How to Write an Effective Time Off Request Email: Samples Included


A time off work request can be sent for virtually any reason. While there are specific requests like a vacation request, time off request can be sent for any reason, either planned or otherwise. The most important thing to include in your time off request letter is the reason, how long you expect to take and how your tasks will be handles in your absence.

Working for days that lead to torturous months without a break can be challenging and may result in stress, burnout, and decreased work performance. Taking a timely vacation allows you to step away from the daily grind and find some much-needed relaxation. It not only helps you recuperate after months of relentless work but also puts you in the right frame of mind before returning to your tasks.

It’s common to convince oneself that there’s never a good time to take a break from work, especially depending on your role, company size, or the specific operations you oversee. However, these factors should not deter you from taking time off.

Most companies are aware of their employees’ workloads and acknowledge the importance of granting them time off. While verbal approvals can be easily forgotten, a well-structured time-off request email provides solid proof of your approved leave. If your company has a leave application form that needs to be filled out and submitted in advance, you can complement it with a simple time-off request email.

Writing a time-off request email may initially feel intimidating, but it shouldn’t. Requesting time off is a legitimate need, and you should never feel guilty about it. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of crafting an effective time-off request email.

Components of an effective day off request email

Asking for time off from work is a no-brainer. It is a simple request, but it is vital to follow a few basic steps to ensure that you remain professional and courteous while requesting time off. Deciding to take time off work does not need to be a last-minute decision. There are a lot of signs that indicate that you need to take some time off. Are you stressed over every facet of your work and personal lives? Are normal daily challenges starting to feel hellish and difficult? Are you experiencing burnout from working from early mornings to late hours? By keeping track of your work-life balance, you can plan your time off before things get dire.

The components of an email are almost the same as those of a regular email, save for the contents and tone.

Subject line 

Subject lines are part of the introduction of an email. They are very important because they are the deciding factor in whether your email will end up in junk mail. While requesting time off, you should understand that there are different reasons or types of time off that employees take. Your subject line should be short, but it should also state what kind of time off you are taking. The common types of time off include vacation, bereavement, sick leave or disability (ailment, surgery, etc.), personal time or mental health day, jury duty, military, maternity or paternity leave, and leave of absence (short- or long-term).

An example of an effective subject line for an email is: Request for a Sick Leave.

Greeting and introduction

The greeting in this case should have a personal touch. Dear (the first name of the recipient) is a good touch. It will give your email a balance between professional and personal. It will also make the manager understand you better.

The introduction of your email should contain a brief report of your email. This should give the recipient an inkling of what the email is about. It should be summarized into two to three sentences. There is no need to go overboard with the details since that is not the body of your email.

A clear and concise reason for requesting time off

State the reason you need time off in clear words that are easy to understand. Again, don’t go overboard with the details. Keep your tone formal and deny the urge to beat around the bush.

Desired dates and duration of the time off

Input the duration of your time off. It is important to be very specific in this aspect. Note that you are going to resume work on the exact date that was written in the email. Be thorough with your facts and double-check your schedule for clarity.

Mention of any necessary arrangements or coverage

You are done with the main content of your email. You have successfully started your case with reasons and facts. The next step is to make arrangements for someone to fill in for you during your time off. Make a mention of the next arrangements to make. Don’t impose your judgments on the management. You do not have any control over who will substitute for you. Remain polite and civil.

Expression of gratitude and willingness to assist during the absence

Express gratitude for the time off in advance. Thank the management for their consideration, and I apologize for any inconvenience your leave might cause.

Closing and signature

Close the email with your formal name, signature, and contact information.

Tips for Writing an Effective Time-Off Request Email

Writing a vacation request email isn’t a daunting task if you know what you have to incorporate in your request letter. Here are some tips to note:

  • Keep it professional and concise.
  • Review your company’s paid time-off (PTO) policy.
  • Use a polite and respectful tone.
  • Look at the company calendar.
  • Provide sufficient notice and be mindful of your workload.
  • Offer solutions or suggest alternative dates, if necessary.
  • Proofread for clarity and correctness.

Time Off Request to Manager

Dear [Manager's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to formally request time off from work on [specific dates] for [reason for time off]. I have planned this in advance to ensure a smooth workflow during my absence.

I will make sure to complete any pending tasks and delegate responsibilities to a colleague if necessary. I understand the importance of teamwork and will ensure minimal disruption during my absence.

I kindly request your approval for this time off and am open to discussing any adjustments needed to accommodate this request. Your guidance on handling my workload during this period would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your response.

[Your Name]

Time Off Request for Funeral

Dear [Manager's Name],

I am deeply saddened to inform you that I have experienced a personal loss. A close family member has passed away, and I will need to take time off for their funeral. I request your understanding and support during this difficult time.

I understand the importance of my responsibilities at work and will ensure a smooth transition of my tasks during my absence. I plan to be away from [specific dates] and will promptly inform you if any adjustments are needed.

Your consideration of this request is greatly appreciated, and I hope for your understanding during this challenging period.

Thank you for your support.

[Your Name]

Two Days Leave Request to Manager

Dear [Manager's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to request a two-day leave of absence from work. I believe that taking this short break will help me recharge and return to work more focused and productive.

I have made arrangements to ensure that my responsibilities are covered during my absence, and I will do my best to minimize any disruption to the team's workflow. If necessary, I am also available to provide guidance or support remotely during my time off.

I kindly request your approval for this leave, which I would like to take on [specific dates]. Your understanding and support in this matter are highly appreciated.

Thank you for considering my request.

[Your Name]


When you get a new job offer, make sure you ask about the company’s time-off policy. This is important for when you decide to take a leave. Some leaves are paid for, and others are unpaid.

It’s important not to make plans before you ask for time off. Be respectful and reasonable when you communicate with your boss or manager. You can also ask experienced workers for career advice on how they navigated time-off requests with management.

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