Crowdsourcing Solutions

32 Most Common Excuses for Being Late to Work


Getting out from a deep comfortable sleep by fighting out all beautiful dreams is a bit difficult for many people. They snooze the alarm and postpone their awaken, this leads to late entry to the workplace. As a result, the employee need to make excuses for being late to work.

According to a recent survey reports, it has opened up that nearly 15% of the people turn up late to the office at least once a week and 27% do the same once a month.

When they rush to work jumping out all the hurdles that come through from home to office, they get to work late. One of the best and easy ways to solve this situation is to wake up on time which helps you reach on time to work.

There are many excuses which are explained by latecomers to their higher professionals, some are interesting and some are funny.

Excuses for being late to work

Best Excuses for Being Late to Work:

As per a survey done by CareerBuilder, some of the common excuses employees use when being late are Traffic, sleep schedules, and weather conditions. These are the best late for work excuses mostly used. Some other late to work excuses are,

  • Traffic – 51%
  • Oversleeping – 31%
  • Bad weather – 28%
  • Too tired to get up – 23%
  • Forgetting something -13%

Funny late excuses for being late to work:

Some of the worst excuses for being late as per the survey are,

  • Too cold to work
  • Morning sickness
  • The coffee was too hot
  • Was very tired, so fell asleep in the parking lot
  • I forgot and drove to my previous employer’s office location
  • Couldn’t find my work schedule
  • As per a prediction from an astrologer, I should avoid driving on highways 

Most Ridiculous excuses:

Few more bizarre excuses which we got from previous surveys

  • Pet got stuck in the toilet
  • A zebra came down on the highway and the whole traffic got jammed
  • Woke up somewhere far from home
  • Ran out of milk for breakfast
  • Misplaced the contact lens and couldn’t find it
  • Was curious to know the end of something which he was watching on TV
  • Water was dripping from the roof and it fell on the alarm clock
  • Got a scary nightmare so couldn’t sleep all night
  • The brush got stuck in hair

When Excuses Don’t Work:

Being late is something very common and must not be taken seriously, so chill- as per your view.

But are you sure your boss also thinks the same?

I guess NO.

A majority of 60% of employers expect all their employees to be on time.

43% of employers have fired their employees for being late(the percentage has raised from 41%)

Good excuses to miss work in advance:

Here are a few tips for giving excuses when you are going to be late. These are a few suggestions you need to follow when providing believable excuses for missing work.

  • Inform your boss asap
  • Honesty is the best policy, so always be honest
  • Do not mention the detailed version of your excuse.
  • Miss work only if necessary
  • Try to make your skipping avoidable.

Is honesty the best policy?

Everybody is human and we make mistakes, so own up to yours and move on, says Sheila Dramis, CEO of HR Partners.

If you are late, be honest. Did you oversleep, forget to set the alarm, kids made you run late? Integrity is what every company wants. When you lie, you break that trust and that will upset an employer even more.”

It’s important to apologize as well, says Dramis. “Acknowledge that you understand it sets a bad example, impacts the team, and that you are taking steps to correct it. This is better than spewing out excuses. Your manager wants to know you understand the implications and are taking steps to change.”

Besides, chronic lateness can end up hurting you in the long run. “At some point the business will decide they have to move on without you,” she says.

Does the reason even matter?

Maria Katrien Heslin, owner of GPS to Success Coaching & Development, says she’s heard a lot of excuses why people are late to work,

from menstrual cramps and oversleeping to carpool problems and car trouble. To me, the reason is not important because sometimes completely legitimate reasons are also private, personal matters while silly reasons may cause an employee to lie.

Heslin says “she’d rather not know the reason and instead focus on whether the lateness is a chronic issue. That has proven to be a respectful and effective method.”

Let’s glance through a few excuses put forward by these delayed people when they are out of time to work.

Excuses for being late to work:

1. Fighting against traffic:

A very common excuse which most individuals would come forward with is getting stuck with traffic.

