Employees often feel the need or obligation to work from home, even when they shouldn’t. There is a feeling of guilt when there is work to be done, and your computer is right there… Not to mention that some employers simply expect too much – whether you are supposed to work from home full time or just occasionally.
Sometimes, however, there are Legitimate Reasons to “Call Off” When Working From Home, or at the very least, ask that you can make up the time later.
Sometimes it just cannot be helped! The electricity went out, your water heater burst, you have signal issues due to bad weather, whichever may be the case. If something out of your control has happened and you are unable to work, you can call in and arrange to make up the time later.
You have exceeded your maximum hours for the week…
You have the right to clock in and clock out and work your maximum hours, then stop, just like anyone else, unless stated otherwise in your contract. Depending on your state’s bylaws on working hours and requirements for time off, you cannot be forced to work beyond a certain point.
This is not only because it will result in your health declining but also have a detrimental effect on your quality of work.
This sort of time off is not infinitely available, and if you exceed a certain amount of time, your company may require it to be taken as a personal leave of absence or unpaid time off.
This type of time off is used when you have a sick child or family member to take care of, or if there is a death in the family. Your company policy may also vary on who counts as immediate family – second cousins or uncles and aunts may be viewed as distant family and fall under annual paid or unpaid time off.
Everyone has an appointment they need to schedule, that may either fall outside of their lunch hour or take longer than expected. These appointments can be to see a doctor, to take your pet to the vet, attend a parent-teacher meeting or even interview for another position. Either way, most companies will be understanding if you notify them of a “personal appointment” and will allow you to make up this time later.
When You Are Ill
When you are sick, call in sick. Provide a doctor’s note if required, and do not offer to do any work in your downtime. Working from your bed will do more harm than good, as you may perform work while under the influence of medication and hinder your rest and recovery.
When you need to apply for annual time off…
At some point, you may just need a break to go on vacation or just to fight some burnout. Yes, you may need to only take your time off when it is approved, but do ask for it! You still deserve it, even if you have been working in your pajamas for the last two years.
Further Tips For Working From Home!
It’s not as easy as it seems to a lot of people! Some love to work from home; others find it extremely difficult to be productive.
So, let’s take a look at The Future of the Office: Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face, and Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home, which we found very helpful in 2023.
But wait, there’s more! We also recommend The Ultimate Guide To Remote Work: 900 Tips, Strategies and Insights, How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace: Simple and Effective Tips or perhaps even Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere, and Remote Work: Redesign Processes, Practices and Strategies to Engage a Remote Workforce.
And lastly, try reading Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work Wherever You Are, or to make the most of your homework space is My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation, and of course, Beautifully Organized at Work: Bring Order and Joy to Your Work Life.
When you are calling out from work, notify them that you will be turning off your phone, or at least not answering it or responding to messages, until you are ready to resume your duties. Also, recommend someone that can cover for you while you are unavailable, if possible.
Make sure that you communicate any extension of your absence to your supervisor or boss so they know what to expect, and arrange alternative staff if necessary.
You should also ensure that there is a record of your actual time working and times after hours that you made up a work hour or two. Use screen monitoring software that will show your employer the time you put into working from home, so there are no misunderstandings later.
Enjoy your downtime and take care of yourself!