HR Grapevine: - How to guarantee you leave the office on time

An extract from another interesting article from the team at "HR Grapevine". Click on the link to find our more or register for their regular updates:

New projects, looming deadlines and approaching holidays are just some of the reasons why sometimes getting out of the office on-time can seem like a somewhat Herculean task. To help you out, Executive Grapevine has compiled a handy list to help you get back home guilt-free at a healthy hour.

Make work submission deadlines

Ever get to 5pm and just before you clock off you get an email from the manager or a colleague asking you to just ‘quickly’ sort this out? By telling your colleagues the final time they can submit their assignments to you or add commitments to your schedule, it allows you to plan which to prioritise, as well as avoid any last-minute meetings.

This may be a bit difficult to put into action but if you tell your staff: “I need to leave here at 5pm tonight, so you need to make sure to let me know by 3:30pm if you want something” then this could seriously help you get out on time. Eventually, all your colleagues will understand that they have a final submitting time and after then you’re fully focused on the tasks ahead before you leave at the end of the day.

Allow some time to get sorted

Now you know what time you’ll be leaving and when the last pieces of work are being given to you, you can plot and plan when you need to start winding down. This doesn’t mean slow your pace but focus on the practical tasks such as sifting through work emails and organising your desk and the files for the next day. Don’t leave this until tomorrow as it will prevent you starting work quickly and with a fresh head. Always make time to clean up and plan tomorrow.

Get the most important work done – and done early

It’s very easy to put off the hardest tasks until the end of the day, or even tell yourself you’ll ‘do it tomorrow’. Time to sort that bad habit out. Start the day with the hardest task, as we have learnt from Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder of Amazon and currently the richest man in the world, who says: “Anything that’s going to be really mentally challenging, that’s a 10 o’clock meeting.”

Have your emails really changed in the last five minutes? We didn’t think so. There’s no urgency on your phone either, you’re at work and the thing you really need to focus on is the task ahead of you. If you get out of work on time then you can check your phone all evening and email whoever you’d like to your heart’s content. According to research published by the Telegraph, a third of employees are distracted for up to three hours a day at work, which adds up to a total shocking amount of 759 hours a year. Keep productive, keep focused and get out on time.

Call people or talk face-to-face

If you do really need to check your emails for that important message coming through, maybe it’s best to give them a ring or schedule in a face-to-face. This cuts out the need to constantly check your messages and can allow you to get straight on with the task at hand or the next stage in a project. MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory studied 21 organisations over seven years to find the most valuable communication technique. They concluded that face-to-face discussions can be up to 34 times more effective than an email – think how many times you’ve sat waiting on an email to pop into your inbox before you can go ahead with that crucial and time-sensitive task…makes sense right?

Holly Gregory Associates provides HR Consultancy and Change Management Services. We are known as trusted advisers, and provide specialist HR management advice to help your business maximise the efficiency of your HR Operations. We will work with you to implement appropriate new policies and procedures in the best way possible. As experienced change agents wesupport you by delivering your HR changes by providing qualified HR Transformation and Restructuring Project Managers. Our Change Managers come with the knowledge of change methodologies. It may also be that you need is for our specialist HR Services e.g Outsourcing your HR, support writing or creating Policies and Procedures, HR support with redundancies due to a Merger and Acquisition and TUPE, or help to ensure compliance of your assessments with the up and coming IR35 Private Sector reforms.