Time Off Request Email Your Boss Will Certainly Approve

In the growing hustle culture, taking time off might seem like the most impossible thing to pull off. We spend every minute of our lives trying to be productive and engaged. 

Every year more than half of Americans give up their paid time off. In 2018, research conducted by the U.S. Travel Association showed that there were 768 million days of unused vacation time! 

Microsoft’s global Work Trend Index shows clear consequences – 48% of employees and 53% of managers reported burnout. So, in reality, more often than not, overworking leads to burnout, poor mental health, and serious health issues. 

Taking a break and going on a holiday is one of the sure ways to replenish your energy and recharge your batteries for the next challenges. However, the way you ask for that time off and communicate it to your employer is as important as taking those days off.  

Time Off Request Email

Typically, you’ll employer will require you to send a formal request in the form of an email. So let’s see all you’re supposed to know about requesting time off and give you some useful templates you can reuse to ask for your vacation days.

Why Is Time Off Request Important?

Asking for time off can be stressful, even though your PTO days are yours to use. However, it’s important to write a strong time off request, that is at the same time, respectful and tactful. 

Yet, you may wonder: “I have already told my employer I’m going on a holiday, why do I need to bother with an email as well?” Typically, in larger companies, leave policies are set in place. The companies implement these for several solid and very understandable reasons.

So, here are two main reasons why time off requests are important. The first is that it helps your employer and the HR department navigate the vacation days of their employees. They may need to redistribute the workload, hire outside help, or make other preparations to replace you while you are away.

Your manager might know about your time off since you’ve told them, but what about the rest of the team? What if two other team members reported the same time off days to different “bosses”, and, all of a sudden, there is no one to mind the business for two weeks in July?

Apart from the fact it helps with the planning, a written time off request will help your employer retain records for compliance. On the other hand, it will also help you prove you’ve made the request, when you’ve made the request, and which days you requested, in case there are any hiccups with approval. 

How to Write a Time Off Request Email

When writing a time-off request email, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Make the subject line clear and direct.

Don’t overthink your subject line, but make it clear. Your manager should know instantly upon reading the subject line what is in the email. You can start by writing “Time Off Request”, but you should also include your name in the subject line. Adding additional information, such as the type of time off requested may also be a good idea.

  1. Use the proper email formatting.

If your company allows you to request time off via email, make sure your emails are professional. Start your email with “Dear manager’s name or last name”, depending on your relationship with them. If you have a more professional relationship, use their last name in the email. 

  1. Include all the relevant details

The most important part of the time off request email for your employer is the duration, start date, and end date. Make sure to double-count the days you will take off to provide them with accurate information. Also, double-check your calendar in case these days overlap with weekends you typically have off. 

  1. Include reassurance for your employer

Taking time off doesn’t mean your job will stop and wait for you until you come back. Your boss might be worried about your workload, and how it standing still will impact the rest of the team. 

Whenever possible, try to find a coworker or colleague who is willing to take on additional responsibilities while you are gone. Or, at least, ask them to handle urgent matters and provide guidance on how to do so.

  1. Don’t assume you will be approved – ask

While you are entitled to time off, don’t assume it in your email, or you will most certainly sound entitled and disrespectful. This might prompt your boss to have a knee-jerk reaction and refuse you outright. Finish your email by asking whether you will be approved, and offer to help clarify anything they might be worried about that would affect their decision. 

Tips for Crafting a Compelling Time Off Request Email

When crafting your time off request email, the most important thing is to be professional at all times. Use professional language for your time off request, for your follow up, and your answer to their decision. 

Be accurate and concise. Provide your employer with necessary information in terms of important dates and your plans to manage your workload while you are away. 

Try not to overwhelm your employer with reasons why you are taking time off. If it requires any explanation – try to book a one-on-one meeting with your manager, and discuss it then. 

Highlight your preparation in the time off request email. Show your employer you planned your time off carefully, and that it will not affect your workload, your team, or the company as a whole. 

Also, make sure to leave your employer with a route to contact you in case of emergencies. This might be their bigger concern for approving your time off request.

Lastly, make sure to send the time off request email on time. Sending it a day or two before the date you start your vacation will be, not only inappropriate, but also against company policy. Try to inform yourself of how long in advance you should send your time off request email.  

Sample Time Off Request Email Templates

You know what you need to write, but how do you phrase it? You want it to sound respectful and reassuring. So, here are a couple of templates to help you craft it:

  1. Standard time off request – Subject line: Time Off Request [Your Name]

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request formally [number] of days off, starting from [start date] to [end date]. I’m requesting time off to [provide reason here if you want to].

I have ensured that my tasks are up-to-date and have briefed [add a colleague’s name] to handle any emergencies during my time off.

Please let me know if my request is approved, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Best regards,
[Your name]
  1. Emergency Time Off Request – Subject line: Urgent Time Off Request [Your name]

Dear [Manager’s Name]

I hope this email finds you well. I regret to inform you that due to [emergency situation, such as illness or family emergency], I need to request immediate time off from work starting [start date] until further notice. 

I will keep you updated on the situation, and provide all the necessary documentation upon my return. I have briefed [add colleague’s name] about urgent matters that may occur during my absence. 

Please let me know if my request is approved, or if there are any further steps I need to take.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,
[Your name]
  1. Intermittent Time Off Request – Subject line: Intermittent Time Off Request [Your name]

Dear [Manager’s name]

I hope you are doing well. I am writing to request intermittent time off for medical appointments [related to a medical condition if you want to add a reason, but this is not necessary], starting from [start date] until [end date].

