How To Ask For A Day Off – A Complete Guide

Written By Aleena

How to ask for a day off is a simple yet challenging question. Especially if you’re worried about coming across as unprofessional.

If you approach the situation right, your boss will be happy to accommodate your request.

Tips To Remember When Asking For A Day Off

Here are a few tips on how to ask for a day off:

1. Have A Valid Reason:

Make sure you have a valid reason for wanting time off. Your boss is more likely to approve your request if you have a good reason.

For instance a family emergency or doctor’s appointment. Otherwise, your boss may think you’re just trying to get out of work.

How To Ask For A Day Off

A valid reason makes you look responsible and dedicated to your job.

Moreover, it ensures that you follow the company’s policy for taking time off. It comes under professionalism and hence, is a crucial aspect.

We will share how to use that valid reason appropriately in the request.

2. Give Advance Notice:

Give your boss as much notice as possible before you need time off.

This allows them to plan around your absence and ensure that work can still get done in your absence.

It also shows that you were considerate of their time and understood that they have to plan around your absence.

Ideally, advance notice should be at least a week. But depending on the situation, your boss may be able to accommodate a shorter notice period.

But do not go around giving notice on the day of leave. It will show lack of professionalism.

3. Check Your Employee Handbook:

Before asking for a day off, check your company’s employee handbook or vacation policy.

This will give you a good idea of how many days you’re allowed to take off and the process for requesting time off.

Following company policy shows you’re a good employee willing to follow the rules.

Some company policies specify the reason for the leave in the request.

Thus, make sure you’re familiar with the policy before you ask for time off. Some include a limit on the number of days you can take off.

So if you’re planning to take a more extended vacation, check the policy first.

4. Put Your Request In Writing:

When you’re ready to ask for a day off, write your request. This can be an email, letter, or even a note on your boss’s desk.

Having your request in writing ensures no confusion about what you’re asking for.

It also shows that you’re willing to take the time to write out your request.

Thus, you’re serious about taking time off. We will discuss how to write a day off request email or note later.

5. Be Flexible With Your Dates:

If possible, be flexible with the dates you’re requesting off.

This shows that you’re willing to work with your boss to find a time that works best for you.

It also shows that you understand that they may have already scheduled vacation days or other events when you’re requesting off.

If you’re unable to be flexible with your dates, explain why in your request.

6. Make A Schedule:

When you ask for time off, make sure to have a schedule in mind.

This way, your boss knows exactly when you’ll be gone and can plan accordingly. Having a program also shows that you’re organized and responsible.


Plus, it makes it easier for your boss to say yes to your request. Your plan can include:

– The dates you’ll be gone

– How you’ll complete your work before you leave

– Who will cover for you while you’re gone

– How you’ll be available (via email, phone, etc.) while you’re gone

7. Keep It, Professional:

When asking for time off, always remember to keep it professional. This means avoiding sounding demanding or entitled.

Instead, focus on showing that you’re responsible. Understand the impact of your absence on the company.

For example, instead of saying:

“I need a day off,” try. “Can I have Wednesday off? I’ll make sure my work is covered.”

Also, remember to say “please” and “thank you.”

8. Be Ready To Negotiate:

Keep in mind that your boss may not be able to approve your request as is.

They may need you to work a different day, take less time off, or work from home.

Be prepared to negotiate to come to an agreement that works for both of you.

Negotiation is an essential skill in the corporate world, and hence, keep it in mind.

However, negotiation with a boss is different than with other colleagues. It would help if you were very careful while doing so.

You can not be much assertive and not listen to them. You have to be very humble and understand their perspective too.

9. Follow Up:

Once you get time off, make sure to follow up with your boss:


This shows that you appreciate their approval. Also, it ensures that there are no misunderstandings about the days you’re taking off.

For example, if your boss says you can have Wednesday off, confirm the date and time with them in an conversation.

This way, there are no surprises, and everyone is on the same page.

Thank You Email Or Note:

You can also follow up with a thank-you email or note.


This shows that you appreciate their accommodation and commit to meeting the terms of your agreement. It also sets the stage for future requests.

Phone Call:

You can follow up with a phone call too. Explain the situation and how thankful you are for the approved leave.

