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Should You Send an Email for PTO Requests?

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Ideas, Samples, and Important Factors to Consider

Should You Send an Email for PTO Requests?

You’ve typed, deleted, and re-typed your PTO request. Why is requesting paid time off so hard?

If you find it difficult to request PTO without feeling guilty or worried your boss will judge you, you are not alone.

Luckily, we are here to help.

In this guide, we will share the best solution for requesting PTO and how to request time off work in the least stressful way, via email.

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Why Is an Email Requesting Time Off From Work Important?

Letters and in-person requests can end up lost or forgotten. Requesting time off via email is a great way to leave a paper trail in case your employer needs to reference the request later.

This can protect you from falling into a “he said, she said” situation. If your PTO request is lost or forgotten, you have documentation that proves your request was accepted.

What’s easier than requesting time off via email? Not needing to request time off in the first place.

Sorbet allows employees to select pre-approved time off and get immediate approval for their PTO. Our intuitive technology can even ensure employers from the same department cannot select the same PTO slots so you never end up short-handed.

How to Request Time Off Work Via Email: 4 Easy Steps to Drafting Your Email

Whether you are an hourly employee or you are paid a salary, you can benefit from requesting paid time off via email.

Stop staring at your empty email draft. We’re here to show you how to ask for PTO via email in just four easy steps.

#1: Include a Subject Line

Let’s start with the subject line. You’ll want to keep your subject line concise while also sharing the following information:

  • The dates you are requesting time off for

  • Your last name, especially if you work for a large corporation

Here’s an example of a subject line you can use:

  • Requesting PTO May 7-12th, [last name]

#2: State Your Reason for Writing

In the body of your email, make it clear that you are requesting PTO.

It goes without saying that formulating a courteous and professional response can go a long way when it comes to requesting time off.

#3: Include the Dates You’re Requesting

Reiterate the dates you are requesting time off for in the email. Ensure that these dates match the dates in your subject line to avoid any confusion or delays in processing your time off.

#4: Let Your Manager Know What Preparations You’re Making in Advance of Your Time Off

If you need to make preparations in advance to take time off, it is a good idea to let your manager know you have taken care of all the details that will involve your leave of absence.

Feel free to share information like:

  • Tasks you are completing ahead of time; and

  • Work you will be delegating to specific team members

Not only does making preparations show your dedication to your company’s success but it can…

  • Take some weight off of your shoulders

  • Allow you to fully enjoy your time off without thinking about the mountain of work waiting for you at the office when you return back to work.

3 PTO Request Email Examples

Do you need some help figuring out how to write your PTO request email? Here are some PTO request templates to help you out.

1st PTO Email Example

Subject: PTO Request - August 3-8, [last name]

Hi [name],

This is [name]. I would like to request time off for August 3rd-8th.

I have made the appropriate preparations to ensure my pending work is completed before taking paid time off and have coordinated work delegation with the team for while I am away.

Please let me know if my PTO request can be approved.

I will not be able to check my email regularly on my requested time off but can be reached via cell phone for an emergency situation.


2nd PTO Email Example

Subject: PTO Request March 12-28, [last name]

Dear [name],

This is [name]. I would like to formally request time off for March 12th-28th.

I have attached an approval letter from my team leader below.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at [email].

Thank you for considering my request.

Kindly, [name]

3rd PTO Email Example

Subject: PTO Request June 14-30, [last name]

Hello [name],

I am reaching out to submit a request for time off through June 14th-30th.

I am prepared to ensure that all of my work is delegated properly to ensure any needs are met while I am out of the office.

I will set a vacation reminder for my email while I am out of the office with a phone number I can be reached at for emergent situations.

Please let me know if my time off can be approved.


3 Tips on How to Request PTO by Email

Studies have shown that many employees experience anxiety when requesting time off.

A OnePoll study found that 63% of Americans are afraid that their boss would judge them for taking time off.

Additional studies have shown that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated employee anxiety when it comes to requesting paid time off, as staff shortages make employees feel guilty for potentially leaving their coworkers with one less staff member.

It’s important to remember that paid time off is a benefit that you have earned. Don’t be afraid to use it!

If you are feeling anxious about requesting time off, these three tips may help quell some of your worries.

#1: Know Your Company’s PTO Policy

Before requesting PTO, it is important to make sure you understand your company’s paid time off policy.

If your company offers a PTO accrual policy, make sure that you have enough PTO hours saved up to cover the time you are planning to request.

#2: If Possible, Ask for Time Off in Advance

While it is not always possible, asking for time off a few weeks in advance can improve your chances of having your request accepted. It also gives you and your team time to make any preparations needed for your absence.

#3: Send a Follow-Up Email

If your PTO was approved in person, make sure to send a follow-up email confirming the dates of your PTO so you have a record of your request and approval.

If you request PTO by email and do not receive a response back after a few days, follow up with another email to ensure your request does not get lost in the recipient’s inbox.

#4: Send a Reminder Email

Before taking time off, it’s a good idea to send an email reminder to your colleagues that you will be out of the office.

Make sure they know who to contact in your absence and how to contact you directly, if possible, in case of an emergency.

How Sorbet Streamlines PTO Requests for Employees and Employers

Here’s the ugly truth: PTO is broken.

Employees feel guilty for taking the time off they have earned. Meanwhile, companies are racking up tens of thousands of dollars in liability from employees not taking PTO.

It's high time to address the employers taking away earned PTO and understand the connection between PTO and inflation, ensuring that this essential employee benefit evolves to meet the changing financial landscape.

Sorbet offers a solution that makes PTO a win-win for both employers and employees.

With Sorbet, employees can select pre-approved time off, eliminating the anxiety of writing a PTO email request or wondering if their request can be made.

Employers benefit from freeing up the Human Resources department so they can focus on more important tasks and reducing financial liability caused by accrued PTO.

Stop handling PTO the hard way. Have your Sorbet and eat it too.


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