How To Write Your Sick Day Email (Samples, Examples and Templates)

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Jun 28, 2023

sick work from home email sample

Ever wondered how to craft a “sick work from home email” to send to your boss? It happens – we all have those times that pop up when we need to call out from work.

Well, your answer is right here, and it’s easier than you think. In this article, we’re going to reveal the secret sauce to writing that perfect email that maintains your professionalism while communicating your need for a sick day.

And here’s the catch – we’re doing this specifically from a work from home perspective, but what we’re covering here will work for any scenario.

Questions like, ‘how to notify your team of your absence while still ensuring the remodeling goes smoothly?’ or ‘how to delegate renovation tasks while you recover?’ will no longer plague your mind.

So, are you ready to tackle this with us? Remember, it’s not just about getting a sick day; it’s about doing it right in the context of your home improvement project. So, sit tight. We’re about to remodel your sick day email game.

Real quick, before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

Decoding Your Company’s Sick Leave Policies: The Corporate Rosetta Stone

Ever felt like you’re trying to decode hieroglyphics when reading your company’s sick leave policies? (It’s not just you, trust me). You’re trying to rest, and there you are, playing Sherlock with your employee handbook. Why does it matter, you ask? Knowing your company’s policy is like holding the key to a secret passage—it can make navigating the labyrinth of sick leave a whole lot easier. Let’s dive into the enigmatic world of company policies.

(By the way – if you want to find some examples of legit reasons for calling out sick from work that are boss-approved, click here.)

One important thing to keep in mind as we get started here with the email samples, examples and templates: 

These are examples you can use as a starting point. You need to personalize them to fit your tone and to reflect your relationship with your boss or HR people to whom you’d need to send these emails. Use them as inspiration for what you personally need to say and how to say it.

Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss: Crack Open that Employee Handbook

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve got a mountain of unread emails, a project deadline looming, and a runny nose that could compete with Niagara Falls. The last thing I want to do is read the employee manual.” I get it, it’s a dry read, probably even drier than your grandmother’s turkey. But understanding the specifics of your company’s sick leave policy is like knowing where the goal post is. It keeps you from shooting in the dark and makes sure you’re scoring points where it matters.

Sample Email:

Hello [HR Manager’s Name], I’m reviewing our company’s sick leave policy and I have a couple of questions. Could we schedule a time to discuss this? Thanks.

Demystifying the Jargon: Deciphering Company Policy Like a Pro

Company policies can be about as clear as mud. “Paid time off”, “sick leave”, “personal days”… Sounds more like a game of corporate bingo, right? But understanding these terms can mean the difference between a well-rested recovery and an unwanted surprise in your paycheck. So, let’s break down some of these buzzwords, leaving no stone unturned.

Sample Email:

Dear [Manager’s Name], I noticed that our employee manual differentiates between ‘sick leave’ and ‘personal days’. Could you clarify what each term means in practice? Best, [Your Name]

The Fine Print: Leave No Policy Stone Unturned

In my experience, the devil’s in the details when it comes to company policies. You might assume that working from home means you don’t need a doctor’s note, only to find out the hard way that your company requires one for every sick day taken. Avoid unwelcome surprises by checking the nitty-gritty of your company’s rules. Knowledge is power, even when you’re armed with tissues and cold medicine.

Sample Email:

Hi [HR Manager’s Name], according to our sick leave policy, it mentions a doctor’s note is needed for extended leave. If I’m unable to make it to the doctor due to the severity of my symptoms, is there an alternative? Thanks for your guidance.

With the mysteries of your company’s sick leave policies unraveled, you’re well-equipped to take that sick day with confidence. Remember, understanding is half the battle—now go get that much-needed rest, you’ve earned it.

The Art of the Sick-Day Email: Crafting a Masterpiece from Your Sick Bed

Sick day emails. They’re like those high school essays you had to churn out when you’d rather be playing video games. (We’ve all been there). But unlike that essay on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ a sick day email can be the difference between a smooth, hassle-free day in bed and a whirlwind of unnecessary stress. Ready to pen your magnum opus? Let’s dive into the essential components of a sick day email.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Condition and Absence

You’re not feeling well, that’s a given. But how do you communicate that without sounding like you’re auditioning for a soap opera? The trick is to be concise but clear about your condition and expected duration of absence. Too much information can feel like an overshare (trust me, nobody wants the play-by-play of your flu symptoms), but too little can leave your manager in the dark.

Sample Email: “Hi [Manager’s Name], I’m feeling under the weather with a high fever and will need to take a sick day today to recover.”

