Becoming Irreplaceable at Work: What Time Do You Really Start?

Submitted by guest columnist Shelley Buck 

Okay, so no one at work is irreplaceable, but there are many steps you can take to become a more trusted and valued employee.

Starting to work at (not after) your designated start time and leaving after (not before) your designated leave time*, on a consistent basis:

  • Impresses your supervisor, co-workers and many times anyone in higher management.
  • Shows that you take your job seriously.
  • Proves that you value your company and are invested in its mission.
  • Demonstrates your respect for your supervisor and his/her authority.

You will go so much further with this little act that you should be doing already.

When you have a start time of 8am and come walking in the door at 8am (or later), it can appear that this job is not a priority for you and might effect promotions in duties, title and/or pay. Think of it this way, you’re paying a person to do eight hours of work on your house, to babysit or whatever, they came in at 8:10am, they talked to the neighbor for 10 minutes, took at 1 hour and 15 minutes for lunch and was sitting next to the door, coat on, keys in hand at 5pm. And they did it every day or several times a week. Would you bring them back? Would you trust them with more duties if they can’t even respect your time? I think not.

This happens way too often and I’ve seen (or heard of) the problem at most workplaces, but no one says anything! Why?

I understand traffic and weather can tie you up on occasion, but if you know your traffic is bad Monday through Friday of every week, leave earlier! Not a morning person? Suck it up – most people aren’t! Daycare or other issues that are outside of your control? Talk to your supervisor about an alternative start and end time. They’d rather you discuss it with them and come up with a solution.

All businesses are different, but there is always an expectation that you’ll arrive at work on time and not be sneaking out one minute early. An 8am start time means your coat is off, your coffee is in hand, your computer is up and (shock, shock) you’re working. A 5pm quit time means you start turning off your computer, then gathering your coat and keys, not before.

 *These statements are typically for hourly employees. If you’re exempt, like I am, I believe you should still be on time, or earlier, and leave at the designated time, or later. Your supervisor will notice and appreciate it! I know this for a fact!

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Filed under Personal Development, Productivity

5 responses to “Becoming Irreplaceable at Work: What Time Do You Really Start?

  1. Yup, good points, Shelley.

    Is this part of a series? I’m thinking another aspect worth writing about might be what tasks to volunteer for – and which not to.

  2. Shelley Buck

    Naomi – I am hoping to make this a series. I have many ideas and advice on how to become irreplaceable at work and I love the idea of the ‘what tasks to volunteer for and which not to’. I have learned many lessons on this one. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Pingback: Becoming Irreplaceable At Work: Was It Something I Said? « Pass The Buck

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  5. RA

    So, if someone is getting paid for eight hours, why should leaving AFTER designated time be expected by a good and fair employer, particularly in hourly situations when one gets paid for eight hours? There is a lot of literature on what makes a good employee – not many are either writing or setting expectations of what makes a good employer. One would think work place ethic would be a two street for mutual benefit in this day and age.

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