Too sick to go to work? A runny nose, fever or dry cough? The right thing to do is to stay at home. However, you have to notify your boss of the situation so all the appropriate arrangements can be made to cover your absence. We’ve pulled together a list of 16 tips on how to write your sick day email.

  1. Notify your manager as soon as you can—send your email before the time you should be arriving at work
  2. Always follow company protocol
  3. Write a straightforward email subject line
  4. Keep it short
  5. If you work for a company that distinguishes between sick days and personal days, indicate which of those you’re using
  6. Alert your colleagues if necessary—it will help them to adjust to your absence as smoothly and quickly as possible
  7. Include the reason for your absence 
  8. Include how long you’ll be absent 
  9. Clarify whether you’ll work from home
  10. Keep unnecessary details to a minimum
  11. Be clear on your availability
  12. Clarify whether or not you will answer urgent emails and calls
  13. Name the contact person who will handle your workload
  14. Consider setting up an out-of-office response for your work email and/or telephone account—let people who try to contact you know that you won’t be responding to email today
  15. Give clear next steps on whatever you’re working on
  16. Choose a professional closing


Subject: Sick Day

Hi [Supervisor Name],

Unfortunately, I feel too sick to come into the office today. I will be using one of my sick days to cover this absence from work. I will check my email throughout the day. While I expect to be back in the office tomorrow, I’ve asked [Contact Person’s Name] to take over for me today in case any emergencies arise.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for understanding,
[Your Name]