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Five ways to leave work without your boss noticing

/ Dec 21, 2012 0:00AM / Print / ()

Five ways to leave work without your boss noticing

This week, I've offered seven excellent tips on how to avoid doing over time so you can leave the office at the actual end of the working day.

But after some social media feedback I've realised not everyone has the luxury of choosing when they can actually leave the office – at least not if they hope to avoid the guilty walk of shame, the horrible glare of the boss, the whispers of fellow colleagues and consequent damage to career-advancing prospects.

Thus I have devised another five tips, this time on how to leave the office without your boss noticing that you're going. These tips are based entirely on real-life experiences of friends, colleagues as well as my own personal necessity for getting home at a reasonable hour during the early stages of my career.

So if you can't be loud and proud about leaving on time – and proving you've had a productive day in the process – then try the following for getting out of the office this afternoon.

  1. Send a couple of emails on the way home. Pre-write them, forward them to your phone, then delete the necessary characters before hitting send so they appear to have come direct from your PC. Just remember the ''Sent from my iPhone" is a dead giveaway.
  2. Hide your handbag close to the door. This will allow you to walk past the boss' door or line-of-sight without looking like you're leaving, and therefore running the risk of the time-master asking any questions. It requires some early planning and stealth afternoon manoeuvres. You may even need to pull in a fellow accomplice to park the bag in a well-hidden spot.
  3. Get on your hands and knees and crawl. If you need to avoid catching someone's eye then you need to take whatever cover you can get for making it to the door: desks, chairs, drawers, dividers, and the odd pillar or two are all great options for staying under the radar.
  4. Walk out without saying goodbye. Leave, quickly. Don't allow your leaving on time to be a distraction or a significant event. Just get out of there, and let them notice later.
  5. And finally, when the boss isn't looking, RUN FOR IT.


Sadly, I know of people who've used these tricks more than once. As ridiculous as they sound, they're the sorts of lengths people go to get out of the office on time.

That's because many Australians have lost the ability to leave when they plan or want to leave. More than 2.2 million of us go to work of a morning with no idea what time we'll leave that evening, according to The Australia Institute. About 1.2 million of us think we'll be leaving an hour before we actually do.

Today's National Go Home on Time Day. Please, at least today, don't resort to tricks or any of the above. Just leave.

Nominations are now open for the NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Awards



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