This will please your boss, and they would be more than happy to approve your vacation next time you ask.

10. Hold Up Your End Of The Bargain:

Once you got approval for time off, make sure to hold up your end of the bargain. This means:

Completing your work before you leave

– Being available when you said you would be, and

– Following through on any other commitments you made.

Holding up your end of the bargain shows that you’re responsible and can be trusted to take time off in the future. It makes it easier for the boss to grant you more leaves in the future.

Email Samples To Ask For A Day Off

Let’s share some samples with you to take an idea from:

Request Email Sample 1:

“Respected Boss,

Hope you are doing good. I am emailing you to request a day off on (Date). I have (Reason for taking leave).

It would be great if you could approve my leave. I will make sure that my work is all done before I leave, and (X, Y, Z) will be there to cover for me.

Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Request Email Sample 2:

“Hi, Boss,

I want to take a day off on (Date). I have to go to (Reason). As per the work, I have completed all the projects due today.

Please let me know if it is possible or not at the earliest.

I appreciate your consideration.

Best Regards,

(Your name)”

Follow-Up Email Sample 1:

“Dear Boss,

As per our discussion, I will be taking a day off on (Date).

I have completed all my work before leaving and will be available (via email, phone, etc.) if needed.

I want to thank you for your understanding and accommodation. Looking forward to holding up my bargain end and meeting all my obligations.

Thank you,

[Your Name]”

Follow-Up Email Sample 2:

“Dear Boss,

Thank you for approving my leave on (Date). I will be working from home and available via email/phone if needed.

Also, I appreciate your consideration. I will be there on time in the office on [the day after off].

Thank you,

(Your name)”

How Not To Ask For A Day Off

Now there are some to be careful about when asking for a day off:

1. Don’t Ask When It’s Convenient For You:

When asking for a day out, don’t ask when it’s convenient for you. Consider your company’s needs and what would work best for them.

For example, if you know that Friday is a busy day for your company, don’t ask to take that day off.

Instead, try to schedule your leave for a slower day. Take the company’s needs into consideration and make it easy for them to say yes to your request.

2. Don’t Be Vague:

Don’t be vague about why you need the day off. If you’re going to be out of town, let your boss know where you’re going and why.

If you’re taking a personal day, that’s fine too. Just let your boss know so they can plan accordingly.


Vagueness will only make your boss wonder what you’re up to and could lead to a denial of your request.

3. Don’t Make It A Problem:

While you ask for a day off, could you not make it a problem for your boss?

For example, don’t say, “I know you’re busy, but can I please take Friday off?”

This puts your boss in a difficult position and could lead to a denial of your request.

Instead, try to phrase it as a question or make it seem like it’s not a big deal.

For example, “Is it okay if I take Friday off?” or “I’m thinking of taking Friday off, is that okay?”

4. Don’t Be Disrespectful:

When asking for a day off, make sure to be respectful. Do not use rude language or make demands.

Instead, try to be polite and understanding. This will go a long way in getting your leave approved.

Some employees do not take days off all year, but they feel like now it is their absolute right to have one.

Thus, they are assertive about it and try to be strict. It doesn’t work.

5. Don’t Ask When Your Boss Is Extremely Busy:

If you know that your boss is extremely busy, don’t ask for a day off.

Your boss may not have the time to discuss your leave with you and may deny your request.

Instead, try to ask when your boss is less busy. For example:

If your boss is usually accessible in the mornings, try to schedule a meeting then to discuss your leave.

This way, they’ll be able to give you the attention you need and are more likely to approve your leave.

6. Don’t Ask At The Last Minute:

If you need a day off, don’t ask for it last minute. Your boss may not be able to accommodate your request and may deny it.

Instead, try to give your boss as much notice as possible. This way, they’ll be able to plan and are more likely to approve your leave.


How too ask for a day off can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a productive conversation with your boss is the key to getting time off. Here are a few tips to help you have a productive dialogue:

– Be clear about what you’re asking for

– Have a schedule in mind

– Keep it professional

– Be ready to negotiate

– Follow up

– Hold up your end of the bargain

By following these tips, you’ll be able to have a productive conversation with your boss. You may increase your chances of getting time off.

Last Updated on 2 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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