The Best Day To Call Out Sick From Work, According To Research

If you want to call out sick from work, science says to choose this time.

Last updated on Aug 01, 2023

woman skipping with jacket on Getty Images 

We all have those days when calling in sick to work just seems like the only option. I know I’ve been there — laying in bed, looking at the clock, and counting down the minutes until I have to make a final decision.

But because bills don’t pay themselves, I usually suck it up and just go to work.

And studies have shown that most people usually do still go to work when they are really sick (which is not the best thing to do for yourself or all the other people you'll be around). 


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But, there are some days that you’re in bed, and the thought of getting out, getting dressed, and taking a ride to work seems harder than college algebra. And that’s totally fine; we all need mental health days.


Lucky for us, a 2016 study done by Attest, a market research company, gave us a cheat sheet on when the best time to call out sick is. Mondays and Fridays are obviously a no-no since it’ll appear like you just want a long weekend.

Ready for the magic trick? Attest says to call out on a Tuesday, at precisely 6:38 AM.

Now, I totally hear you as you probably think to yourself that waking up early just to call out defeats the purpose of sleeping in. But if you want it to look legit, you have to play the part.

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However, don’t play it too well. You’re not Meryl Streep, so hold back on the extra coughing, phlegm noises, and the like.


In the same study, researchers suggested using “stomach issues” as the best excuse. It’s so easy to quiver your voice slightly to express your discomfort without having to play up flu or cold symptoms.

The study also showed that November and December are the months in which people are more likely to call out, so go ahead and do your holiday shopping online.

Save your sick day for the other ten months. You’ll be so happy you did when you’re sipping tea, binge-watching Netflix, and ordering take-out.

RELATED: The Truth About Working With Chronic Illness

A word of advice, though: don't post on social media, even if your account is private.


If there’s even one “friend” who has it out for you, somehow whatever you post (“At the gym, because if I don’t post it on FB, it doesn’t count, right? Haha!”), it will eventually wind up getting back to the big boss.

There’s nothing wrong with the habitual scrolling of your timeline, just don’t like or comment or post. It’s too dangerous.

But, the biggest thing to remember is: enjoy your day off.


RELATED: Worker Quits During First Week After Boss Tells Him It's His 'Responsibility To Find Replacement' When Calling Out Sick

Liza Walter is a freelance writer who has appeared in HuffPost, BRIDES, Bust Magazine, Ravishly, and more.