How To Tell Your Manager You’re Running Late for Work

How to tell your work you’re running late
  1. Reach out as soon as possible. Let your work know that you’re running late as soon as you’re able. …
  2. Give an apology. …
  3. Tell the truth. …
  4. Thank your boss. …
  5. Offer solutions. …
  6. Address your workday and responsibilities. …
  7. Proofread your email. …
  8. Check in with your boss when you arrive.

I recall getting severely intoxicated at a work party during the week during my first year of employment. Everyone was clearly wasted, especially me. I believe I once ordered four pints of beer and dumped them all over one of my coworkers. She wasn’t happy. I probably offended a lot of people that night.

Late For Work Parkour POV

How to tell your work you’re running late

It’s normal to be late for work, but it’s important to let your boss know when you won’t be there at your scheduled time. Here’s how to let your employer know that you will be late:

1. Reach out as soon as possible

As soon as you can, notify your employer that you will be running late. This will enable them to more accurately plan for the time when you won’t be at work. Consider contacting your manager even if you believe there is a remote possibility that you will be late so they can plan for it. In either case, let your manager know when you expect to arrive.

For instance, if you have a doctor’s appointment in the morning that should give you enough time to arrive at work before your scheduled start time, you might want to let your manager know that if the doctor is running behind, you’ll be impacted and will probably be late too.

2. Give an apology

By expressing regret to your manager, you let them know that you are aware of how much work your boss and other employees will have to put in to cover for your absence and how your tardiness may have an impact on operations. The apology should be genuine too.

3. Tell the truth

It’s crucial to be truthful when explaining why you will be late for work. It’s best to let your manager know the real reason, whether it’s because you overslept or really did get a nail in your tire, even if you feel bad and want to tell an exaggerated story about your situation before work. If you lie and get caught, a lot is on the line. If this occurs, your boss might find it difficult to trust you in the future.

Your manager will appreciate the truth and be more willing to overlook your tardiness even though it might take them some time to get used to you being late for an avoidable reason.

4. Thank your boss

When you thank your boss, you are letting them know you value their patience and understanding with you because you arrived at work late. It could have a significant impact to mention that your manager was especially accommodating.

5. Offer solutions

Running late will probably have an impact on your work in some way, whether it be reducing the amount of time you have to finish a project or forcing you to reschedule a meeting with a coworker. Tell your manager as soon as you can how you plan to make up for your tardiness. Some ways to do that include:

6. Address your workday and responsibilities

Your manager may not be fully aware of the specific responsibilities and deadlines you may have for the day, particularly if they are managing a large project or a large team. Let them know what tasks, if any, will be impacted and which deadlines you may need to adjust when you let them know you’re running late.

Inform your manager and anyone else at the business who needs to know that you are running late at this time. Your manager may need to let them know so that they don’t wait for you at a meeting or expect something from you by a certain time.

Give your manager a current update on when you expect to be able to finish your work. Reassure them of that as well if your tardiness is minimal and you don’t expect it to have any consequences.

7. Proofread your email

Make sure to read your email carefully before pressing the send button to ensure that your message is clear and that your boss will understand it. If you’re rushing to tell them you’ll be late, your email may contain mistakes that make you appear unprofessional. Make sure your communication is as clear as possible by taking a moment more.

8. Check in with your boss when you arrive

When you get to work, notify your manager that you are there. You can either send them an email to let them know you’re in the office or go to their desk to check in if they aren’t available. If you arrive late, think about dropping by their desk later to see if there is anything you can do to make up for it or to give them an update on how your day is going.

What is running late for work?

Even the best employees sometimes run late for work. When you are late for work, you won’t be able to sign in or enter your workspace at the regularly scheduled time. Getting to work late can have an impact on your managers, coworkers, and any projects that depend on your work to be completed. To avoid affecting deadlines or employee morale, it’s crucial to limit how often you arrive late.

Running late for work email examples

Write your manager an email when you’re running late for work to let them know what’s going on. Make sure the communication is clear, professional and direct. You want your communication to be clear and understandable so that they can determine the real purpose of your email. Here are some email examples you can use:

Example 1: Valid reason

“Hi Jeff,

I’m about 45 minutes late for work today due to an accident on the highway. I should arrive at the office by 9:30 a. m. I apologize for any inconvenience my tardiness will cause. Just to let you know, I have a number of tasks on my list for today, but I don’t see any problems getting them done before the deadline at 5 p m.

Please feel free to email me if there is anything you need from me before I enter. Ill check in with you when I arrive.

Thank you,

Example 2: Your fault

“Hi Donna,

I apologize, but I will be arriving at work this morning about an hour late. It was not my intention to sleep through my alarm. I’m making every effort to arrive earlier than anticipated because I know this will cause you and the team a great deal of inconvenience. I need to finish today’s major video project, but I can work through lunch or stay a little later to make sure it gets done.

Thank you and see you soon,

Example 3: Missed meeting

“Hi Michael,

I’m emailing to let you know that I’m running behind schedule this morning due to an unexpectedly long doctor’s appointment. I apologize for the inconvenience, and I should be at the office by around 11:30 a.m. m. We have an 11 a. m. meeting scheduled that I will likely miss. But as soon as I get there, I’ll get in touch with you to go over the meeting’s topics.

Again, I apologize. Please understand that I don’t want this to happen frequently.

Thank you,

Example 4: Remote employee

“Good morning Jessica,

I’m emailing to let you know that I’ll be late logging into work today due to problems with my computer this morning. I’m working hard to fix these issues as soon as possible, but if you need anything in the interim, call me. Just so you know, I have a video conference at 2:00 p. m. with our new client, which I hope to be able to attend. Additionally, even if it means staying a little later to complete it, I don’t anticipate being late turning in my data project today.

Before I log into our workspace, let me know if there is anything else you need from me.

Thank you!


How do you say running late professionally?

If You Have a Reasonable Excuse for Being Late I’m running [minutes] behind this morning for [reason]. I hope to get into the office by [time]. I apologize for the inconvenience. Just so you know, I have [what’s on your schedule] and still intend to deliver [projects to you by today’s deadline] to you.

Should I call work if Im running late?

Call as soon as you can, but remember that being truthful is always the best course of action. Your manager will value knowing if you will be late or unable to work. Depending on your role, they might use that advance notice to fill in for you until you show up so that production won’t be slowed down.

Is it OK to be late for work?

The final two reasons for being late are being tired and forgetful. Other valid justifications include having an appointment, a sick child, a delayed start to school, car trouble, delays on public transportation, a family emergency or illness, home issues, or waiting for a service technician to fix something.

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