Look up ☝️. See our company name is Buildremote (emphasis on remote)?
We don’t think you ever need an excuse to work from home. Most companies should just embrace it and go fully remote. But on the off-chance you work a hybrid schedule or for a company mandating you be in the office, you might need a solid, last-minute excuse to work from home for a day (or maybe even permanently).
We asked our list of contributors to share their best excuses to work from home (WFH). We received 200+ responses and organized the best ones into categories below. Click one of a link below to jump to a category:
Most convincing excuses | Best last-minuted reasons | Reasons to WFH permanently | Funniest ones
The Best Excuses To Work From Home (Most Convincing)
- Dental emergency
- Doctor’s appointment
- Domestic crisis
- Family emergency
- Home inspection
- Household emergency
- Important package being delivered
- Jury duty
- Mental health day
- Religious celebration
- Spouse in the military
- Surveyor is coming over
See Also: The Best Excuses To Get Out Of Work
Reasons To Work From Home Last Minute
- The 24-hour flu
- Car trouble
- Death in the family
- Have a fever (and I’m contagious)
- Health issues
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Not “100% me” today
- Sick child
- Sick relative
- Tradespeople appointment
- Road work
See Also: Only The Good Excuses To Miss Work On Short Notice
Excuses To Work From Home Permanently
- Distractions in the office
- Focus and deep work for productivity
- More productive at home
- Need uninterrupted time
- Avoid the commute
- Daycare costs
- I’m a loner
- Not a people person
- We don’t live in 1870
The Funniest Excuses To Work From Home
- Alarm never went off
- Bad weather
- Case of the hiccups
- Cat sliced my ear
- Death of your beloved gerbil
- Dogs and shoes
- Don’t want to get dressed
- I’m an emotional support human
- I’m too good at my job (people are getting jealous)
- Keeping the pet therapist bills down
- Misplaced car keys
- My dogs get snobbish in my absence
- New puppy
- Parking malfunction
- There’s a moose on the highway
- Wild pet on the loose
Good Excuses For Working From Home (If You Need Explanations)
Below, you’ll find the same list of work from home excuses you saw above… but this time each one has some explanation. This is just in case you need a little backup if your excuse comes under fire.
Alarm never went off
My alarm didn’t go off when the power went out last night, and now I have to take away everything in my refrigerator before something mutates and I’m completely to blame for the first-ever zombie outbreak.
– Paul Somerville of Electric Scooter Guide
Avoid the commute
Traffic congestion, inclement weather, and long commutes can all be avoided by working from home. And with gas prices always on the rise, working from home can also save you a lot of money in transportation costs.
– Erin Zadoorian of Budpop
This one is a bit more tricky since bad weather doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe to travel. However, if there’s a major storm or other weather event that is causing disruptions, it’s probably best to work from home rather than risk coming into the office only to have to turn around and go back home again. Plus, working from home in these situations can actually be pretty fun since you don’t have to deal with commuting in bad weather!
– Rohit Bimbra of HomeHealthcareShoppe.com
Car trouble, in my opinion, makes for a great justification for staying inside instead of heading into the office. Inevitably, most of us will encounter automotive issues. It doesn’t matter if your car has a dead battery or a bent wheel from a collision. Rather than wasting time learning unfamiliar public transportation routes if your car breaks down, you’d be better off putting in some productive hours at home.
– Travis Lindemen of Nexus IT Group
Case of the hiccups
One could say they have a case of the hiccups and need to be in a quiet environment.
– Zach Larsen of Pineapple Money
Cat sliced my ear
in 2017, there was a lizard on the ceiling and I held up my inquisitive cat so that she could get it down for me. She swiped the lizard off the ceiling, then jumped down to chase it when it fell and, in the process, sliced my ear open. I ended up at an emergency clinic (which, fortunately, was still open, as it was 10 pm at night) where an antibiotic and a tetanus shot later, I was told I would be okay. I ended up getting home very late and had to call in late to work but, lesson learned – I now swat the lizards down with magazines!
– AJ Silberman-Moffitt of Tandem
Working from office involves hefty daycare expenses and thus most employees are often on the hunt for better paying jobs. Working from home allows keeping an eye on the kids and saving on these expenses. It helps to offer more liquidity and flexibility to the employees and loyalty to the employers.