Everyone knows that during peak hours traffic would be at its top and this would definitely add up to your late entry. Though you wake up late, this is a common and excellent pretext which is given by most people.

2. Fitting a new appliance:

Another new but interesting excuse which most workers come forward is that they are waiting for their new machine or any other appliance to be fixed.

Though the appointment was fixed a week before, due to a busy schedule it was not remembered. So it is mandatory to wait for the technicians till they arrive and fix the machine. With this unique excuse, latecomers can convince their bosses.

3. Ill family members:

Another common explanation every individual recites is that their family members especially old members like grandfather or grandmother are ill. You can always mention this and justify yourself that you were out to the hospitals or supporting them till they were convinced.

4. Alarm clock issues:

alarm clock This can be a funny and ridiculous reason, there are few people who forget to set their alarm or unplug or switch off their mobiles while sleeping by tripping over it.

Individuals simply come forward mentioning that their alarm clock broke and was unable to set alarm. But this reason can never be used often.

5. Faulting public transferal:

For professionals who live far away from the city and rely on public transport each day for work, blame the transportation system sounding out that the bus or local train turned up late.

Make sure that when putting forward this reason, no other worker uses the same train or bus you use, as they may have reported at time.

6. Feeling ill:

Another common but interesting reason for late coming can be falling ill. You can ring up your boss and mention with a whisky voice that you are a bit ill and would be late to work.

Make it a minor illness and not a serious one. You may have also pretended the previous day saying that you are about to get ill. This will set things right and make your plan a perfect workout.

7. Rap your wife:

When it’s always you who is the motive for being late to work, blame your wife this time. Make a clear statement to your boss that your wife was ill and you were required to take care of her. This can be a valid and meaningful reason for being late.

8. Was hunting for car keys:

Another absurd statement to be delayed for work can be, searching for car keys. When you don’t have your car keys, it cultivates that you cannot start at the right time to office.

When you have small kids around at home, then losing car keys can be an excellent plan as kids tend to play with car keys, wallets, watches etc. You may also conclude that you found it at an obvious place such as in the fridge, in the lobby and so on.

9. My car broke down:

car broke A very rough-cut cause many individuals come up with for late excuse is that their car broke down.

There are many options in this case; a flat tire or a battery break-down and many things can be added to which makes a car break down.

10. Getting caught by police:

With interesting reasons, another good excuse can be saying that you were held up by the police for no cause. When you say that you were caught for over speeding or red signal, you will be asked for proof.

Hence to stay on the safer side, mention your boss that you were dragged aside for no goal at all.

11. Held with doctor’s appointment:

When you know that you’re running late for work, you can make a clear statement to your boss that you’re waiting to meet the doctor with an appointment.

Since the crowd is more it may take time, this can be a valid reason which convinces your boss.

12. Experiencing cramps:

If you are a women employee, there can be many details to be stated regarding health issues. Very simple but true, you can say that you have cramps and would be late for office or work. This works well for women employees.

13. Death in the family:

With the various explanations for being late, death in a family is another excuse which many people use. Either grandparents or far off relatives are dead and hence you may turn up late to work.

This will cool your boss mentality when you’re not at your desk. This kind of reason has no arguments to be made but to accept.

14. Feeling dizzy:

feeling sick Giddiness, feeling dizzy since you took a cough syrup or tablet the previous day night can be a good reason for being late. Call up your boss early in the morning with a morning voice which makes him believe the truth. This can be a good idea for being late.

15. Difficulty in getting the car out of the garage:

When your car garage is automatic which has power-operated doors, you can pick this purpose and mention that your car was unable to get out of the garage due to power failure. In case you don’t have a second option this reason will work out.

16. Weather condition:

During winter or rainy weather, nature would hold hands with you to make your plea a perfect one.

You could just ring up and say your boss that the weather was bad, or your area was too snowy and so on. This can be a perfect reason for being late.

