(Closed) Should I stay late at the office just because my colleagues do?

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Have you recently started this job? I think it all depends on your office culture. In my field, during busier tax season it’s a given that we work beyond a standard 9-5 work day. On a previous job, I was required to travel to different sites for different engagements (for which the commutes were horrendous) and I pretty much was frowned upon for trying to leave at a decent time. I wanted to beat traffic because sometimes it would take me upwards of 2 hours to get home.

I think in order to build a strong rapport with your team, it’s ok to stay a little past your normal 5 o’clock quitting time – sometimes. It will prove to them that you are willing to work your hardest for the good of the entire office. If you still are concerned about working these late hours, talk to you team to get feedback. Let them know that you want to make sure that you’re on the same page as far as work schedules, etc. Once they see that you are making a conscientious effort, I don’t think that it would be a big deal whether or not you stay late every day.

Post # 4
Member
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I totally feel you WantToGoHome! I’m always one who leaves right at 5 p.m., but I also get here first (usually 15 mins early) and everyone comes in after me. But regardless of any job I’ve had, I leave almost to the minute when the work day is over. I’m a fast, hard worker, so I CAN leave right on time. I also have a husband (and doggie!) at home, and have no desire to stay late just because I need it to look like I’m working extra hard. I want to go home to them and talk about our days and have “us” time. No one in my office understands that because I’m one of like two married people, and rest are never in any hurry to leave.

Honestly, for people who leave late, they obviously just can’t get their work done on time! Haha 🙂 I also have an office desk job that never requires any sort of serious deadline. Just the usual stuff.

Post # 5
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Is your job paid hourly or salaried? I would think hourly can leave at 5 no questions asked. Salaried is tricker… I used to work in corporate finance and it was the same thing….NO ONE left at 5. It was silently frowned upon…I would usually leave at 6-6:30 on a regular night where we didn’t have a project and I was just working on my own tasks. Usually I waited until the guy directly above me left. Definitely frustrating because they all had stay at home wives and therefore did not understand what its like to have to get your own drycleaning and shop for groceries after work! Agh!

Unfortunately, our boss DEFINITELY took people’s “work ethic” (of which staying late is one example) into account for bonuses and raises and promotions & thats why I kept doing it (until I eventually quit). Are you eligible for those kinds of things? If you want to stay in the highest regard in your boss’ eyes & keep advancing there, I would keep going above and beyond….

I know its super annoying because I too work very hard during the day and don’t need to be there late to finish my work (and do a good job at it)…but sometimes putting in extra time is the only way to show that you are a hard worker.

If its just a job to you, and you could care less if it goes anywhere, and could replace it if needed, then you are perfectly within your rights to leave when your work is complete.

Sorry for the long, rambling answer, I hope it makes sense! Every office is different so its kind of hard to give you a concrete answer! I feel your pain though.

Post # 6
Member
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I think you need to just see how things work out. If you get all your work done before 5 there’s no reason to be staying late just to stay late. Are your co-workers actually working? Maybe they are slow workers or they like to mingle a lot during the day so end up staying late to finish. Other times they just stay late to chat! People don’t always work the same way, so you should feel it out and see what works for you and the team.

Post # 7
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Where are you? Because here in NYC it sometimes feels like a staying late contest. But when I worked in Philly everyone was gone by 4:30. Honestly if all your work is done, you shouldn’t let people make you feel bad about leaving at 5:00pm. The most important thing is to make your boss feel as though he/she can depend on you to get the work done on time which it sounds like you are doing. And I totally understand wanting to be home to be with/care for your husband, I hate the mentality that there is going to be a trophy awarded to the last person to leave and no one is allowed to have any free/personal time.

Post # 9
Member
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

What industry do you work in?  I am in advertising and it just isn’t a 9-5 job so even if I am done with most of what I have to do, no on walks out the door at 5pm.  Its stupid and annoying…but its just how it is…once I move out of the city and have a commute and kids I honestly don’t know how I will do it…

Post # 10
Member
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

If you think you’re just expected to work till 6, come in later like everyone else. No reason to actually work longer than the rest of them!

I have a very long commute but I made it known to my supervisor – I come in early and leave right at 5. The only reason people stay till 6 here is because they take an hour lunch. I eat in about 10 minutes.

 

Post # 11
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I leave on time unless there’s a reason to stay late.  I usually get in around 8:50 (we are required to be there at 9) and leave at 5p, I eat lunch at my desk and probably only stop work for about 15 minutes to surf the web (we are allowed 1 hour lunch break). A lot of the other girls in my office show up late, like around 9:30-9:45 and they stay late, but then when you show up 30-45 minutes late everyday you kind of have to stay late to make up for it.

I work in advertising so it’s not like I’m saving people’s lives or anything.  Though I love my job, if there’s no reason to stay late then I leave.  I definitely have stayed as late as 10pm before if we had a big meeting/campaign coming up, but if it’s something that can wait then I leave.

ETA – our office is a ghost town after 5pm usually, except for the 2 girls who are late everyday.  All the higher ups are gone by 5:01pm, unless something big is happening!

Post # 12
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

@WantToGoHome: I definitely understand. You’re past the newbie stage. I’m salaried too and it seems like as soon as I walk out of the office at 4:30, somebody finds me the next morning and lets me know that they were looking for me at 4:40! It sucks at times. Then again, I work hard every day and everyone knows they can depend on me to put the “fires” out. When my busy season dies down I do take advantage of leaving at a decent hour (if there’s nothing blowing up in the background, lol).

@justeen: I agree with you. I think it’s best to feel it out and see what works for you and the team.

Post # 13
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@WantToGoHome: I think be with your family then! You sound very secure in your job, they know you & should already know you are willing to help out as needed. I would start leaving at a more reasonable time unless you are specifically asked to help with something. Jobs are obviously important, but not more important than family…….especially if you are just passing time at your desk. Good luck !

Post # 14
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m exactly like you, i’m not into those corporate games or drama.  I do my work, do it well, and go home.  I stay late if I’m super busy and have to get something done, but other than that, I leave at 5.  I hate when people spend all day socializing and then complain about how busy they are so they’re there late.  Don’t feel guilty over this.  Your family life is #1, career 2nd… at least thats my opinion.  I think the problem where this comes from is that people assume that people who leave on time must not be busy enough during the day or something.  But we’re just really efficient 🙂

Post # 15
Member
581 posts
Busy bee

Leaving at 5pm is perfectly fine.  You come in on time, you get your work done, and you earned the right to leave at 5pm.  You show willingness to stay should the need arise, so your coworkers should have no issue.  If your coworkers lead you to believe that your boss is concerned with your work schedule, I’d take it up with your boss.  Just because your coworkers don’t want to go home doesn’t mean you need to stay and keep them company.  With ten years at this company and three with the particular group, I’d say you have proven yourself.

Post # 16
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Leaving at 5pm should be fine if your work is done. Unfortunately, I also agree with musthavedietcoke — it may come back to haunt you. My background is IT and Finance, and in both of those industries, you are tacitly expected to work 50-60 hours a week *minimum*. Those who don’t get passed over for raises, promotions, and are always the first let go during layoffs. It doesn’t matter if your work is impeccable and always delivered on-time. You’ll be seen as a drain on morale, someone who’s not a team player. Very unfair, IMO, but true 99.9% of the time nonetheless….

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