How to Request (and Obtain) Time off From Work

How to request for time off from job

Do you feel nervous each time you want to apply for time off from work? Do you have confidence & believe you can get time off from work? If “Yes” then this article is for you.

Simplest Ways to apply for Time off

Basically, even when you deserve a vacation leave, it can be a bit difficult to request time off from your place of work. These tips can go a long way to make it more likely that your manager will have no option other than to grant your request

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Go Through Your Company’s Vacation Policy

Most organizations have a work plan that assigns duties to their staff, which implies that every staff is missed when he/she takes time off from work. The effect of such assignment may slim down the chances of getting time off from work.

Most national policies do not require employers to provide paid time off for holidays, vacation, or sick leave.

However, most private sector employers basically do make provision for full-time employees with at least some PTO, including three to four weeks of paid vacation.

In some cases, employers even offer unlimited vacation as part of company benefit for its staff, or employers may even decide to offer no paid time off.

Based on time worked, some employers have a system where vacation is accrued. Some provide a certain number of weeks which can vary based on staff years of service.

Staff may have to wait until after he/she has been on the job for a specific period of time in order to guarantee its eligibility to use a paid vacation. For instance, some organizations make provision for immediate time off while others come up with a paid vacation system.

Note: A staff is expected to check with the employee’s manual or Human Resources department if he/she is not sure of what vacation time he/she is entitled to.

However, if there is no vacation pay benefit from your organization, or if staff had used all its paid vacation, such staff can still apply or ask for time off. But bear in mind that you may likely not get paid for the days you missed due to there is no vacation leave to cover them.

10 Ways for Requesting for Time Off

1. Know The Right Time to Ask for Time Off.

Knowing the right time to ask for time off is very essential especially for a boss who’s not an easygoing person. Don’t ask for time during a high volume of business atmosphere or when the organization is going through hard times.

Ensure to plan your request when the atmosphere is calm and not during a stressful time of the week, month or year. Ask for time off when your boss is quite receptive.

If your reason for time off is an unavoidable situation, giving a series of prior notice with genuine reason why you need time off before time off date will make it much easier for your manager to give you approval on that effect.

You can casually ask your boss for time off or email your request if the setting of your job is casual in nature.

If your job is in a formal working environment, scheduling a brief meeting to discuss your request will suffice.

But, ensure to abide by the rules of the organization if there is a lay down policy guiding how and when to apply for time off, in order to avoid having issues that could lead to termination of appointment.

2. Don’t Ask During High Season

Study the activities within your department in order to plan the right timing for your vacation request. A period when the manager needs all hands on deck to achieve a target or meet up with a deadline is not fit to request for time off.

It wouldn’t be a nice idea if you tender your time off request in the same week prior to when you’re expected to present your annual report on September 2.

3.  Ensure to Provide Reasonable Context for your Request

On the off chance that your leave or vacation day actually clashes with your work schedule, ensure to provide a tangible reason for making the request.

For example, if you say September 2is end of year, but my brother is getting married on September 17 and I’d really express my gratitude if being able to take some vacation days during the wedding.

In this scenario, it is very vital to ensure your work is absolutely well managed and under control at the time of your request.

However, after a successful completion of a project can also be a good time to ask for time off.

4. Plan your Time in Advance when it’s perfect

A good weekly, monthly or yearly plan can go a long way to help ensure you utilize your allotted time and also fix in your vacation time into your series of activities even as you plan ahead.

Always seek the consent of your boss and be sure to let him/her know that you’re caught up if you want time off on short notice.

 If you don’t have any urgent project in your calendar, that’s especially important if you’re requesting time off around holidays, which is actually the peak of leave or vacation, it would definitely be easier to make a case if you’re steps ahead at work.

5. Utilize it or Let it go.

Creating awareness and craving the indulgence of your employer that you need to take a specific number of days for time off or stand to lose it, based on company rules can help pave the way to getting approval.

In most cases, the organization sets out dates or periods by which employees must use vacation or lose it.

6. Apply Time Off with Application Letter

It’s much more ideal if you put your request in writing, to ensure proper documentation of your request when the time is right for you to take your time off.

You should hold a duplicate copy for reference purposes, give a copy to any influential person in the organization, and also an email to your boss would suffice as well.

Subject: Ben Smith—Leave Request

Hello Boss,

I’d really appreciate it if am given the privilege to take 5-day time off during my children’s convocation. The actual dates are September 2 – 7.

I’ll ensure I meet up with the current project am working on if my leave is approved. After my return, I can also get a head start each time any sensible work is due.


7. Assist in Workflow Plan

It won’t be out of place if you present a schedule of activities that will take place during your time off. For example,

My colleagues (Samuel, Joseph, and Benita) have offered to act on my behave to take charge of anything that might come up with my customers in my absence.

8. Ensure to Get Caught Up Before Going on Vacation

The idea of leaving your colleagues with a bunch of work piled up because you were up for a date won’t be justifiable on your part.

But, making sure you put some additional effort in ensuring your area of responsibility is fully under control will suffice.

9. Split your Work into Smaller Forms

In this case, having a strategic meeting with your co-workers and discussing the way forward on the methods of how joint responsibilities might be taken care of and handled successfully is very essential.

Else, you don’t want to go on leave if there was a way you could prevent it, and wouldn’t want to return back to a mess at your duty post.

Communicate to your boss, explaining how your duties will be handled in your absence if your request is being considered for approval.

10. Have a Fair Relationship with Your Colleagues at Work

Have a good dialogue on ways to share portions of duties especially in most popular periods of time for leave or vacations, in order to ensure that the relationship between you and colleagues remains active, positive and as well ensuring your boss finds no reason for complaints.

This should be put in place because everyone is attached to different responsibilities including family obligations, which means it could be a lot more appealing if there’s a plan where everyone gets the time off that best suits their plan.

What is time off? FAQs

This refers to a period of time when your presence is not registered at work, either because of holiday or illness or because you got a time off permission from your employer to carry out a different task elsewhere.

What is the difference between vacation and PTO?

Vacation is related to PTO. While personal time off (PTO) is seen as a time when an employee gets paid while he/she is not present at work.

What are the reasons or examples for time off (PTO)?

Examples of PTO include Jury duty, Holiday pay, or disability leave. Sick leave, Maternity/Paternity leave,

Why is time very important?

Time off, gets you an opportunity to take a step back, and focus on things in your life other than work. This will have your employees coming back to work with a renewed sense of energy, leading to increased productivity

What is it called to take time off from work?

This refers to a period of time during which someone is allowed to be away from their work.


If you need time off from a new place of work, considering the fact that you just newly got employed. It could be a bit more difficult to get paid vacation instantly. Despite your new job, you can still get time off for just a couple of days.

You don’t have to be afraid to ask for time off regardless of the circumstances. According to research, vacations from a place of work go a long way to boost one’s level of creativity and productivity within the work environment. It also advances one’s physical and mental health.

However, going on vacations and taking fresh air outside the workspace could be one of the best experiences you ever have in your entire career. encourages you to like this post, leave a comment below, share this post, and also subscribe if you’ll like to be the first to get our latest update whenever we post new articles.

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About the Author:

Elijah John is a blogger, digital marketer and a website developer.

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