17. Intoxicated in breath analyzer:

One of the bizarre reasons would be that your car wouldn’t start since the breathe analyzer opened up stating that you were intoxicated.

18. Wearing on the wrong shoes:

wrong shoes Employees come up with funny intellects which also make your boss laugh with a broad smile stating that you left the apartment wearing your girlfriend’s shoes by mistake. And for the same reason, you had to go back to the apartment to change them.

19. Missed your purse:

Women also come up with inane concludes saying that they dropped their purse in a coin-operated newspaper box.

To get their purse out they needed a coin and fought against a hard time to get their valuable purse back.

20. Wet clothes:

The employee was late to office as all his washed clothes were wet in the rain and did not expect showers would mess his clothes. This is another goofy conclude to your boss for being late.

21. Cutting hair before work:

Professional was trying to get her hair cut before work while her clippers stopped working. And this leads her to get to the beauty salon for making her hair right and this ate up her time. These kind of outlandish statements are also one of the excuses.

22. Bear attacked my car:

Bear attack This could be a funny reason when an employee lands up saying that he was late since a bear blocked and attacked his or her car. Employees also come up with photographic reasons for the same.

23. Was late by helping others:

Certain employees open up their social causes stating that they were held up along the highway helping a stranger deliver a baby. This can be an acceptable reason by the boss, as it deals with helping humans.

24. Helping kids and baby:

Most of the employees come up with a valid and common purpose that they had to get their kids to school and baby’s to day care before they set out to the office. This excuse can be true and valid but cannot be used often.

25. Wardrobe issues:

There are many professionals who come up stating their wardrobe has been stuck, locked or keys lost; these can be valid reasons but not often. An employee cannot be so irresponsible dealing with wardrobes.

26. Dealing with pets:

Dealing with petsAnother peculiar apology many people land up with is with their pets. Their pets might have run out, or stand upstairs not coming down, or maybe your pet may be ill. These are also a few points mentioned to your boss when you’re late to the office.

27. Was locked indoors:

Few impressive and believable causes also take part in the exempts list. Few professionals state that they were locked indoors by their kids by mistake. For the same reason, they had to call up their neighbour or husband to get them out.

28. Getting back for a shower again:

You would have walked into a spider web, or garbage or any other dirty listings and would have went back home for a shower again. This reason made you late to office.

29. Attacked by animals:

A very rare goal many people state is that they were attacked by a dog or raccoon and was directed to the hospital for pre-medical aid. This was the reason for running late to work.

30. Blaming others:

There are masses of people who blame others saying that they didn’t wake them on time. This is also a cause that falls under silly categories.

31. Being unique:

Certain people are bold enough to say the valid motive that they wanted to be different and unique amongst others by coming late. But this object needs guts to be mentioned.

32. Driveway disappeared:

Another lame excuse would be that the driveway was washed away by rain or disappeared, and so was unable to reach the office by time.

Running late for work? Do One of These 5 Things:

If you are late for work right now at this very moment then follow these few things that you need to do to ease your mind and also to handle the situation effectively.

  • Call your boss and inform him about the delay ASAP.
  • Make arrangement to make sure that your work is covered(by lending help from a coworker)
  • If you are too late then apologize to your boss personally
  • Always keep up your promises
  • Do not waste time after you reach late and get straight to work.

How to apologize for being late to work:

Being late to work is one of the common issues that you will notice in almost every office. But making it a habit is something that cannot be tolerated.

So it is very important for you to make it on time to work. Your such behaviour can make you impressive and also make your boss think that you value your time and job very seriously.

So one of the best advice I can give you is to apologize to your boss if you are late using an apology letter.

Writing an apology letter for being late is the best and right way.

  • Choose your words carefully while apologizing
  • If you are writing an apology letter, mention the reason at the beginning of letter.
  • When you write an apology letter, make sure your words really mean it
  • Explain clearly what caused you late
  • Promise not to repeat it in future