A smart strategy for telling your boss you will be late to work

21 Oct 2022

No matter how punctual we think we are, the traffic sometimes gets in our way. And when we do realize we’re getting late for work, our brain tries to come up with innovative yet believable reasons for being late. However, it has to get past our manager without any ounce of suspicion and this is no easy task!

Forget about luck, you know you’re not having a great day. But, you can avoid letting this ruin your entire day if you can manage sneaking out of this trouble you’re in. Well, nothing changes the fact that you know your manager isn’t going to be happy to see you whirling in late.

Whether you’re late entirely because of utter tardiness, or if it is completely out of your control, here’s exactly what you should do.

The Earlier the better — for the excuse!

You know being late works the exact same way as knowing whether you’ll pass or fail a test. You know the exact moment that you realize you’re going to be late. It's always an event that sends the signal to your mind that ‘Yes, I’m going to be late’.

The exact second that this happens, allow yourself to send your manager a notification about being late. This allows a particular timeframe for your manager to react to you being late and doesn’t withhold any kind of work from being completed.

Avoid Lying

You might be tempted to lie to get out of giving your manager any unnecessary excuses. But trust us when we tell you that managers know when you lie. It’s easy to catch a late person’s lie, and that’s what managers expect you to do anyway. And it doesn’t look good on you, either.

So try to be honest, even if it’s scary to say you overslept or forgot to put petrol in your car. It might not be received well, but when you arrive on time every other day after that, they’ll understand where you were coming from. After all, it happens to the best of us.

Say you’re sorry

Obviously, this is something we all do without reading it in an article. Saying sorry earnestly allows you to communicate how sorry you actually are for being late. If you’re going to miss something, you need to be apologetic and acknowledge that you’re impacting others.

Even if you have zero regrets about getting an extra hour of sleep, still say you’re sorry. Because you see, the fact that you’re late affects your boss and co-workers, too.

Be earnest

There’s no escaping it, you know you’re going to be late. However, as uncontrollable as this situation might seem, you can control how you react to it. Alongside sending your manager a message, you might want to ensure to them that you’re not going to let this repeat.

All it takes is for you to continue at work as regularly and loyally possible. Or maybe you stay a bit later that day to make up for the lost time.

Maybe you immediately offer up solutions to recompensate time for a missed meeting. Or just anything else that needed to be put aside because you were late. Whatever you think will impress your manager enough to convince them to overlook this minor inconvenience, do it.

Say thank you, too!

It might be a good thing at the end of the day to give your manager a quick thanks. You definitely don’t want to keep bringing it up if your manager has moved on. But if they were especially receptive or accommodating it’s worth acknowledging that.

Be a bit more aware

Like we’ve already mentioned, going late to work happens to even the best of us. When it’s merely once or twice, it really isn’t that big of a deal.

But if that number dwindles, then people’s impression of you will change as well. More importantly, you’ll begin to lose the respect of your manager.

Always remember that being an adult comes with the tag of having to balance these things. And being on time is one of the most adult-things you will have to do. So set your alarm to full volume and leave your house 10 minutes earlier. Or if you really need to, talk to your manager about adjusting your timing do whatever it takes.

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