Balancing the Scales: Availability for Remote Work

Sometimes, even when you’re feeling awful, you can still handle a few tasks from home. This can be a fine line to walk – being too eager can leave you with more work than you can handle; being too reluctant can seem uncooperative. So, communicate clearly if you’re available for remote work and what tasks you can feasibly handle.

Sample Email: “I’ll be checking emails periodically and can be available for any urgent tasks that can be handled remotely.”

Picking Up the Slack: Tasks Needing Assistance or Rescheduling

In my experience, nothing says “team player” quite like preemptively addressing how your absence might impact ongoing projects. Identify tasks that need assistance or rescheduling and communicate this in your sick day email. It not only minimizes disruption but also shows that you’re considerate of your team’s workload.

Sample Email: “I was scheduled to lead the client meeting this afternoon. Could someone please step in for me? I’ve already shared my notes in the shared drive.”

With these guidelines, you’re well on your way to crafting a sick day email that’s as effective as it is respectful. Remember, communication is key – when done right, it ensures a smoother workflow for your team and a stress-free day of rest for you. So, go ahead and craft that email – your recovery begins with a well-composed message.

Your Sick Day Email: Commanding with Confidence

You’re feeling terrible. The room is spinning, your nose is a faucet, and the mere thought of sending a sick day email feels like running a marathon. Sounds familiar? Trust me, we’ve all been there. Here’s a nifty secret for those dreadful days: when writing your sick day email, switch gears and embrace the directive approach.

The Power Play: Directive Over Request

Consider this: when you’re sick, do you ask your body for permission to rest or do you just collapse on your bed like a potato? (My money is on the potato). The same principle applies to sick day emails. Being direct and assertive is not just okay, it’s essential. It demonstrates confidence and decision-making skills, even in your under-the-weather state.

Sample Email: “Hi [Manager’s Name], due to a high fever, I’ll be unable to make it to the office today. I will take a sick day to recover.”

The Great Debate: Directive vs. Request

I’ve heard the argument that a request approach might be more polite. And yes, while asking your boss if you can take a sick day might seem like the polite thing to do, it can actually create confusion. You’re sick, and taking care of yourself should be a statement, not a question. When you’re straightforward about your health status, the directive approach can eliminate ambiguity and provide clear communication.

Sample Email: “I’ve come down with a severe cold and will need to use a sick day today. I’ll be available for any urgent emails and will check back periodically.”

Side Note: Avoid the Pitfall of Over-Justification

Now, before you rush off to write your email, here’s one last tidbit. The directive approach doesn’t mean oversharing your symptoms in an attempt to justify your sick day. Keep it professional, keep it short, and remember: too much detail can cross the line from being assertive to being overbearing.

Sample Email: “Unfortunately, I’m not well today and need to take a sick day. I’ve arranged for [coworker’s name] to cover my shift for the day.”

In my experience, the directive approach can really change the game when it comes to sick day emails. It streamlines the process, minimizes potential confusion, and helps maintain your professionalism. So, next time you’re feeling under the weather, remember: you’re the boss of your health. Your email should reflect that.

Out-of-Office Response: Your Silent Sentry

So you’ve fired off your sick day email. You’re already thinking about diving into bed with some chicken soup and your favorite movie. But wait! Before you snuggle up with that blanket, there’s one more essential task: setting up your out-of-office response.

The Unsung Hero of Your Inbox

We’ve all been there: you shoot off an email, then stare at your inbox, waiting for a reply that never comes. It’s like sending a text message into a black hole. Now, flip that situation around. You’re out sick, and your inbox is piling up. Without an out-of-office response, you’re effectively creating that same black hole for others. Not ideal, right?

Sample Auto-Reply: “I am currently out of the office due to illness. I will return on [expected return date]. For urgent matters, please contact [alternative contact].”

Setting Up Your Guardian Angel

You’ve likely set up an out-of-office response for vacations or other long absences, but it’s equally critical when you’re out sick. It not only lets others know you’re unavailable, but also gives them an alternative point of contact. And the best part? It’s super easy to set up.

Sample Auto-Reply: “I am away from the office due to illness and will not be checking email. Please contact [alternative contact] for urgent matters.”

What to Include and How to Say It

When you’re setting up your auto-reply, remember to keep it professional, short, and informative. Include your expected return date (if known), and most importantly, provide an alternative contact for urgent matters. And while you’re at it, why not throw in a dash of personality? But remember: there’s no need to dive into the details of your high fever or runny nose.