– Smriti Tuteja of Yogic-Experience
Death in the family
Unfortunately, death is a part of life. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it’s understandable that you might not be in the right frame of mind to go into the office. In these cases, it’s best to work from home and take some time to grieve.
– Stacy Lewis of Eternity Modern
Death of your beloved gerbil
The best humorous excuse to work from home is to claim that your pet gerbil died, leaving you heartbroken and in desperate need of some quality time at home to mourn its loss. You and your gerbil had grand plans to drive across the country and, in its absence, you feel compelled to embark on this journey in memory of your gerbil. How could any manager deny you such a heartfelt and legitimate reason to work remotely during your now solo travels?
– Bryan Driscoll of Bryan J Driscoll JD LLC
While most of us do our best to plan ahead for routine dental checkups, sometimes accidents happen and we need to see the dentist immediately, whether for a cracked tooth or a missing filling. Working from home can save you time, energy, and possibly pain compared to the alternative of commuting to and from work, then going to the dentist, and finally commuting back home.
– Sandra Rios of Buzz Agency
Distractions in the office
If you find that you’re constantly getting sidetracked by office politics or other people’s conversations, working from home can help you stay focused on the task. You can create a more productive environment for yourself where you won’t be interrupted every few minutes.
– Ryan Bolling of Bolling Behavioral Consulting
Telling your employer that you have a doctor’s appointment or any other medical issue is the best excuse to work from home. Remember, your company can’t ask you to come to the office if you’re sick. Plus, prying more into your situation will be unprofessional and going down that road is a big no for HR, so you’re honestly in the clear. Just let them know that you won’t be able to make it on time to the office because of the appointment and would like to work from home instead, but don’t make a habit because that will be a problem.
– Karen Comen of Zodiac Signs
Dogs and shoes
I have an old dog, who’s depressed and won’t eat anything other than my shoes when I’m not in. I don’t earn enough money to buy new shoes all the time. Without shoes, I can’t go to work, so I have to work from home.
– Colin Palfrey of Crediful
Suppose you awoke to find your basement flooded or your roof leaking. If you have a domestic issue that will require your time and attention while you bring in professionals, it is recommended to take time off from work. Thus, you can handle the problem with a clear head and prepare your home (and your psyche!) for a fresh start when the repairs are complete.
– Edward Mellet of WikiJob
Don’t want to get dressed
I’m pretty sure the best excuse to work from home is “I’m too lazy to get dressed.” I mean, why bother putting on real clothes when you can just stay in your PJs all day? Plus, you’re way more productive when you’re comfortable, right? And if your boss tries to argue with you, just tell them that you’re saving the company money by not having to buy a wardrobe full of business clothes. Seriously, it’s a win-win!
– Inez Stanway of LiveLaughCreate
Family emergencies are always taken seriously by managers. Especially after the pandemic, workplaces are quite lenient when it comes to the health of family members. So, they will cut you some slack.
– Peter Varadi of MarketGap
Focus and deep work for productivity
Focus and deep work is the best excuse to work from home. Some tasks and even projects require a significant amount of heads down time without distractions to get done. The difference can mean weeks on the timeline when working on something like this, so it’s completely reasonable to work from home in this case and it’s beneficial for everyone involved.
– Dennis Shirshikov of Awning.com
Have a fever (and I’m contagious)
You don’t want to infect your coworkers, so it’s better for you to stay home and rest. Stay in touch with your supervisor and let them know how you’re feeling and when you expect to be back at work.
– Luke Fitzpatrick of Drsono.
I have vision problems. I can’t see. I can’t see myself working from the office today.
– Ivo Iv of Decor Home Ideas
If you rent a home or apartment, you will have to go through a rental inspection at least once per year and sometimes even twice. It is in your best interest to be there when your landlord inspects your home. This way, if any problems come up, you can take care of them right away.
– Andrew Dale of CloudTech24
Imagine you awoke to find water in your basement or a leaky roof. In the event of a household emergency that necessitates the hiring of professionals, you should take time off from work to deal with the situation. Having a level head during an emergency situation will allow you to get your house (and your head!) in order so that you can get back to work with a fresh start after the repairs are complete.
