When I first picked my pen name, I thought it would be a clever pun that would be relatable to any working American. Not only to I like to grow out my facial hair into a five o’clock shadow before shaving it off, but I also enjoyed the visual of someone in such a rush to leave the office at 5 o’clock that all that is left is his or her shadow. But after working at my current job for seven years, I’m starting to not mind staying the office late. At least, not as much as I used to. It’s actually not that bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my free time. I enjoy sinking into my couch after work with a glass of wine and watching “The Office” reruns on Netflix or new episodes of “The Bachelorette.” When I get the chance, I like to go on a hot margarita date on a Thursday night. I also like popping a melatonin at the start of Monday Night Football, falling asleep halfway through, and getting a full night’s sleep. But with all the distractions I have at home, I can’t get important things done. Good luck with me even opening my laptop at home after work.
The office can also distract from regular work. Sure, there’s obviously a normal workflow to the day where I have to deal with emails, phone calls, and other day-to-day duties, but it’s really tough to deal with very involved projects during the workday. People in the office are talking, meetings may be called, and everyone needs your help. Post-work hours are the only time I can work on projects (almost) completely unimpeded.
So, thankfully, I can stay in the office late. Working in the office late allows you to work on big projects, get extra busywork done, work on your personal finances, make grocery lists, make to-do lists, set up your calendar, or do work for any extracurricular activities in which you’re involved. Since almost no one else is in the office at that time, you can also chat with your significant other while working or, if allowed, pop open a beer to sip on while making spreadsheets. There’s something almost peaceful about being in the office after hours. It’s a great time to get your work and personal life organized while feeling the satisfaction of productivity.
Obviously, it’s not great to do every night. Sometimes you just need to relax and reflect after work. Maybe throw on some smooth jazz. But still, staying at the office after hours is not that bad. It’s productivity with minimal distractions and peacefully organizing your life without getting a phone call about a work non-emergency. Even better, when it’s finally time to head home there is barely any traffic and therefore less time between you and your pre-bedtime drink, and after a ten or more-hour day working, you’ll need it. .