So you’re at work and its a slow day.
All the work allotted to you has been done and you’re just sitting there. What do you do?
Do you open YouTube and start watching those cat videos you’ve already watched 974 times? Do you start reading on your Kindle? Do you scroll through Facebook thinking about how everyone else is having an amazing life while you’re stuck in your office with nothing to do?
The right answer – None.
The thing to remember – What you do during this time firmly defines your work ethic.
Are you enterprising enough to find work for yourself? Can you use this time to build a better relationship with your colleagues and contribute further to the team by helping them out?
Can you take a look at all the systems and processes in your workplace and identify any issues with it such that you can suggest a better alternative? Often, in the fast-paced work environment people just blindly follow the systems in place and might not always be able to retrospect on the efficiency of these systems. Can you bring a new perspective to this?
Obviously, am not against taking a breather at work when things get hectic. Everyone needs some time off to let go of the steam. But what do you do with the time when you have continuous slow days?
In my first proper job (with a world-class university) after coming to Australia, I assisted in designing a new framework for events within the Faculty I was working in. I also redesigned their whole intranet website and created a Google site for internal communications. None of this I was asked to do, but all this I did during the free time I would get at work.
In my second role, I designed detailed documentation for the implementation of a new facilities management system and also created a statistical document to understand the efficiency of a new system the team was planning to implement. None of this I was asked to do, but all this I did during the free time I would get at work.
And I recently started my third role last week. And am already working, in my “slow time”, on something which I believe would be of use to the team. This too, I wasn’t asked to do.
Putting your free/slow time at work for something professionally beneficial does reap its rewards. It not only keeps your mind working effectively but also showcases your skills and reflects your strong work ethics and commitment to work.
And the best proof I have for that are my present and previous jobs. The second job I got on reference from my manager at the first one, and the present job I got after a strong recommendation from multiple senior managers.
So, what are you doing in your free time at work?
Artwork Courtesy: https://lingvistov.com/