Sometimes, you will be sick and need to stay home to get well, thus you will be telling the truth. However, there are some other times, when you will desperately need a break and can't afford to be honest about it, making it essential that you call in sick when you are not.

How to Tell Your Boss You Are Sick When You Are Not

You are not at all sick but you desperately need a day to yourself, and hence there is the need to know how to tell your boss you are sick and that you can't make it. Since this is not exactly honest, you have to be extra careful so that you don't make a mess of everything!

Pick the right moment to call in sick. It is better that you call in early, right before office starts, so that your boss thinks that you tried to make it till the last moment. If you want to know the right way of how to tell your boss you are sick, don't wait till it's past your office hours so that your colleagues and supervisors start to get angry or worried.


If you have had a particularly bad week at office and seemed agitated to your colleagues, this is not the right time to “call in sick” because it can be obvious from the timing that you are more aggravated than physically sick.


Remember to create the perfect situation around you when you make the call. It'll sound very odd if you complain of illness when your boss can hear the sound of a rather lively party going on at your end. Or, imagine telling your boss you are in bed with a fever while he can hear the sound of traffic because you were on your way to the beach at the moment.


Make up your mind on how to tell your boss you are sick before you make the call. Don't wait till your boss asks what your illness was and you have to struggle for words. It will definitely seem suspicious if you have to think about what your illness is when it is serious enough for you to stay at home for.


Be prepared to answer questions about your sudden illnesses because it is human nature to query. Choose an illness and stick to it; it is better if you chose something that you are already familiar with so that you can answer questions, i.e. a migraine or an asthma attack, food poisoning, etc.


If it is really a break that you required, perhaps the best way to spend the day would be to take it slow and rest at home. This way, you would be really refreshed for the next day at work, and seem rested. On the other hand, if you take this “sick” day to have a party or go outside, there is a chance someone at your office will get to know. Especially, if you are active on social media, there is a chance someone you were with will tag you in a picture or a status! Even if you are not exactly being honest, try to stay as close to the truth as you can while you are taking a sick day.

How to Tell Your Boss You Are Sick When You Are Really Sick

However, there will be times when you really don’t feel good and you need to know how to tell your boss you are sick. This could also be a tricky situation because you will need to convince your boss that you are sick enough to stay at home and rest.

Be honest about your situation as much as you can. If this is an illness that is temporary, like a fever or the flu, tell your boss exactly how many days of rest you would need and when they can expect you back. If you have too many responsibilities at work, let your boss know whether you can work from home, or how you can be reached in case of an emergency. Even if you are at home resting, your boss and your office will appreciate you making the effort for the sake of your work.


If it is something serious that you are dealing with, be honest about that too. If the illness is serious and requires you to rest completely, or if you don't want to be bothered with your work for the moment, then you should convey that message to your boss, as well. If there is a chance you would need to stay home for more than a few days, it is better to let your boss know in advance. You shouldn't worry about your work when it is a serious illness that you are suffering from. On the other hand, your office will appreciate the fact that you have given them a heads-up about your unavailability so that they could plan ahead.


It is completely your decision whether or not you want to share the details of your illness with your boss when you call in sick. Your boss and your colleagues should only know the details of your illness that they are required to, no more than that - if that's what you want. It is not necessary that you have to share every detail with your boss. If they need to see proof, you can show them the doctor's reports to give them the proof. Nevertheless, it is completely your decision how much information you want to share.


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