I have scheduled these appointments during non-peak hours to minimize the disruption to my work. I have made arrangements with [coworker name] to cover my responsibilities in my absence. 

Please let me know if my request is approved, or if you have any concerns regarding my request.

Best regards,
[Your name]
  1. Vacation Time Off Request – Subject line: Vacation Time Off Request [Your name]

Dear [Manager’s name]

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request [number of days off] for a planned vacation starting from [date] and ending on [date]. 

I have coordinated with my team to ensure my duties are covered in my absence. I will be available via email for any urgent matters that may arise.

Please let me know if my request is approved, or if you have any concerns regarding my request.

Best regards,
[Your name]
  1. Extended Time Off Request – Subject line: Extended Time Off Request [Your name]

Dear [Manager’s name]

I hope this email finds you well. I would like to request extended time off, starting from [date] and until [date].

[Brief reason for the extended time off if you want to disclose, for example sabbatical, personal reasons, or travel]

I have planned ahead to ensure my workload will be managed. I have also arranged with [colleague’s name] to handle any urgent tasks that may arise. I will be available via [add here preferred method] for any urgent matters. 

Please let me know if my request is approved, or if you have any concerns regarding my request.

Best regards,
[Your name]

Depending on your relationship with your employer, you may make these emails more or less professional. If you are taking a longer time off, depending on the employer, you might have better chances for approval if you disclose the reason for leave, but it is not mandatory to do so. Your employer has no legal right to inquire about your reasons for taking time off.

Depending on other circumstances, you may include additional information. For example, for intermittent time off, you might try to complete all your tasks for the days you plan your leave in advance – make sure to let your employer know that. 

For longer leaves, especially if you have many tasks to handle daily, you should schedule a meeting with your boss beforehand. You should inform them about your request for time off, and discuss how you both can prepare so that workload doesn’t suffer during the time you’re off. 

Maintaining Professionalism in Time Off Request Emails

Once you understand what you need to write and how let’s discuss how to keep it professional. Here are a couple of tips to help you make sure your emails are as professional as they come.

Common mistakes to avoid when writing your time off request email

  1. Being too friendly

Always remember that, regardless of your relationship with your manager, you are writing a professional email. Avoid being too friendly, using jargon, and other work-inappropriate language.

  1. Providing insufficient information

Your email serves the purpose of notifying your employer of important dates – it would be a big mistake not to mention the accurate days you are requesting off. You may or may not decide to provide a reason, and that’s alright. However, don’t forget to include the dates. 

  1. Don’t be ignorant of company policies

If your company has strict policies on requesting time off, ignoring them might not be the best option. Familiarize yourself with the company policy before you hit send on that email. 

Responding to your employer when they have questions

  1. Respond in a timely manner

Don’t leave your employer’s questions for later, but try to respond as soon as possible. This will reassure your employer that you have the company’s best interests at heart.

  1. Keep your answers professional

Even though you may feel your employer’s questions are unnecessary or irrelevant, maintain a professional conversation. 

  1. Provide additional information if necessary

You’re not obliged to provide reasons for your leave. But, if your boss asks for additional information make sure to provide it. You’ll increase your chances of getting approved. 

Follow the follow-up etiquette

  1. Be patient

Unless it is an urgent time off request, allow your employer sufficient time to reply to your request. If the request is urgent, and you need to leave immediately, it might be best to follow up with your manager in person or through a message if necessary.

  1. Follow up politely

If you don’t receive an answer in an appropriate timeframe, it’s alright to follow up with another email. Follow-up should be polite, thank them for taking the time to review your request, and offer any additional information if they need it. 

  1. Accept their decision, regardless

Regardless of whether you are approved or rejected, accept the decision professionally. Express your gratitude for their consideration.  


How do you ask for time off in a message?

When asking for time off in a message, it is important to include all the relevant details. You need to include the dates you would be needing off, and in some cases, the reason for taking those days off. Make sure to include additional information, such as emergency contact method, if applicable.

Do I need to give a reason for a personal day?

Legally, your employer has no right to ask you to provide a specific reason for your personal day if your role comes with paid time off. However, in situations where PTOs are not given, you might find that providing a strong reason for taking time off will increase your chances of getting it approved.

What is the best way to ask for time off in an email without sounding rude or entitled?

Be mindful of your employers’ perspective while crafting the email. Asking your employer, don’t tell. Asking your employer for time off long in advance will help them plan for it. You can also help them plan by lining up help from coworkers upfront, or by providing assurance that you planned the vacation so that it won’t affect the current workload. 

How do you phrase time off requests?

While writing a time off request, be mindful of your language, and stay professional. Make sure to phrase it as a question, rather than telling. 

Who should you email to request time off?

Who you should email depends on the company policies. In some companies, you’ll be sending an email to your supervisor or manager. In other, send the request to HR personnel. Inform yourself upfront about who you should contact. Since you’ll likely have to send the email to request time off formally, you can always find the right email address on LinkedIn.


If you are wondering “how to write a time off request email”, hopefully, this clears it up. Many people are worried about requesting time off. However, you shouldn’t compromise your well-being and mental health for the sake of simply sending an email. 

So, to recap – keep your email professional, to the point, and polite. Provide your boss with all the information they need to approve your request. Include a clear and concise subject line, and don’t forget the start and end date. 

Provide them with assurance that you have planned your time off carefully and that it will not negatively impact your workload. You want to inform your boss which of your coworkers is briefed to assist in case of emergencies. 

Lastly, make sure to provide your boss or manager with information on how to contact you in case of an emergency. While you are not obliged to be on their back and call during your time off, providing your employer with reassurance that you still have the company’s best interest in heart will go a long way toward your time off request approval. 

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