Sample Auto-Reply: “I’m currently battling the flu and will not be checking email. I should be back on my feet by [expected return date]. For anything urgent, please reach out to [alternative contact].”

In my experience, the out-of-office response has been a real lifesaver. It not only manages expectations but also prevents the build-up of those urgent emails that can so quickly turn your inbox into a nightmare. So, remember: next time you call in sick, let your out-of-office response stand guard for you. After all, even when you’re out, communication shouldn’t take a sick day.

Sick Email: Timing is Everything

Imagine you’re a Broadway actor, ready to deliver a grand performance. But instead of stepping onto the stage at the scheduled time, you walk in half an hour late. You’ve missed your cue, the audience is frustrated, and the entire show is in disarray. Similarly, when it comes to sending your sick email, timing isn’t just important – it’s everything.

The Early Bird Catches the… Understanding Manager?

You woke up with a pounding headache. You feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. It’s clear you won’t be making it to work today. Now, you may be tempted to curl up in bed and delay that email. Resist the temptation. Sending your sick email first thing in the morning is the best way to go. Why? It’s simple. It gives your manager time to rearrange schedules, delegate your tasks, or even find a temporary replacement if necessary. In other words, the sooner they know, the better they can prepare. Remember, your absence affects not just you, but your team and your company’s workflow.

But What If I Get Sick Midday?

Now, life isn’t always predictable. Sometimes, you might start the day feeling fine and then bam! You’re hit with a sudden wave of nausea or a killer migraine. What then? You guessed it: send that sick email as soon as possible.

Yes, even if it’s in the middle of the day. In such cases, it’s crucial to provide specific details about any important tasks or meetings lined up for the rest of the day. Include suggestions on how these could be handled in your absence.

This not only shows initiative but also helps reduce the chaos that your sudden absence might cause. In my previous roles, I found that early communication helps build trust and understanding.

Once, I woke up with a high fever. I sent out my sick email at the crack of dawn. My manager appreciated the early heads up, which allowed her to quickly reassign my client meeting. The result? Business went on as usual, and I could rest easy knowing my responsibilities were in capable hands. So, remember: when you’re under the weather, don’t delay that sick email. Your timely communication can make all the difference. And as they say, better late than never, but never late is better!

Sick Day: Your Get-Out-of-Work-Free Card

There’s a moment of dread that hits when you wake up feeling like a character from The Walking Dead. The thought of dragging yourself to work feels impossible. But then, a glimmer of hope – you could take a sick day. But what counts as a ‘valid’ reason? Let’s dive in.

Feeling Under the Weather? Take a Day!

The most common and universally accepted reason for taking a sick day is, of course, physical illness. High fever, flu, food poisoning, migraines, or any ailment that leaves you unable to perform your duties is a valid reason to rest up at home. After all, you don’t want to be that person sneezing all over the conference room, right? You also don’t want to risk making your team members sick. Especially not Janet from HR, who has a knack for remembering that kind of thing. (Trust me, you don’t want to get on Janet’s bad side.)

Your Mental Health Matters

It’s 2023, folks! It’s about time we recognize that our mental health is just as crucial as our physical health. If you’re feeling mentally or emotionally drained, taking a mental health day is not just valid – it’s vital. It’s okay to need a break from constant emails, looming deadlines, and the overall hustle and bustle of the corporate world. Take a day off to rest, recharge, and regain your mental equilibrium. Your work will thank you for it. And so will your mental health.

Personal Matters Count, Too

Unexpected personal matters can also warrant a sick day. Maybe it’s a sick family member, an urgent home repair, or even a personal issue that requires immediate attention. Life happens, and that’s okay. Employers understand this. The key here is to communicate your need for time off as professionally as possible. Include as much information as you’re comfortable sharing and assure your boss that you’re addressing the matter as quickly as possible.

Here’s a little nugget from my experience vault: I once had to take a sick day due to a bad case of the flu. I thought it was the worst timing possible since we had an important meeting lined up. But you know what? My manager appreciated my consideration for the team’s health, and my colleague stepped in to handle the meeting. The world didn’t end, and I didn’t turn into a work-from-home zombie. The bottom line? Your health and personal life matters, and it’s perfectly okay to prioritize them over work when needed. You’re a human, not a work robot. Just remember to communicate professionally and considerately.