– Helen Ferris of Imagine Maids
I’m a loner
This excuse identifies a person to prefer doing things alone to an extent that driving on road alongside other divers bothers them. It gets worse because such a loner will be forced to interact with others at the office. To avoid losing morale due to interaction in shared amenities like roads and office space, working from home is the best option for my optimal productivity.
– Ian Brian Gachunu of Financefied
I’m an emotional support human
I am a full-time emotional support human for my cat. She had a couple of rough days, and I must be there for her.
– Dr. Tali Ditye of Mommyhood101
I’m too good at my job (people are getting jealous)
Are you worried that your phenomenal work is demoralizing your co-workers? Do people at work often describe you as an overachiever? If so, then working from home could be a great solution! That way, your coworkers won’t have to be constantly reminded of how much work you’re getting done. This excuse can also be used if your work is just average. No one will know.
– Rika Osterbuhr of Kosmo
Important package being delivered
You can inform your employer that you have to sign for a delivery that would arrive at an unexpected time. Relay the importance of the package and how not being there to receive it would cause you to pay extra. It would be best to declare the price of the said item so that the employer recognizes its importance.
– Elisa Bender of RevenueGeeks
At some point in our lives, the vast majority of us will sustain an injury that is not immediately life-threatening. Even if you have one of these injuries and your job requires you to sit at a desk or in front of a computer for most of the day, you won’t be unable to keep working. But they’re a hassle and could make it harder to move around. Working from home for a few days will let you heal from a minor injury without slowing you down at work.
– Mike Owens of Web Hosting Advices
Irritable bowel syndrome
The stress of working life is a common cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Working from home gives you easy access to your favorite restroom, and there’s no one there to judge you for your frequent trips. It’s a great excuse, as no one wants someone in the office breaking wind all the time!
– Alex Trevatt of Medistudents
Jury duty to the rescue. You can simply excuse yourself and ask for some leniency on the day. It’s your responsibility as a citizen to become a juror and give your verdict on a case. It’s an excuse everyone can relate to, and you’ll get work from home.
– Fraser Matthews of Netcoins
Keeping the pet therapist bills down
My best excuse for continuing to work remotely is that my dog has become so accustomed to my being around, her separation anxiety (and now depression) has gone through the roof. I looked into the cost of a pet therapist, to try to learn some techniques to help the situation, but I soon found that ongoing treatment was way out of my price range. Therefore, I prefer working from home because I can still get my duties done while being near the pooch.
– Gerald Lombardo of The Word Counter
Mental health day
With the recent transitions in the workspace models in the last couple of years, mental health has become just as important as physical health, and sometimes we need to take a day to focus on ourselves. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a break, don’t hesitate to ask your boss for a work-from-home day.
– Daniel Golson of Best Roofbox Guide
Misplaced car keys
If you don’t want to take the all-too-common route of saying you have a doctor’s appointment, this is the next best excuse. It’s quite believable and you may even get a chuckle or two out of your supervisors, making it a lighthearted excuse to stay home without having to worry your team about your health.
– Harry Morton of Lower Street
More productive at home
This is a great reason to suggest working from home, especially if you have a good track record of being more productive when you work remotely.
– Jennifer Spinelli of Watson Buys
My dogs get snobbish in my absence
Claiming that your absence causes your dog to act snobbish, arrogant, or aloof is a funny and absurd justification that will make people laugh. This justification is fairly credible if it comes from a person whose life revolves around their dogs because pet parents treat their pets like a baby on some level.
– Avery Mya of Softmany
Need uninterrupted time
If you’re in the middle of a big project, it can be tough to get anything done at the office. Use this excuse to work from home where you can focus and get things done.
– Shaun Martin of The Home Buying Company
A great excuse to work from home is if you recently added a fur family member to your household. Puppies need a lot of attention in the beginning. You need to be home to help it adjust to its new environment and start the bonding process!
– Christian Kjaer of ElleVet Sciences
Not “100% me” today
With the rise of mental health prioritization and well-being, offices should normalize the idea of not being at your best every day. If you’re feeling off or down, it’s perfectly acceptable to work from home. In fact, it might even be encouraged by your company in order to avoid putting yourself in a difficult or uncomfortable situation.
– Sarah Watson of BPTLAB
Not a people person
One of my employees told me that he isn’t a people person and it would be safer for everyone if he could work from home, as he has what he calls “an adverse physical reaction to stupidity” And that’s why he’s now our senior staff writer, as it was, and is the best reason I’ve ever heard for not being able to come into the office.
