Why should I leave the office on time

No, finishing work on time is not a sign of a lack of commitment at work

Do you always feel uncomfortable when you finish work on time? You are not alone with this - and yet this is absolute nonsense. High time to clean up a few things here.

The most important rule after work: if you have finished your tasks, you should go home

Finishing work on time should actually be the norm. Should - because many, including myself, are more familiar with the situation that it is not at all a matter of course if you leave the office punctually at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. I know the bad feeling that arises when you are the only one who does this regularly (even if you know that everything is done for the day), and I know the mechanism of prohibiting yourself from ending up on time afterwards . I know stupid sayings from bosses that come up when a colleague leaves earlier than others and how it feels when you realize that this is also being said about you. And I know the - completely absurd - situation that all of a sudden everyone in the team starts doing private stuff at work or shopping online from 7 p.m., only to keep looking busy and killing time until it seems supposedly okay, to go home.

It's no wonder either. Many companies have a culture that particularly honors those who stay at their workplaces the longest in the evenings. It remains to be seen whether these employees are the most productive and creative. Whether it would not make the most sense to make sure that the employees really go home on time when they have finished their day's work, can rest and look after their private lives, on the other hand, does not. After all, well-rested employees who don't play off their private life and job against each other or who have to decide on one are usually motivated employees who have a lot of energy and are better able to think outside the box when dealing with new issues, because they sometimes get out of the hamster wheel.

Ending work on time is part of a good corporate culture

Not only is it up to managers to actively seek to get employees out of the office on time, it is also very much in their own best interest. So live it and ask if employees stay longer than others and save your sayings if someone leaves the office on time. Of course, this is not about the times when a project has to be finished urgently because an important deadline is imminent or other exceptional situations in which you invest a few more hours. Most employees have nothing against working overtime when it is justified - but they are quite and rightly frustrated when this becomes the rule or when time has to be wasted because the mere presence is recognized more than performance. And should it be appropriate every day that overtime is due, not in phases, but with a system, then there is a very simple, incorrect planning of personnel, the correction of which is also the responsibility of the managers.

But the pressure to delay the evening does not always come from the bosses. Sometimes it also arises within the team - at least you might think so. Because of course it leads to tension when you have to watch colleagues from your own team again and again as they march out of the office on time while you still have a mountain of work ahead of you that can't wait until tomorrow. But in this case there is obviously an unequal distribution of tasks, which can and must also be discussed with the team management. In the end, the only thing that helps is to talk about it.

Talk to your colleagues!

The first step is to do this within the team: Talk to colleagues about it if you have the feeling that they are looking at you diagonally if you leave on time or that your punctual departure could be seen as a lack of commitment during the tour. It may well be that they feel the same way and suffer from it as well. It was exactly the same in a previous job of mine when we discovered together that we were all staying longer than we had to because the executive floor told us that it had to be that way. At that time we didn't have the guts to address that - which in itself is highly problematic. And yet a lot has changed after this conversation, as we had decided that from now on we would all leave very punctually if we could, so that the spotlight would not always fall on you alone.

After that, the whole situation relaxed and no more stupid comments were made. Even if I would seek a conversation with the executive suite today, this is a first way to be able to leave in a relaxed manner in the future when one has finished with the tasks. When and if that is the case has to do with personal responsibility and we should trust each other. Because of course you are never really finished with your work, but each and every one of us can estimate well when we can make a point in order to continue working the next day. You should also make it clear to yourself that we all have a different way of working: while some need more breaks in between, others work better in one go and take breaks after longer work blocks or go home a little earlier to catch up on To make more relaxation possible at the end of the day. That said, just because someone can leave early doesn't always mean that he or she has worked less. Pay attention, because reflecting on that often brings a lot of calm to the topic.

So dear people, go home on time, turn off your cell phone and don't let yourself feel guilty here - with everything else you primarily harm yourself. And then the whole team, because at some point it will affect you and yours will affect physical as well as mental health. It doesn't do anyone any good if you break yourselves - and that without need. In the sense: Happy closing time!

This text comes from Silvia Follmann and was published by our cooperation partner EDITION F. You can follow EDITION F on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash


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