Bouncing Back: Dealing with Post-Sick Day Email Avalanche

Picture this: you’ve been out sick, and you’re finally feeling better. You boot up your computer, open your email… and bam! Your inbox looks like it held its own party while you were away. Panic sets in. How are you supposed to deal with this onslaught of emails? Relax. I’ve got you covered.

The First Thing’s First: Prioritize

After taking a sick day, diving back into your work is crucial to maintaining professionalism and showing commitment to your role. Start by skimming through your emails and prioritizing. Look for urgent emails, client emails, or any correspondence related to current projects. Anything that directly affects your work today should be on top of your list.

In my experience, I found using email labels or stars incredibly helpful in managing a bursting inbox. And yes, I know that moment when you see the unread email count. You’ve got this!

Your Next Steps: Responding

Now that you’ve sorted the important from the not-so-important, it’s time to get down to business. Start replying to the most urgent emails first. Remember, concise and to the point is your friend here. No need to pen down a novel. You’ve got other emails waiting!

If there’s an email that requires a detailed response or further research, send a quick note acknowledging the email and stating that you’ll get back to them soon. It’s a good idea to keep people in the loop. And it shows that you’re on top of things, even after a sick day.

Finally, Take a Deep Breath and Dive Back In

Once you’ve tackled your inbox, it’s time to dive back into your usual work today. And yes, it might feel like you’re running a marathon right after recovery. But take it one step at a time. You’re back, you’re healthy, and you’re ready to rock.

Remember, everyone has sick days, and catching up afterwards is just part of the game. Handle it with grace and professionalism, and you’ll not only stay on top of your work, but you’ll also show your commitment to your role. The only thing that spreads faster than a cold in an office? News of your stellar work ethic.

Ready, set, let’s get back to work!

A Symphony of Sniffles: 10 Sick-Day Email Samples for Every Scenario

You’ve got a high fever, a splitting headache, and now you need to draft a sick day email? Talk about adding insult to injury. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are 10 different sick day email samples, each tailored for a different scenario or approach.

Sample 1: The Classic Sick Day Email

Here’s a straightforward sick day email to cover your bases when you’re feeling under the weather.

Subject Line: Taking a Sick Day – [Your Name]Hi [Manager’s Name],I woke up this morning feeling quite ill and won’t be able to make it to the office today. I plan to return to work tomorrow. I’ll be checking emails intermittently if anything urgent arises.

Best, [Your Name]

Sample 2: Mental Health Day

Mental health is just as important as physical health. This email lets your team know you need a break for personal reasons.

Subject Line: Taking a Mental Health Day – [Your Name]Dear [Manager’s Name],I need to take a day off today for personal reasons. I’ll be back to work tomorrow and can catch up on any important tasks. Thanks for understanding.

Best, [Your Name]

Sample 3: Working From Home

You’re not feeling well, but you think you can manage some tasks? This is your go-to email.

Subject Line: Taking a Sick Day – [Your Name] Hi [Manager’s Name], I woke up this morning feeling quite ill and won’t be able to make it to the office today. I plan to return to work tomorrow. I’ll be checking emails intermittently if anything urgent arises.

Best, [Your Name]

Sample 3: Working From Home

You’re not feeling well, but you think you can manage some tasks? This is your go-to email.

Subject Line: Working from Home Today – [Your Name] Hi [Manager’s Name], I woke up feeling unwell today, but I can still manage my tasks from home. I’ll be reachable by email and phone for any urgent matters.

Regards, [Your Name]

Sample 4: Unwell Family Member

When a family member is unwell and needs your attention, this sample can come in handy.

Subject Line: Sick Family Member – [Your Name] Dear [Manager’s Name], A family member of mine is unwell and needs my care. I will be unable to work today but will catch up on my tasks tomorrow.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Sample 5: No Work Today, But Checking In

This email ensures your team knows you’re sick, but still in the loop.

Subject Line: Out Sick Today, But Available – [Your Name] Hi [Manager’s Name], I’m unwell and won’t be able to work today. However, I’ll be checking in periodically for any important emails or updates.

Regards, [Your Name]

Sample 6: Coming Down with Something

You can feel something brewing, but aren’t sure what it is? Keep it honest and simple.

Subject Line: Feeling Unwell – [Your Name] Hi [Manager’s Name], I’ve started feeling unwell and I think it’s best if I take the day off to rest and recuperate. I will check my emails occasionally for urgent matters.

Best, [Your Name]

Sample 7: Sudden Illness

If an illness has suddenly knocked you off your feet, this email gets straight to the point.