– James “Jimmy” Watts of Own The Grill
Couldn’t find a perfect parking spot at work today. So I just went home and will be working from here. Looks like there are enough people at the office today!
– Nathan Brunner of Salarship
A pregnant woman’s stress levels can be reduced, and she can focus on herself and her baby during her maternity leave. However, before that time comes, you have the option of requesting a work-from-home arrangement. If you are pregnant with a high-risk baby and feel that being at work is not in your best interest, this is a great option for you.
– Tia Campbell of Practice Reasoning Tests
Even if your company doesn’t observe the holiday, you should be free to practice your religion. Any religious holiday is indeed a great justification for taking time off of work, and you shouldn’t face harassment because of it. Ask for a day in advance, give it the attention it needs, and have faith that your employer will take care of business without you.
– Adrian Paul of NC CuttingTools
Roadworks on a commuting route can make the journey back from a long day excruciating. On a good day the traffic will flow, on a bad day you will be sitting in your car for hours long into the night. Walk into work after sitting in traffic for hours with a face of thunder and tell your boss you are sick of the roadworks, fearful that you are ready to quit over traffic your boss will let you work from home.
– Dominic Lill of Trafiki Ecommerce Marketing
There are a few reasons why this excuse is the best to work from home. First, it is a genuine reason that can’t be easily disputed. If you have a sick child, then, of course, you need to take care of them. Second, it shows that you are a responsible parent willing to put their child’s needs first and this can be a positive attribute in the eyes of your employer.
– Mahamudul Kabir of FootInsider
Illness is inevitable, and we must all take time off to heal. Even though permanent workers in the United States are not promised any paid sick time, most companies will nevertheless let you take off work if you need to tend to a serious health issue. Care for dependent children or elderly relatives should be included in sick leave benefits in an ideal society. In spite of the fact that you need to stay at home to supervise and offer care, you are not ill and so can continue working without incurring any additional expenses.
– James Rehm of Skuuudle.
Spouse in the military
Working from home is a privilege that is not afforded to many people. However, there are some situations where working from home might be the best option. For instance, if you have a spouse in the military and your location can’t be disclosed for safety reasons, it would make sense for you to work from home.
– Jared Floyd of Ajax Creative
Surveyor is coming over
Explain to your boss that due to the impending crash of the housing market, your landlord is getting the property valued to sell up as quickly as possible. You have a surveyor coming over to do their valuation at any time during the afternoon – and so you need to be in all day just in case they arrive at midday. It’s not an opportunity you want to miss either, you need to relocate ASAP as the commute to work is much too long!
– Daniel Hanley of Octane Accountants
The 24-hour flu
This one is great because it can be used again and again. You can even get your coworkers sick so they have to take a day off too!
– Ed Shway of ByteXD
There’s a moose on the highway
A couple of years ago, in Ottawa, Canada, a moose became trapped on the highway, stopping all downtown traffic for two hours. No one got to work that morning!
– Georges Thébault-Dagher of Maddle
If there is a lack of qualified carpenters, plumbers, and electricians in your area, you may have to wait months for an appointment because of how busy tradespeople are. A better solution than having to cancel due to work is to just do it from home. You might have to deal with loud noises all day, but if you buy a good set of headphones that block out noise, it will be easier.
– Steve Elliott of Restoration1
We don’t live in 1870
Today we have access to incredible technologies that enable workers to do their job without having to be in the office. Virtual meetings and sales calls are the new normal, preferred by many. Business leaders should ditch their old school mindset of controlling workers by having “butts in seats” and instead let them work from home, where they are happier and more productive.
– Matiah Fischer of RetireBetterNow.com
Wild pet on the loose
Having a pet animal loose and running around your house. The smaller the pet the better, it’s extra points if the animal is likable (no cockroaches then). Just say your guinea pig escaped the cage, and you cannot find it anywhere in the house, and you need to quarantine yourself inside, so it doesn’t escape to the wild.
– Denis Ristić of AskGamblers.com
Need some more ideas?
- The Best Excuses To Get Out Of Work
- 30 Good Ideas To Leave Work Early
- Excuses To Miss Work On Short Notice
Work From Home Ideas To Ponder
Since I have you here and since you work from home, you might find some of these other articles useful.