How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late – 10 Tips

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Are you late to work again? Well, then you must be finding ways to apologize to your boss for being late. Aren’t you?

Let us make it easy for you. We will break down easy tips to say sorry when you are late.

How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late – 10 Tips

Is your boss a stickler for punctuality? Well, then being late isn’t as easy as it used to be. You have to be vigilant to say sorry and calm down your angry boss. Here are ten tips that can help you:

1. Take Responsibility:

The first rule of apologizing for being late is, taking responsibility. If you were late, don’t makeup stories like your cat was under the car tire or your girlfriend wants you to run errands.

They may sound very convincing, but if the boss doesn’t believe them, he will take an instant aversion to it.

How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late

One employee came late at least three times a month in my last job. Upon asking, he used to say, and I am late because I wanted to be late.

And he never gave a solid reason except that I didn’t want to come on time. And our boss was never happy with him because of this lame excuse.

Therefore, do not be someone who shows arrogance on being late, like it is their right. Bosses never like such employees. They loathe them.

2. How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late – Apologize Sincerely:

Being late to work is one of the worst mistakes you can make as an employee. It reflects your poor punctuality.

Moreover, it also reveals arrogance and carelessness that bosses don’t appreciate. If you’re a chronic latecomer or got stuck in traffic one too many times, cordially apologize to your boss.

It’s not hard to learn; it just requires some foresight and a genuine apology.

If you don’t apologize, then your boss might take it personally. He might start thinking that there exists something fishy about you. And this is not what you want at all!

3. State The Actual Genuine Reason Of Being Late:

Various reasons can make us come late to work. The situations vary from one person to another. There is no common reason for one person, and it differs from one person to another.

Whatever the case might be, apologizing for the same is quite essential.

However, let the reason be a genuine one. Your boss can only accept your apology if you got late due to a valid reason such as:

– There was a lot of traffic on the way.

– Your family member got sick.

– You had an accident on the way to the office.

– Your car ran out of gas.

valid reason

But do not try to use similar excuses every time. It might come off as lame and invalid.

4. How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late- Explain The Situation:

Once you state the reason for being late, explaining the situation is not always necessary. However, if your boss asks you to explain, you have no other choice.

Please include all the factors that caused your late arrival, and let them be genuine.

5. Offer Solution To Problem That Caused Your Late Arrival:

Once you explain what situation made you come late, it is time to offer solutions. Ensure that your boss knows that you will resolve the issue as soon as possible.

For instance, if an employee’s car has worn down and sent it to the repair shop, he can get late on the local commute.

He should tell his boss that his vehicle will be ready in a few days, and he has asked the mechanic to speed up the process.

Likewise, whatever the reason is for you, make sure to solve it and tell your boss about it.

6. How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late- Offer To Stay Late Or Come In Early Next Day:

The apology only won’t do good for the work. Therefore, offer your boss that you want to stay late or arrive early the next day.

If he declines, try to complete all your pending work in the working hour on that very day. However, if your boss agrees, complete the pending work by putting extra hours in the office.

These measures will show that you genuinely want to make it up to your boss for being late.

7. Ask For Anything Else Your Boss Needs From You:

Please do not leave the room until your boss tells you something else he needs from you. Ask him if he needs anything else from you.

make it up to boss

He may require you to write an apology letter to HR or talk to HR about the situation. The situation can be any, depending on your boss and the company.

Moreover, if your boss has extra work for you or wants to fill you in for the time you were not present, ask for it.

8. Thank Your Boss For Understanding You:

In the end, thank your boss for understanding your situation. You can say:

“I want to thank you for understanding me. I will work hard to make it up to you. So that we can grow in our career together as a team. Thank You.”

Moreover, you can assure him that you won’t be late in the future. The best apology is the changed behavior. Therefore, try not to be late anymore.

9. Do Not Make It A Habit:

Did you know that the average American is late for work five times each month? The cost of being late for work can be severe, not to your reputation as a reliable employee but to your career.

Your boss may be willing to forgive one or two instances of delay. However, if it becomes a habit, you could risk losing your job altogether. Thus, do not make being late a habit or know the consequences.

10. How To Apologize To Your Boss For Being Late – Follow Up With Boss:

After you apologize to your boss for being late, make it up to your boss. Complete your work in time, and make sure your boss knows your progress.

focus on work

He should know that you are focusing on your position and not slacking. You can send him work progress by the end of your day or your shift.

Consequences Of Being Late

Being late at work can have a huge impact on your career. It affects how your company, co-workers, and, most importantly, your boss views you.

It’s important to understand what being late at work means in the professional world and how it reflects on you.

People who get in late to work are lazy, unprofessional, and hard to work with. You may be a good worker, but your co-workers will start avoiding you if you get in late every time.

Being late at work can also cause the following problems:

1. Your boss will not trust you

2. You will become an unreliable worker

3. You will not get promotions or extra perks

4. Your company will eventually fire you

5. Your boss won’t listen to your suggestions because of your bad record.

6. Being late will hurt your business and your daily work

How To Avoid Being Late

It is a well-known fact that being late kills your credibility. Being on time shows that you respect the other person’s time and your own. Here are some smart tips for making sure you are not late:

1. Know your route. Make sure you know how long it will take to get there and prepare according to it. You can use Google Maps or even consult with someone who has been there before.

2. Wake up early. Only early risers are punctual. Wake up sometime before your normal time. Exercise to freshen up and make sure you leave home on time.

apologize to boss for being late

3. Check your vehicle the night before work. Knowing that your car is not working when you are about to leave for the office is a nightmare.

Thus, check your vehicle before sleeping so that if there is some issue, you can resolve it.

4. Set Alarms. The best to wake up on time is by setting alarms. Some people set 5-10 alarms because they know one won’t be much helpful. Likewise, some get up with only one alarm.

5. Leave home 10-15 before the normal time. You know how much time it will take to reach the office. Thus, leave home 10-15 minutes before.

In this way, you will arrive sometime early to the office, and that is acceptable rather than being late.


One of the most common mistakes people make in the workplace is being late. If you’re late, it can create many problems for your boss.

Apologize to your boss for being late. Explain why you were late, and do not use a lame excuse for that. Include all the mitigating factors that caused your late arrival.

In addition, share the solutions to the problems that caused you to come late. Offer your boss to stay late that day or arrive early the next day.

Ensure your boss knows you are trying to make it up to him by working hard. Complete all your pending tasks in time, and share progress with him.

In conclusion, follow up with the boss to make sure that he knows you won’t be late again. And try your best not to arrive late in the future, or you will face the consequences.

Last Updated on 2 years by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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