Subject Line: Sudden Illness – [Your Name] Dear [Manager’s Name], I’ve come down with a sudden illness and need to take the day off. I’ll catch up on work as soon as I’m able.

Best, [Your Name]

Sample 8: Long-term Illness

Long-term illnesses require clear communication. This template ensures you don’t miss any important details.

Subject Line: Long-term Illness – [Your Name] Dear [Manager’s Name], I have been diagnosed with [specific illness] and will need to take some time off for treatment and recovery. I will inform HR and we can discuss how best to manage my workload during this period.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Sample 9: COVID-19 Illness

In these pandemic times, it’s important to have a specific email for COVID-related sick days.

Subject Line: COVID-19 Positive – [Your Name] Dear [Manager’s Name], I have tested positive for COVID-19 and will need to self-isolate as per health guidelines. I will be checking emails occasionally, but might not be able to work at my usual pace.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Sample 10: Extended Sick Leave

For extended sick leave, it’s best to let your team know in advance.

Subject Line: Extended Sick Leave – [Your Name] Dear [Manager’s Name], I’ve been diagnosed with [illness] and will need to take an extended leave as per my doctor’s recommendation. I’ve attached the medical report for reference. Let’s discuss how we can manage my current projects during this period.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

There you have it – 10 sick day email samples for every scenario you could think of. Save these in your drafts, and next time you’re unwell, you won’t need to fret about drafting the perfect sick day email.

Related & Frequently Asked Questions

Okay, we’re on the home stretch. You’ve learned the art of communicating about your health status at work in a professional manner. In this final section, we’ll tie up loose ends by addressing some related questions that might pop up along the way.

Q: How do you say sick when working from home?

A: Craft a clear, professional message stating your illness and inability to work at full capacity. You could say, “I’m not feeling well today and will not be able to work as effectively from home. I’ll touch base tomorrow to provide an update on my health status.”

Q: How to professionally say you got sick in the office and need to go home?

A: Be straightforward yet professional. Say something like, “I’ve developed some health issues since coming to the office today. I believe it’s best for me and the rest of the team if I head home and take the rest of the day to recover.”

Q: How do you say I am sick professionally?

A: Keep it simple and polite. For instance, “I regret to inform you that I’m not feeling well and will not be able to come to work today. I’ll make sure to manage any urgent tasks remotely, if possible.”

Q: How do you write a sick email?

A: Start with a clear subject line like “Sick Day – [Your Name]”. In the body of the email, briefly explain that you’re unwell and won’t be able to perform your duties. Assure them that you’ll follow the company’s sick leave policy and provide any required doctor’s note or medical report.

Q: How do I email sick leave?

A: Begin with a succinct subject line, something like “Sick Leave Request – [Your Name]”. Then, state the reason for your absence and how long you expect to be away. Make sure to follow your company’s policy regarding sick leave emails.

Q: How to do a sick out of office message?

A: Keep it simple and informative. Something like, “I am out of the office due to illness. I will respond to your message upon my return. For urgent matters, please contact [point person].”

Q: What do you say when calling in sick from work?

A: When you telephone call your boss to say you’re sick, be brief and professional. Say, “I won’t be able to come into work today due to illness. I’ll be sure to cover any pressing tasks remotely if I’m able.”

Q: How many sick days per year can you get?

A: The number of sick days you can take annually depends on your company’s policy. Some organizations offer a set number of sick days, while others have more flexible policies. Be sure to check your employee handbook or consult with your human resources department to understand your entitlements.

Q: Can You Get Fired If You Call In Sick?

A: It’s illegal for an employer to fire you for being sick, as long as you follow company protocol like informing them in a timely manner and providing any necessary documentation, such as a doctor’s note. However, excessive unexplained absences or misuse of sick leave could lead to disciplinary actions, including termination. Always refer to your employee manual or speak to your human resources department if you have concerns.

Next Steps

Want to connect with other remote workers, contractors, freelancers, gamers and people who work from home who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office or gaming room setup the best it can be? Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

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Rob Orr

Rob is a graduate of Florida State University and the founder and Senior Editor of HomeOfficeHacks.com, a website dedicated to helping people navigate the unique challenges of working from home. As a remote working veteran with over 10 years of experience, Rob has developed a deep understanding of the strategies and solutions that can help people thrive in this environment. He is a respected expert in the field, renowned for his clear, engaging, and informative content. An award-winning web designer, developer, and digital marketer, Rob is also the owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties. His dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity have earned him a reputation as a respected leader in the remote work and digital media communities, inspiring others through his work and passion for lifelong learning.

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